The U.S. may not have a centrally planned economy or a unified industrial policy. However, the federal government, state authorities, and private enterprises are working together to advance manufacturing through the development and use of robotics, artificial intelligence, and related technologies. FuzeHub is one example of how government and industry can band together.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) established the public-private Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) with all 50 states and Puerto Rico. These organizations are intended to help small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) improve efficiency, stay competitive, and hire workers.
Several more populous states have multiple MEP members. For instance, FuzeHub is a nonprofit that serves as New York’s MEP center. The Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology & Innovation supports it. As our Robotics & AI Summit at LiveWorx approaches, Robotics Business Review recently communicated with MEPs including FuzeHub, and here is more information about its work.
When was FuzeHub established?
How many manufacturers are in your state?
About 17,000 manufacturing establishments.
What sorts of products do manufacturers in your state make, or what industry verticals do they serve?
On a statewide basis, the five manufacturing industries with the greatest number of jobs are:
- Computer and electronic product manufacturing (NAICS 334)
- Food manufacturing (NAICS 311)
- Fabricated metal product manufacturing (NAICS 332)
- Machinery manufacturing (NAICS 333)
- Chemical manufacturing (NAICS 325)
Together, these account for over half of New York’s manufacturing employment.
How large are the manufacturers in your state, in terms of revenue and numbers of employees?
As is the case in most of the country, New York’s manufacturers are overwhelmingly small and mid-sized. Of the state’s nearly 17,000 manufacturing establishments, 76% have less than 20 employees, and only 91 have more than 500 employees.
The smallest manufacturers (1-19 employees) represent half or more of each region’s total manufacturing establishments. New York City — and to a lesser extent Long Island — have even greater proportions of manufacturers with less than 20 employees.
We have not researched manufacturer size on a revenue basis.
What are manufacturers in your state looking for in automation? What are some challenges they are hoping to address?
Manufacturers in New York are looking for automation systems that allow for high-value products to be rapidly manufactured at low volumes, often in collaboration with skilled manufacturing workers.
A shortage of skilled workers and automation engineers make this a challenge which New York hopes to address with robotics education and workforce development.
Modern manufacturing college programs and apprenticeships are of great interest.
Also, plug and play, modular robotic systems that can be quickly configured and commissioned can address the needs of manufacturers by bringing down the cost and implementation time for urgent manufacturing needs.
What does FuzeHub hope to gain from a partnership with the Robotics & AI Summit?
We hope to gain insight for our participating staff into the leading edge of robotics technology development and make connections that help position our organization to take assist New York State small and midsize manufacturers in adopting robotics into their operations.