Advanced manufacturing hub opens in greater Los Angeles

USC Viterbi has launched its Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), a future regional hub for technological innovation.

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The University of Southern California Viterbi (USC Viterbi; Los Angeles, CA) School of Engineering has launched its Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), a future regional hub for technological innovation. The CAM, which opened on February 24, 2017, and is the only academic facility of its type in greater Los Angeles, will allow USC Viterbi to collaborate with emerging and local businesses to spur job growth and fuel the economy.

The CAM features a design studio and a machining lab equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, industrial robots, and automation equipment. In addition, the center has a classroom dedicated to training and instruction for undergraduates and graduate-level students, as well as the community.

At the CAM launch party, several USC Viterbi graduate students showed off cutting-edge technologies, including a demonstration of an automated robotic arm installing miniature jet engine blades into a rotor. A robot shaped like an alligator, and programmed to simulate its movements, scurried across a table. Nearby, a 3D printer built a small plastic propeller layer by layer.

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(L-R) USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, SK Gupta, Fernando Delgado of Supervisor Hilda Solis's office, Adrienne Lindgren of Mayor Eric Garcetti's office, and USC Vice President of Research Randy Hall. (Photo by Peter Shin)

Automated high-end manufacturing—a software- and data-driven approach to building things that promotes greater efficiencies, flexibility, and mass customization without increasing costs—will create scores of high-paying jobs in engineering services, creative design, finance, construction, and service positions, says Satyandra K. (SK) Gupta, CAM founding director and the Smith International Professor in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at USC Viterbi.

"With America's computing expertise and technological know-how, there is no reason that the US can't play a major role in the production of drones, advanced batteries, driverless cars, and biomedical devices," Gupta says. "And because the robots and 3D printing machines used in advanced manufacturing cost the same in the US as in China or Mexico, much of the production of the Fourth Industrial Revolution could take place in America."

For more information, please visit http://cam.usc.edu.

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