Last week Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act aimed at helping small and mid-sized American manufacturers adopt smart manufacturing technologies, according to a July 13th press release. The press release goes on to state that, “Smart manufacturing combines information, technology, and innovation to allow companies to make real-time management decisions regarding their productivity, energy, and costs. These advanced technologies are transforming the manufacturing sector, but due to a lack of staff resources, expertise, and capital constraints, they are often only employed at large manufacturing facilities.”
What is The Benefit?
This act would allow for the state issued grants to help manufacturers with less than $100 million in sales and fewer than 500 employees adopt smart manufacturing technologies. “We must work to make the US a leader in manufacturing. By helping smaller companies become more energy efficient they are placed on an even playing field, making them more competitive. This will in turn create good jobs and improve the economy in communities across our region.” said Reed. As well, this Act would require the development of a national plan by the Department of Energy that identifies key areas where smart manufacturing technologies can be developed, deployed, and adopted more quickly. The purpose of this bill is to assist smaller manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs, and secure a more competitive position in the market place. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, this would save consumers an estimated $5 billion in energy costs by 2040. Welch commented on the bill stating,
“Manufacturing technology is changing rapidly. It’s important that smaller manufacturers have the same opportunity as their larger competitors to utilize the latest smart technology. Our bill will help them acquire the modern technological tools of manufacturing.”
Here is a link to the full text bill: https://welch.house.gov/sites/welch.house.gov/files/WELCH_030_xml.pdf