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In the article “What is Smart Manufacturing” (http://www.cmtc.com/blog/what-is-smart-manufacturing-part-1a-of-6), the author provides a great overview of smart manufacturing and the benefits of utilizing this new technology. The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, or SMLC, defines smart manufacturing as “the ability to solve existing and future problems via an open infrastructure that allows solutions to be implemented at the speed of business while creating advantaged value.” In more simple terms, smart manufacturing is using real time technology and data to complete a predetermined task. With this connection between the physical and virtual worlds, the manufacturing industry is open to an infinite number of potential positive changes. For example, the industry can be optimized to create “higher quality products, improve productivity, increase energy efficiency, and sustain safer plant floors.” The article also stipulates that smart factories will boost employment 2-4 times, with jobs becoming available in both the “direct manufacturing and non-manufacturing positions.” What are the benefits for the manufacturer? Smart Manufacturing gives manufacturers the ability to improve their “performance, products, and design,” and also “offers the ability to collaborate with suppliers, both upstream and downstream, more effectively.”