As most companies across the world, the USA are dealing with inflation across a number of industries, which obviously makes it difficult for families to afford the average goods and services. 

To address this priority issue, President has announced the launch of AM Forward, a program that ambitions to reduce “costs for American families by improving the competitiveness of America’s small-and-medium-sized manufacturers, creating and sustaining high-paying manufacturing jobs, and improving supply chain resilience through adoption of additive manufacturing.”

One of the main lessons, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught governments across the world, is that by creating things locally, brittleness of supply chains, backlogs, bottlenecks and higher prices in manufacturing can easily be overcome. 

As far as the USA are concerned, manufacturing is booming with over $200 billion of investments in new facilities and record-setting job creation.  The Biden Administration has spurred unprecedented job growth and the fastest economic recovery in nearly four decades. Since taking office, President Biden’s actions have resulted in the creation of 7.9 million jobs, including 473,000 in manufacturing – more jobs in the first 14 months of any President’s term ever.

Companies are investing in America again, bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs back home. Whether it’s semiconductors, advanced batteries, or other leading sectors, companies are opening new facilities and announcing commitments to produce the world’s most cutting-edge technologies in the United States.

Continuing this momentum is key to easing price pressures throughout our economy and bringing inflation down. That starts with the historic resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which are rebuilding our roads, bridges, ports, airports, and making our businesses and workers more competitive globally. 

AM Forward builds on that work and advances key Administration goals:

  • More resilient and innovative supply chains, by investing in small and medium sized companies;
  • Growing industries of the future, overcoming coordination challenges that limit adoption of new technologies like additive manufacturing; and
  • Both inventing and making more in America, through investments in regional manufacturing ecosystems.

Each of these goals is also advanced by the Bipartisan Innovation Act (BIA), which establishes a Supply Chain Office at the Department of Commerce, supports foundational technologies such as additive manufacturing, and invests in regional tech hubs as well as increasing funding for Manufacturing USA Institutes and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

But not enough American companies are using 3D printing or other high-performance production technologies. That’s why President Biden is pleased to join several leading American companies to celebrate the launch Additive Manufacturing Forward (AM Forward), a voluntary compact between large, iconic manufacturers and their smaller U.S.-based suppliers. GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Siemens Energy are the initial participants in AM Forward. These leading manufacturers will support their U.S.-based suppliers’ adoption of new additive capabilities, helping to transform shop floors across the country.

Through AM Forward, each of these iconic companies will make clear, public commitments to purchase additively produced parts from smaller U.S.-based suppliers; train the workers of their suppliers on new additive technologies; provide detailed technical assistance to support their suppliers’ adoption of new capabilities; and engage in common standards development and certification for additive products.

Among other public commitments:

  • GE Aviation will target small/medium sized suppliers to compete on 50% of the requests for quotes that are sent out on products made using additive or related technologies; and will target 30% of its total external sourcing of additively manufactured parts from U.S.-based SME suppliers.
  • Raytheon will seek SME manufacturers involvement in over 50% of its requests for quotes on products manufactured using additive technologies; the company will also seek to simplify and accelerate the procurement process of AM parts.
  • Siemens Energy will target to purchase 20-40% of total externally sourced AM parts and services from U.S.-based suppliers and partners. It will engage 10-20 U.S. SME suppliers to help improve their AM capability. And, it will also train 10-20 SME suppliers on inspection and post-processing best practices.
  • Lockheed Martin will work with its SME suppliers to conduct research to improve the performance of additive manufacturing AM techniques specifically focused on the use of 3D printing as an alternative to castings and forgings; and it will further participate in university and technical college programs for additive workforce development, including coursework and apprenticeship.
  • Honeywell will target U.S.-based SME suppliers to compete on request for quote packages sent out for products, machinery, manufacturing tooling, and/or manufacturing process development utilizing additive or related technologies. It will also offer technical assistance in part design, data generation, machine operation, post-processing, part inspection / quality management to its SME suppliers.

AM Forward is a completely voluntary compact open to any OEM to participate, provided they are willing to make public commitments to support their suppliers’ adoption of additive capabilities. It will be supported by Applied Science & Technology Research Organization (ASTRO), a non-profit organization.

To support AM Forward, the Biden Administration has identified a range of federal programs that U.S. SME manufacturers can use to support their adoption of additive capabilities and increase their competitiveness. The Administration’s actions are focused on helping to overcome common challenges that have slowed the deployment of AM technologies, particularly among smaller manufacturers.

They include providing access to capital to our SME manufacturers, delivering technical assistance from the federal government and OEMs to our SME manufacturers, investing in the additive manufacturing workforce and setting industry standards. 

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