Smart Manufacturing Coalition Wins $10 Million DOE Clean-Energy Contract

By Chemical Processing staff

Mar 27, 2013

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) won a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to start developing the nation’s first open smart-manufacturing technology platform for collaborative industrial networked information applications. The $10 million project, led by the SMLC, will receive $7.8 million in funding from the DOE.

The overall objectives of the initial SMLC project are to design and demonstrate this common platform that enables data modeling and simulation technologies to actively manage energy use in conjunction with plant production systems. The platform will show how real-time management of energy use as a key driver in business decisions can be applied across many small, medium and large U.S. manufacturing companies.

The U.S. can cut manufacturing energy intensity by more than half in the next 20 years by managing energy usage with smart technologies, says R. Neal Elliott, director of research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a coalition board member.

The SMLC’s platform-development approach uses industrial test beds with actual manufacturing data and applications to ensure it is driven by industry needs. The first two test beds funded by the DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing contract will be at a General Dynamics Army munitions plant to optimize heat treating furnaces and at a Praxair hydrogen processing plant to optimize steam methane reforming furnaces.

With direction from the full membership of the SMLC, this project is a collaborative effort among Emerson Process Management, Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, Invensys and Rockwell Automation.

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