The Association For Manufacturing Technology: Promoting U.S.-Based Manufacturing

AMT believes cooperation and innovation are the keys.

The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT; McLean, VA) is charged with representing—and promoting—U.S.-based manufacturing technology suppliers through targeted business assistance, extensive global support, and business intelligence systems and analysis. AMT also owns and manages the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which is billed as the premier technology event in North America (September 10-15, Chicago, IL).

According to AMT President Douglas K. Woods, AMT is also the voice that communicates the importance of policies and programs that encourage research and innovation, improve global competitiveness and support educational initiatives to create tomorrow’s Smartforce—a term coined
by the AMT.

Recently the AMT merged with The American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA), which Woods notes “marks a stronger, larger representation of companies across the entire manufacturing technology supply chain—those who design, build, sell and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing.”

Established in 1902, AMT’s membership was first comprised of OEMs that designed and built machine tools and related equipment. “AMTDA supported those who distribute, put into operation and service the equipment,” Woods notes.

“They shared the goal of providing the technology and the knowledge to implement it successfully.
They shared an investment in U.S. innovation and manufacturing. It’s clear that it is not acceptable to guess at an unknown future, but success lies in forecasting where it will lead. In a world where collaboration and new processes are redefining manufacturing AMT will be able to do this with a new intensity.”

AMT is comprised of 10 departments dedicated to advocacy, business development, exhibitions and communications, finance and human resources, industry engagement, manufacturing technology, meetings and conferences, Smartforce development, strategic information and research and executive leadership, plus representative offices in China, India, Poland and Mexico.

Woods emphasizes that the AMT understands that manufacturing needs to play a key role in U.S. economics. To that end, in 2009 the AMT introduced The Manufacturing Mandate that outlines a clear path for a federal policy of collaboration between government, industry and academia, and points to how American manufacturing will move forward in the next decade.

“AMT believes cooperation and innovation are the keys,” Woods says. “How do we achieve this vision? Federal policy would incentivize innovation and R&D in new products and manufacturing technologies; assure availability of capital; increase global competitiveness; minimize structural cost burdens; and  enhance collaboration between government, academia, and industry to build a better educated and trained Smartforce.”

The association has established MTUniversity, which allows AMT to deliver outstanding job assessments and online classes for new sales engineers and service technicians, Woods says. “It also provides us with a platform for working with The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC), Project Lead The Way Schools, as well as with the nation’s top four-year degreed colleges and universities.

"AMT is planting the seeds now in schools for the future of manufacturing,” Woods concludes. We also are jump starting apprenticeship programs by modeling successful programs that are still in place, or that have been created, and are working well; and working with the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) to assure that these young people have the knowledge and credentials to get to work right away.”

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