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September 24, 2012 AT 6:37 am

How the U.S. Can Reinvent Manufacturing

Parc Blog | Perspectives, Trends, Discussions

How the U.S. Can Reinvent Manufacturing @ PARC blog.

‘Manufacturing 2.0’ is a radical shift already underway, and many key elements are taking shape. As technologies and business models evolve, we have an opportunity in the US to create and own the future of manufacturing. That means the opportunity for a resurgence of US manufacturing, creating big changes in the economy and revitalizing US cities across the country.

To realize this vision, businesses must start exploring new manufacturing technologies and business models, and US government needs to begin developing coordinated policies to support R&D, public education, and further investment in this new approach to manufacturing.

There is great enthusiasm about exciting new developments in manufacturing including 3D printing, robotics, and printed electronics. These are important technologies, but we believe they are elements of a larger, end-to-end change in manufacturing, representing a radical shift from traditional approaches.
A whole new ecosystem is arising, which will include social design, social funding, flexible and distributed supply chains, and more. This shift will ripple through the industry and likely threaten today’s vertically integrated, large-scale manufacturing industry—much as the PC revolution threatened the mainframe computer industry. These democratizing technologies are a tremendous fount of innovation opportunities. As with most disruptive changes, new ways to fund, conceive, design, and build products means we will see entirely new markets develop, with brand new types of jobs originating right here in the US.

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