Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO)

AMO Supports $2 Million for 12 Small Business Research and Development Projects

AMO (Advanced Manufacturing Office) supports R&D projects, R&D consortia, and early-stage technical partnerships with national laboratories, companies (for-profit and not-for profit), state and local governments, and universities through competitive, merit reviewed funding opportunities designed to investigate new manufacturing technologies.

Recently, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $34 million to support small businesses in advancing scientific discoveries and develop and commercialize manufacturing solutions. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) will provide funding support to twelve new projects across eleven states, totaling nearly $2 million in funding.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offices award Phase I grants to small businesses that demonstrate technical feasibility for innovations during the first phase of their research. Most Phase I awards are for $150,000 for less than one year.
AMO projects were selected from two of 32 collaborative topics among multiple programs in DOE’s Office of Science. Eleven projects were selected under the Advanced Manufacturing topic, which included four subtopics:
  • Intelligent Systems for Materials Design and Discovery
  • Novel Energy-Efficient Dewatering Methods for Cellulosic Nanomaterials
  • Thermal Process Intensification for Productivity Improvements
  • Technology Transfer Opportunity: Process for the Synthesis of Precision Nanoparticles
The projects listed below will receive $150,000 under this topic award.
3D Array Technology LLC – Storrs, Connecticut
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will result in a low-cost and high-efficiency microwave-irradiation intensified scalable manufacturing of nano-structured functional devices for environmental and energy applications. The obtained strategy will enable the industrial-relevant practical application of the novel nano-array based catalysts for automotive emission.

AccuStrata Inc – Rockville, Maryland
Catalysts are imperative to the efficiency and economy of the United States by making energy production, manufacturing and transportation more efficient and ecofriendly. This project seeks to provide a technology that will rapidly improve catalysts and keep the United States on the forefront of technological innovation.

BienaTech – Akron, Ohio
Discovery of high-efficiency catalysis frameworks vital to national advanced manufacturing goals is a challenging materials science problem. Using big data and machine learning approaches, the discovery of nanocatalysts will be accelerated.

Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation – Woburn, Massachusetts
Vanadium is a critical constituent of the high-strength steels that make cars lighter, safer, and more efficient. Boston Electromet will apply new manufacturing technology to supply the American steel industry with vanadium alloys of higher quality at a lower cost, all while saving energy in producing these alloys.

Christian Schafmeister - Merion Station, Pennsylvania
Computers are underutilized to design materials and molecules. Christian Schafmeister will develop software and “Molecular Lego” for designing materials and large molecules that purify other molecules, act as new medicines, sense other molecules, and assemble other molecules.

Compact Membrane Systems, Inc – Newport, Delaware
The proposed technology will significantly reduce capital and energy costs for converting shale gas based ethane into value added ethylene.

Faraday Technology – Englewood, Ohio
In order to enable cellulosic nanomaterials as a competitive renewable feedstock, technology must be developed to collect them from their growth medium at minimum cost. Solids processing technologies will be evaluated for effectiveness when used together for harvesting of cellulosic nanomaterials.

Physical Optics Corporation – Torrance, California
Nanocellulose is a natural and renewable polymer (paper), which has been used from ancient times but is currently finding modern applications in composite materials. The proposed technology allows dewatering the nanosized cellulose without compromising its nanoscaling.

Sep-All LLC – Ames, Iowa
Sep-All unique technology is a platform based on chemo-mechanical stresses and interface metastability at the microscale to drive a controlled separation of mixed sources into high-value micro- and nano-materials of purified compounds (e.g. oxides, acetates), without the need to operate at high temperatures.

TDA Research, Inc. – Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Cellulosic nanomaterials are a new bio-based material that requires an energy-intensive, multi-step process to manufacture. TDA Research proposes a new dewatering system will reduce energy consumption and production costs of these new bio-materials that can be used in a wide range of new products in packaging, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals.

Voxtel, Inc – Beaverton, Oregon
Technology Transfer Opportunity with Idaho National Lab‐developed nanoparticle‐synthesis methods that will be used to advance the performance of microwave radome systems for antenna improvement in the communication space.

AMO will also fund one project under the Atomically Precise Manufacturing II topic that included a subtopic on Molecular Machine Advances. The project below will receive $225,000 under this topic award.
Covalent, Inc. - Las Vegas, Nevada
Novel, atomically-precise nanomaterials and nanomembranes made by mimicking nature’s construction techniques are being developed to provide ultra-low energy, low cost, high purity water from sources as diverse as seawater, wastewater, and water contaminated from nature, agriculture, industry and other sources.

For a full list of EERE-funded projects, view the EERE SBIR-STTR Project Spreadsheet. EERE-specific SBIR information is available on the EERE website.
Small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs in the U.S. economy. Congress created the SBIR and STTR programs to leverage small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies.  DOE developed Technology Transfer Opportunity subtopics as a way for small businesses to partner with national laboratories on research and development needed to speed commercialization of national laboratory inventions.
EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.

