A new state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) is slated to open on February 24th at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The 6,000 square foot center in downtown Los Angeles will bring together faculty from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering under one roof who have expertise in a variety of areas including, advanced manufacturing, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things, human safe-robots, affordable 3D printing, and 4D printing.. When it opens, CAM will serve as the Southern California region node for a new Department of Defense-sponsored institute focused on robotic manufacturing.
“The USC Center on Advanced Manufacturing is poised to become the premier research and innovation center on advanced manufacturing in the greater Los Angeles area. It will not only serve the academic community but also help support the fast growing technological ecosystem in Silicon Beach. Advanced manufacturing is rapidly enabling novel methods of making. We envision CAM to become the incubator for the development of unprecedented new opportunities in design, making and automation and be a lab for the businesses and jobs of the future,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering.
USC CAM, led by manufacturing automation and robotics expert and USC Viterbi School of Engineering Professor SK Gupta, will support a comprehensive program in advanced manufacturing. The Center will have a design studio, a machining lab equipped with Haas Machining Center and laser cutters, advanced additive manufacturing capabilities, and will be furnished with industrial robots and automation equipment. In addition, USC CAM will have a classroom for training and instruction of undergraduates, graduate-level students, as well as the community.
CAM’s goal is to develop new and steward existing best practices in advanced manufacturing. It will provide access to the latest manufacturing technology to the USC community, Los Angeles, Southern California and beyond. It will also serve as a resource for both large and small businesses to explore research possibilities and to further innovation in manufacturing. It will pay special attention to manufacturing techniques in the aerospace and the biomedical industry with the intention of working to lower the cost of production and bringing medical devices and innovations faster to market.
Center Director Gupta believes that advanced manufacturing can make domestic production more competitive, increase exports as well as offer energy efficiencies and lessen environmental impacts.
“Innovation in manufacturing can speed up creation of new products. Furthermore, cost effective manufacturing can enable making products locally closer to the customers and create new jobs,” says Gupta.
Already, and prior to its formal opening, CAM has become a key regional part of a new national institute, the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) focused on new advanced robotics manufacturing. This new institute consists of a coalition of universities, community colleges, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations across the country. USC CAM will be one of only two designated nodes in California in this institute and the leading academic presence in Southern California. CAM will also support USC’s participation in the new Department of Energy funded Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Professor Gupta emphasized the role he believes the center will have for Los Angeles and California, “A healthy manufacturing sector provides well-paying jobs and reduces unemployment. We believe that USC CAM will contribute to this effort by helping build a vibrant manufacturing ecosystem.”