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Heat treating high-alloy steel forgings at Scana Steel Söderfors in Norway.

Consortium to “Roadmap” Thermal Processing Industry

June 8, 2014
18-month program will develop an outline to identify advanced manufacturing technologies ASM International to lead project Backers include FIA, AIST, ORNL, more “… shape the future of thermal manufacturing”

ASM International will lead a coordinated effort to develop and implement advanced manufacturing technologies for thermal manufacturing. ASM, a materials science research association, will be joined by other associations and agencies, including the Forging Industry Association, Association of Iron and Steel Technology, Heat Treating Society, Industrial Heating Equipment Association, Metals Processing Institute, Metal Treating Institute, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Thermal Manufacturing Industries Advanced Technology Consortium (TMI ATC) is an 18-month program that will develop a roadmap that identifies advanced thermal-manufacturing technologies that are ready for industrial implementation, as well as high-priority areas for development.

Also part of the consortium is Nexight Group LLC, a funded participant and a consulting group with experience in technology roadmapping.

TMI ATC is the result a $400,000 advanced manufacturing technology planning grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NISST recently awarded 19 grants totaling $9 million to new or existing, industry-driven consortia to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance.

ASM noted its plan for developing and maintaining the consortium’s effort would rely heavily on its affiliate, the ASM Heat Treating Society.

ASM explained that thermal manufacturing has multiple manifestations that directly and indirectly affect employment for an estimated 8.3 million people in the U.S., at more than 262,000 companies, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Of these companies, 98% are small and medium-sized enterprises, and produce $3.4 trillion annually in total value of shipments.

Specifically, heating processes are essential to numerous production sequences in manufacturing, such as drying, smelting, heat treating, and curing to produce metals, glass, and ceramics. It’s also essential downstream of basic manufacturing, including producing electronics, consumer products, and vehicles.

“While still in the very early stages, roadmap findings have the potential to significantly shape the future of thermal manufacturing,” stated Stan Theobald, senior director of business development, ASM International. “ASM International is thrilled to be leading this exciting project that can play a role in reducing manufacturing costs, increasing productivity, enhancing global competiveness and in turn creating jobs.”