Events and News

AFS Is Project Partner in Newest Manufacturing Innovation Institute

June 30, 2016

A new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute has been announced by the White House to support advanced manufacturing in the U.S. Led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), the new Institute will spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls to help radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing. AFS is an inaugural partner with the newly launched coalition.

“The advancements that will come from this institute are critical to our industry’s long term success,” said Zayna Connor, AFS vice president technology. “The improved efficiency stemming from SMLC will assist North American metalcasters to be competitive in the world economy.” 

The new Institute consists of a consortia of nearly 200 partners from more than 30 states from across academia, industry and non-profits. The Institute will be headquartered in Los Angeles and funded by $140 million in public-private investment from leading universities and manufacturers within the coalition.

To ensure all American businesses, regardless of their size or potential resource limitations, have the opportunity to benefit from the institute’s progress, the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will use an open-source digital platform and technology marketplace to integrate advanced sensors, controls, platforms and modeling technologies into commercial smart manufacturing systems.

The institute also will provide the manufacturing communities with easy and affordable access to real-time analytic tools, infrastructure and industrial applications.

The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the fourth National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) project with which AFS has partnered and the ninth manufacturing hub awarded through NNMI.  

“Partnerships of this magnitude are must-haves for the metalcasting industry,” said Doug Kurkul, AFS CEO. “The opportunity for metalcasters to play a prominent role in advanced manufacturing shows how important metalcasting is within the U.S. manufacturing economy and demonstrates our industry’s bright future.”

A video about the Smart Manufacturing Institute from the Dept. of Energy can be watched at