Dr. Gary Fedder, ARM Institute Board Member and ARM Founding President, joined ASME for a Congressional Briefing on Managing and Rethinking the Supply Chain. Dr. Fedder was joined by representatives from our fellow Manufacturing USA Institutes RAPID and CESMII, as well as Jeff Kent from Proctor & Gamble.
The Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 impacted the global economy on many levels. As countries sought to protect their populations, the ensuing economic shutdowns created a lack of critical goods in the U.S., highlighting the global interconnectedness of our supply chains.
Across the globe, manufacturing plays a key role in the production and delivery of these goods to those in need. As manufacturers struggled to source the supplies and equipment needed to protect the U.S. population, from the immediate health crisis and economic collapse, a growing understanding arose that implementation of new safeguards and frameworks are essential to strengthening our supply chain infrastructure and prevent future lapses.
The ARM Institute takes a comprehensive approach to supply chain resiliency. We fund robotic technology projects that solve key issues in manufacturing. For example, we have funded 46 projects in the area of Reconfigurable, Agile, and Flexible Robotic Workcells, a key focus area for ARM. Our other key technology focus areas are: Intelligent Robotic Systems, Risk Reduction for Transition to the Factory Floor, Human Robot Interaction, and Interoperability.
A trained workforce is also key to solving supply chain issues. ARM also has an Education & Workforce Development focus and funds projects in this area. ARM also has developed a vetted competency framework for Industry 4.0 Robotics Careers Pathways and is working to launch a database that connects workers to training opportunities. More information about this project is forthcoming.
The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute catalyzes robotics and workforce solutions to strengthen the US industrial base. Structured as a public-private partnership, ARM is funded by the Department of Defense and works with its 240+ member organizations that span government, industry, and academia to secure our nation’s future. The ARM Institute is part of the Manufacturing USA® network. Learn more at www.arminstitute.org.