A partnership between the University of Northern Iowa, Youngstown State University and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) will leverage $10 million in first-year funding to increase the number of small to midsize enterprises using advanced technologies, bolster critical areas of the defense manufacturing supply chain and create jobs. The partnership will provide hundreds of businesses each year with support to remove barriers to adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, enabling a faster output of quality parts while expanding and strengthening the supply chain. Those technologies include 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

“In the next five years, our nation’s manufacturing economy is positioned to achieve levels of efficiency and productivity not yet realized with current technologies,” said Jerry Thiel, director of the UNI Foundry 4.0 Center. “The integration of robotics, automation, sensors and other Industry 4.0 technologies allowed through this partnership will position our nation for sustained global leadership in industry. Bringing Industry 4.0 technologies to the metal-casting industry while training the future workforce will be critical in strengthening the country’s manufacturing base and removing supply-chain issues with critical cast components.”

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