PolymerOhio and the Ohio Supercomputer Center
(OSC) were awarded first-year funding of $355,000 by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program for a project to assist small- and mid-sized polymer companies (SMPCs) in improving their productivity through advanced modeling and simulation of manufacturing processes and functions. The MEP, a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; part of the US Department of Commerce), includes over 400 centers, partners, and offices across the nation. Through the “Polymer ePortal,” the PolymerOhio-OSC project will provide low-cost access for SMPCs to productivity-enhancing software and training on the software that would not otherwise have been available to them because of the high cost of licenses and lack of trained employees.
The project is developing a model for a sustainable business that can be replicated in MEP Centers to the benefit of manufacturers in a wide range of industries. The resulting Polymer ePortal will provide an online, globally accessible resource for SMPCs to achieve an excellent return on investment by accessing and applying appropriate computational methods.
During the first year of this three-year project, the major elements will be:
- Outreach to and engagement of Ohio polymer companies to foster the use of modeling and simulation to improve productivity
- Productivity Assessments of both business and technical operations at individual Ohio SMPCs to assist their management in selecting cost-effective applications
- Projects to assist individual SMPCs in increasing productivity including applications of modeling and simulation
- Training for company workers in the use of computational modeling and simulation
- Access to selected applications at prices affordable to SMPCs, e.g., pay-per-use
- Development of case studies to support the engagement program
In the second and third years of the project, the PolymerOhio-OSC team will develop access mechanisms for SMPCs nationwide and assist other MEP Centers in establishing similar Portals focusing on other manufacturing segments. The vision is a network of portals across the nation that will provide affordable access for small- and medium-sized companies to productivity-enhancing software and training in almost any type of manufacturing.
An impressive group of software providers has committed to offer their products through the Polymer ePortal. Science Computers Consultants, a French company, recently agreed to provide its two mixing applications through the ePortal. Ludovic models mixing in twin-screw extruders and XimeX models mixing in a wide variety of mixers including extruders, Buss kneaders, Kenics mixers, and many others. Global software companies are invited to consider participation.
Other software on the Polymer ePortal will be Moldex3D from Taiwanese CoreTech LTD., which provides injection mold flow analysis; JobShopLean, which assists in lean plant design of small-company/job shop production; and Forecasting Solutions from Avercast, which offers planning, scheduling, and supply chain management. Additional software will be added in later years.
PolymerOhio, Inc. is a polymer industry-specific Ohio Edison Technology Center, which is funded by the Ohio Department of Development. PolymerOhio focuses on enhancing the global competitiveness of the polymer industry, including companies from the plastics, rubber, bioproducts, and advanced materials segments. For more information, go to polymerohio.org.
For more than 20 years, the Ohio Supercomputer Center has provided reliable high-performance computing and high-performance networking infrastructure for a diverse state and regional community, including education, academic research, industry, and government organizations. Funded by the Ohio Board of Regents, OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education to enable Ohio industries achieve their aspirations in information systems and advanced technology.
Working with its partners across business, state and local governments, academia, and the non-profit sector, the Ohio Department of Development
works to attract, create, grow, and retain businesses through competitive incentives and targeted investments. Engaged every day in marketing, innovating, investing, and collaborating, the Ohio Department of Development works at the speed of business to accelerate and support the teamwork that is absolutely necessary for success by providing financial, informational, and technical assistance to those making an investment in Ohio’s future.