Rockwell: Transform Factories With Smart, Safe, Sustainable Production

Rockwell Automation held a media briefing today at the National Press Club, with Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO, leading the call for a national strategy and federal support to keep the U.S. manufacturing sector at the forefront of global competitiveness. From the news release:

“U.S. manufacturers absolutely must have innovative energy-efficient and productivity-enhancing technology to be competitive,” Keith Nosbusch, Rockwell Automation, Inc. chairman and CEO, told a press briefing at the National Press Club.

This transformation to smarter, safer and more sustainable manufacturing provides an opportunity for the federal government to help develop and make innovations in American plants to keep them competitive and to promote a sustainable U.S. manufacturing employment base, the speakers said.

Nosbusch noted that federal support for applied research was about equal with federal funding for basic science, but it has now fallen to 30 percent lower — $10 billion worth.

Also participating in the news conference were Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute, R. Neal Elliot from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; Evan R. Gaddis, president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Tom Duesterberg, president of the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. (Pictured, from left, DeRocco, Elliot, Nosbursch.)

U.S. industry is in a battle not just with countries with lower costs, but also with developed countries that are investing in new technology, said Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute and vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

“With high quality, inexpensive products flooding the market from every corner of the globe, competing on cost alone is a losing battle for most U.S.-based manufacturers,” DeRocco said.

Policy recommendations:

  • Ensure legislative priorities are in line with those of manufacturers and the general public.
  • Double federal funding for manufacturing innovation.
  • Establish a $2 billion public-private partnership program to research and develop a manufacturing “greenprint” for smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing.
  • Provide federal assistance for public-private partnerships to create demonstration projects that foster manufacturing innovation.
  • Expand federal tax credits to apply to investments in advanced technologies that automate and modernize factories.

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