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Welch and Reed Introduce Bill to Advance Smart Manufacturing

July 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON –Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Tom Reed (R-NY) today introduced the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act which would help small and medium-sized American manufacturers adopt smart manufacturing technologies.

Smart manufacturing combines information, technology and innovation to allow companies to make real-time management decisions regarding 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.

 “Manufacturing technology is changing rapidly,” said Welch. “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.”

 “We must work to make the US a leader in manufacturing, said Reed. By helping smaller manufacturers 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.”

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act would authorize state grants to help manufacturers with less than $100 million in sales and fewer than 500 employees adopt smart manufacturing technologies.  It would also require the development of a national plan by the Department of Energy that identifies areas where smart manufacturing technologies can be developed, deployed and adopted more quickly.

The bill would help manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs and secure a more competitive position in the market place.  By 2040, it would save consumers an estimated $5 billion in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 116 million cars off the road, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

For full text of the bill, click HERE.