0832417 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (lead institution); Kazuhiro Saitou 0832433 Michigan Technological University; John Sutherland
The University of Michigan and Michigan Technological University propose a planning grant for a collaborative center "Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (I/UCRC) on Assembly Research" to maximize the global competitiveness of the US manufacturing industry through innovations in assembly design and manufacturing. The proposed center aims to conduct needs-driven, collaborative research projects within and across four research thrust areas: assembly design, assembly systems, supply chain management, and disassembly. Compared to fragmented attempts to tackle a focused research issue in isolation with others, this holistic approach is likely to yield strong synergy across the research thrusts and among industry partners representing various industry segments. The knowledge generated in the proposed center would also be applicable to non-manufacturing industry, such as service industry, where products are "assembled" of multiple commoditized and custom-made components.
The broader impacts of this proposal would be to improve the competitiveness in the global manufacturing environment and to educate and train students who would be the future work force in the US manufacturing industry. The proposed center plans to disseminate research results to the general public through professional education courses and workshops and at the College of Engineering open house. Local high school and community college teachers will be encouraged to participate in the workshops, and the center will actively recruit students from the under-represented groups.