SURME

                  Summer Undergraduate Research Mentored Experience

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Dr. Amit Lopes

Department of Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering

US manufacturing capabilities: small motors, tooling, fabric

Preferred major field of study or minimum required skills

Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Analytic skills, technical report writing skills, vendor management, survey design

Scholarly significance/intellectual merit

Manufacturing activities within the United States are experiencing a revival. Small and medium enterprises (SME) centered on manufacturing such as small motors, tooling, and fabric manufacturing are a significant fraction of the overall manufacturing industry in the US. The survival and growth of these SMEs depend on implementation of not only state-of-the art manufacturing methodologies but also adoption innovative technologies. The state of Texas has historically enjoyed being a SME manufacturing hub. However, there are several factors which may hamper the adoption of innovative technologies and methodologies to keep up with the challenges of the global market. The goal of this research is to investigate current state of manufacturing capabilities in the three sectors in the and propose methodologies for adoption of state-of-the-art novel technologies for improved and sustained growth. Through this project, undergraduate researchers will utilize TMAC national databases to identify and survey these industries to understand their capabilities in the in the three sectors.

Research question(s)

  1. List current capabilities within the small motors, tooling, and fabric manufacturing sectors in the US using focused surveys
  2. Determine which factors support or impede the adoption of state-of-the-art and novel manufacturing methodologies for the three sectors?
  3. Identify strategies for closing the gaps in manufacturing capabilities for improved ans sustained growth in these sectors.

Methods/techniques/instruments to be learned/utilized

A wide range of research techniques will be used to conduct the study, including focused surveys, running pilot studies, observation and recording of actual industrial processes involving local small motors, tooling, and fabric manufacturers. Summer undergraduate students will be exposed to diverse and forward-looking techniques in IMSE related fields while improving technical and people skills.