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We are starting to realize, like we did with AM, that the terminology can take on different meanings based on need, context, and the matured state of the technological capabil- ity of interest. The umbrella term smart manufacturing is as good as


any. After all, we have been living with, and have come to better understand the ever increasing capabilities of our smart phones since they were fi rst introduced in the '90s. It will take time for smart manufacturing to come into in- creased focus.


As you look forward, don’t dwell too long on the US manu- facturing employment decline of the recent past. You may think the causes of the manufacturing employment decline were the result of normal creative disruption/destruction, an ever faster technology-enabled product-process development


innovation cycle, the highly transparent and competitive global landscape (sometimes hampered by foreign mercantilist politi- cal policies), or the US tax/regulatory environment. Regardless of the cause(s) of the tectonic manufacturing shift, companies committed to growth, prosperity, increas- ing shareholder value and, of course, their employees need to aggressively commit to continuously adapt to whatever defi nes advanced/smart in their context.


If any manufacturing company, in any industry, wants to be successful going forward, it must embrace positive change rather that run away from it.


One thing is clear, if any manufacturing company, in any industry, wants to be successful going forward, it must embrace positive change rather that run away from it. There is no choice. A&D provides in some cases a “high barrier to entry” protection against competitors quickly encroaching on a particular market. However, complacency isn’t an option. Customers will continue to demand more performance, lower cost, higher quality, and shorter development and delivery cycles. And, competitors will penetrate even the highest bar- riers sooner or later. In summary, every company must “lean forward” and take advantage of every advanced/smart capability that matches up with its needs. The old “sniff/smell” multiyear manufactur- ing software systems evaluation/justifi cation/implementation programs are/will be obsolete. Speed will be of the essence. It’s messy, hard work.


A long-term cultural commitment to advanced/smart is


Whether you call it advanced or smart manufacturing, a host of new technologies is improving the way things are made. Take this linear friction welding machine at Pratt & Whitney. The company in 2015 installed a one-of-a-kind linear friction-welding machine within its Compression Systems Module Center based in Middletown, CT. The machine more than doubles Pratt & Whitney’s capacity to do friction welding of critical components for the F135 and Geared Turbo Fan family of engines.


necessary. Leadership and workforce elements will be more diffi cult than the purely technological challenges. These may cost (in several contexts) more than the investment in technol- ogy alone. All employees, at all levels, must embrace lifelong learning and competency building principles that will leverage and build on the rapidly developing AM/SM enablers. This must be natural and not forced. It has to be approached with interest, motivation, and passion. Increase your emphasis immediately by rewarding the right behaviors in your organiza- tion and quickly remove and reset leadership paradigms that no longer fi t. Do not be defensive. Rather, be offensive in ap- proaching the future realities. SME is here to help!


135 — Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing 2016


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