Advancing Thermal Manufacturing through Roadmapping

Client: ASM International

Project Overview

Nexight Group helped ASM International, through funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) program, to develop a roadmap that outlines specific actions for a more coordinated cross-sector approach to advanced thermal manufacturing. Published in March 2015, the roadmap aims to enable the more than 100,000 businesses involved in and impacted by thermal manufacturing—97 percent of which are small and medium-sized companies—to improve the efficiency of their operations as well as the performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole.

Need

Advanced thermal manufacturing technologies have the potential to improve efficiency, productivity, and global competitiveness of a wide range of U.S. materials manufacturing and value-added end user industries, which collectively employ more than 5.4 million people and generate almost $3 trillion in economic activity. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the different industries that rely on thermal manufacturing attempted to identify significant technical challenges and called for research and development to overcome these challenges. But because these industries acted independently from one another, their efforts resulted in a failure to attract the resources necessary to implement many of the actions identified in these roadmaps. Instead, many of the challenges to developing and deploying advanced manufacturing technologies remained, particularly for small and medium enterprises.

Our Solution

Nexight Group assessed the current state of thermal manufacturing and solicited input from critical stakeholders to develop a path forward for the segmented community to improve the efficiency and performance of their operations. To do so, we:

  • Conducted an assessment of thermal manufacturing’s current state of the art.
  • Facilitated two collaborative workshops: one focused on thermal process equipment manufacturers and end users and the other focused on materials manufacturing.
  • Developed a roadmap that identifies 50 activities and seven detailed action plans to accelerate the development, adaptation, and implementation of advanced technologies throughout the thermal manufacturing community in the next five years. The roadmap includes an overarching graphic that outlines how these two strategies and seven action plans work together to accelerate advanced technology in thermal manufacturing.
  • Created a communications strategy and accompanying outreach materials—including press releases, web content, fact sheets, executive summary, and PowerPoint presentations—to inform the industries who rely on thermal manufacturing about the cross-sector roadmap and encourage participation in the roadmap's goals through the Thermal Manufacturing Industries Advanced Technology Consortium (TMI ATC).

Impact

Advancing Thermal Manufacturing: A Technology Roadmap to 2020 was launched in March 2015 and won an Award of Merit from the Washington, DC – Baltimore Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). It outlines specific actions for a more coordinated cross-sector approach to advanced thermal manufacturing in the next five years, many of which are currently being implemented by the Metal Processing Institute (MPI) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in conjunction with ASM International.