Advanced Manufacturing Offce
The Advanced Manufacturing Offce is the only technology development offce within the U.S. Government that is dedicated to improving the energy and material effciency, productivity, and competitiveness of manufacturers across the industrial sector.

AMO brings together manufacturers, not-for-proft entities, research organizations, and institutions of higher education to identify challenges; catalyze innovations; and develop cutting-edge material, process, and information technologies needed for an effcient and competitive domestic manufacturing sector. By targeting effcient manufacturing technologies, AMO seeks to drive energy productivity improvements in the U.S. manufacturing sector, effciently utilize abundant and available domestic energy resources, and support the manufacture of clean energy products with benefts extending across the economy.
VISION: U.S. global leadership in sustainable and effcient manufacturing for a growing and competitive economy.
MISSION: Catalyze research, development and adoption of energy-related advanced manufacturing technologies and practices to drive U.S. economic competitiveness and energy productivity.

AMO Strategic Goals
• Improve the productivity and energy effciency of U.S. manufacturing
• Reduce lifecycle energy and resource impacts of manufactured goods
• Leverage diverse domestic energy resources in U.S. manufacturing, while strengthening environmental stewardship
• Transition DOE supported innovative technologies and practices into U.S. manufacturing capabilities
• Strengthen and advance the U.S. manufacturing workforce

Offce Structure
Organizationally, AMO pursues its goals through the following three subprogram approaches:
R&D PROJECTS: Bridging the innovation gap
The Advanced Manufacturing R&D Projects subprogram supports innovative advanced manufacturing applied R&D projects that focus on specifc high- impact manufacturing technology and process challenges. The subprogram invests in foundational energy-related advanced manufacturing technologies that impact areas relevant to manufacturing processes and broadly applicable platform technologies.
R&D CONSORTIA: Public-Private consortia model
The Advanced Manufacturing R&D Consortia subprogram helps the United States position itself as a world leader in strategic areas of manufacturing by bringing together manufacturers, suppliers, companies, institutions of higher education, national laboratories, and state and local governments in public- private R&D consortia. These partnerships create an innovation ecosystem that accelerates technology development and facilitates the transition of innovative advanced manufacturing technologies to industry.
TECHNICAL PARTNERSHIPS: Direct engagement with Industry
The Technical Partnerships subprogram provides critical support to the adop- tion of advanced energy effciency technologies and practices. The subprogram supports the adoption of cost-effective combined heat and power (CHP) technologies; provides resources to assist manufacturers in reducing their energy use intensity; promotes the adoption of energy management programs, provides targeted energy effciency, productivity, and waste/water use reduction practices to small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

Dr. Rob Ivester, Director
Valri Lightner, Acting Deputy Director
Isaac Chan, Program Manager R&D Projects
Mike Mckittrick, Program Lead R&D Consortia
Jay Wrobel, Program Manager Technical Partnerships
U.S. Department of Energy – Advanced Manufacturing Offce Room 5F-065, MS EE-5A 1000 Independence Ave, SW Washington, DC 20585 Phone: (202) 586-9488
A variety of funding opportunities are available to manufacturers from the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and other organizations.

Without generous private donations the CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES would be unable to continue the valuable work it does in bringing objective information to an often overheated debate.

Making a donation is simple: a cheque payable to CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES can be posted to the following address:


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Friday, May 4, 2018

The manufacturing industry meets automation – trends of 2018

The manufacturing industry meets automation – trends of 2018

The idea of automation is not new to manufacturing, but the advancements in terms of technology to make a difference. Automation has plenty of features that win the battle against the skills of human employees. The concept is already widespread in the manufacturing industry because most companies spend tremendous amounts of money on recall and repair expenses. Both the nature and the economics of all manufacturing sectors are influenced by the implementation of automation in their activity, regardless of the labor complexity involved.
Raising technical feasibility is the focal point of the year 2018, to prepare the ground for complete automation. Adapting human capital to these changes involve reducing staff and investing in hardware. Depending on each manufacturing company’s labor supply and demand, these changes could be either positive or negative. The one factor that could influence the outcome is how much research and knowledge sits behind each decision that business owners make.
Automation is a tool for augmenting profitability and reduce labor costs, which is why it is worth the initial investment. Most manufacturing companies choose to invest in programmable logic controllers to increase input and output monitoring. Complex hardware also requires quality technical support, meaning that manufacturing companies should always opt for automation suppliers that can provide repairs, on-site programming and startup assistance. In addition, the opinion of manufacturers should be considered, especially referring to mitigating labor shortages and using new technologies. Providers such as PDF Electric & Supply offer complete hardware solutions and information related to automation products. Manufacturing business owners can choose from the numerous self-contained blocks available on their website while saying goodbye to initial control and debugging. Specialists will deal with complicated programming while companies can take advantage of the many benefits of automation.
Each year comes with tremendous changes in terms of tech. This is the reason why all industries must remain up to date with the latest trends. Energy connections and automation constitute the stepping stone of the manufacturing industry. The future predictions for this niche are promising and everyone should be prepared for the up-and-coming diversifications.

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