HPC Fuels Manufacturing Rebirth

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After a long dry spell triggered in part by the global downturn in the economy, manufacturing is enjoying an economic and technological resurgence.

According to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), American manufacturing continues to improve. The ISM recently reported that manufacturing activity expanded in September 2014 for the 16th consecutive month, and that the overall national economy grew for the 64th consecutive month.

Part of this growth is being fueled by the adoption of computer aided engineering (CAE) and analysis solutions powered by high performance computing (HPC)—especially by the Tier One manufacturers. HPC is beginning to make some inroads into the ranks of the small to medium sized manufacturers (SMMs), but the going is slow.

SGI MFG WP - Cover Sm.3This is the 1st article in a series on how HPC systems are helping to fuel a rebirth in manufacturing and virtual product development. This paper was created by the insideHPC editorial with support from SGI.

Ongoing Challenges

Despite manufacturing’s comeback, the industry is still facing some daunting challenges. Among the many hurdles that manufacturers have to overcome on a daily basis are stringent regulations imposed by federal, state and local governments dealing with product quality, safety and performance.  According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “Federal regulation is estimated to cost more than $1 trillion annually, according to a report by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. The study found that United States manufacturing comprised $162 billion of the $648 billion burden of environmental, economic, workplace and tax-compliance regulation.”

NAM points out that dollars spent by manufacturers on regulatory compliance with cumbersome or duplicate regulations are dollars not spent on capital equipment or hiring new employees.

Next week’s article will look at how manufacturers are using HPC to reduce cost. If you prefer you can download the complete article series from the insideHPC White Paper Library courtesy of SGI and Intel.