Manufacturing consortium to focus on high-tech power electronics

Obama announces $140 million project at NC State; universities, companies to partner on research and development

01/16/2014


President Obama went to Raleigh, N.C. on Jan. 15 to announce creation of a new $140 million manufacturing consortium that would include private manufacturers and universities focused on developing high-tech power electronics.

Reuters reported that the president took a swipe at Congress for not funding an expansion of such technology centers around the country. “"I don't want the next big job creating discovery, the research and technology, to be in Germany or China or Japan; I want it to be right here in the United States of America," Obama was quoted as saying. "Where I can act on my own I'm going to do so, and today I'm here to act," he said. "Manufacturing is a bright spot in this economy."

The consortium will be lead by North Carolina State University, where Obama visited in announcing the program and which has been a leader in both developing manufacturing innovation and working with regional manufacturing leaders to develop a strong tie between education and the manufacturing sector.

The other universities and technical labs include North Carolina, Arizona State, Florida State University, University of California at Santa Barbara, Virginia Tech and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The 18 companies that have signed on to participate include both global manufacturing leaders and smaller regional high-tech companies. They include: ABB, APEI, Avogy, Cree, Delphi, Delta Products, DfR Solutions, Gridbridge, Hesse Mechantronics, II-VI, IQE, John Deere, Monolith Semiconductor, RF Micro Devices, Toshiba International, Transphorm, USCi and Vacon. The State of North Carolina also is a partner in the program.

The manufacturers and the state will contribute $70 million over the next five years with a matching grant coming from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“President Obama has declared 2014 a year of action, and while he will continue to work with Congress on new measures to create jobs and grow the economy, he will also use his executive authority to get things done,” the White House said in a press release. “After shedding jobs for a decade, our manufacturers have added 568,000 over the past nearly four years, including 80,000 over the past five months.  Manufacturing production has grown since the end of the recession at its fastest pace in over a decade. The President is committed to building on that progress.”

The ultimate goal of the group is the creation of new semiconductor chips and devices that can handle the increased demand for power management. “The institute will also pair chip designers and manufacturers with large power electronic manufacturers and suppliers, such as John Deere and Delphi, to bring these technologies to market faster and will offer training, higher education programs and hands-on internships that give American workers the skills for new job opportunities and meet the needs of this emerging and globally competitive industry,” the press release said.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.