CESMII - Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute

CESMII - The Smart Manufacturing Institute

CESMII — Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, UCLA is the program and administrative home of CESMII - the United States’ national institute on Smart Manufacturing. By enabling frictionless movement of information – raw and contextualized data – between real-time Operations and the people and systems that create value in and across Manufacturing organizations, CESMII is ensuring the power of information and innovation is at the fingertips of everyone who touches manufacturing.  



Mission: To accelerate Smart Manufacturing (SM) adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data (ingestion – contextualization – modeling – analytics), platforms and controls to radically impact manufacturing performance, through measurable improvements in areas such as: Quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, asset reliability and energy productivity.

Consortium Organizer: University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

Institute Overview

Through collaborative R&D, CESMII is advancing key “enabling technologies” for SM, including advanced sensors, data analytics tools, process controls and data/information models – and building a unified Innovation Platform, Marketplace and Ecosystem to scale SM to all U.S. manufacturers. These technology and knowledge/education advancements hold the promise to democratize SM and converge the worlds of Information Technologies and Operations Technology (IT/OT) to drive manufacturing performance and energy productivity at scale. In 2019, CESMII launched its SM Innovation Platform™, an industry-first software platform empowering interoperability of 3rd-party SM applications and “Self-Serve Smart Manufacturing” to harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) for Small-to-Medium sized manufacturers (SMM).   

Technology Advancement[1]

 “Our existing projects are making excellent progress on developing solutions that will impact energy-intensive industries like chemical, cement, steel, food and aerospace.  At the same time, we have demonstrated a first-of-its-kind, vendor-agnostic, interoperable platform with real manufacturing assets at NC State University.  The future is going to be awesome for the institute’s technology portfolio!” – Haresh Malkani, CTO

During FY 2019 and FY 2020, the institute launched 10 R&D projects, along with 3 platform technology projects that were completed.

  • Strain Sensor for Continuous Casting of Steel Slabs – ArcelorMittal and Missouri University of Science & Technology (MS&T) have developed a strain sensor and a 3D displacement sensor for monitoring continuous steel slab casting.  The sensors, along with predictive modeling and machine learning, will ultimately be used to improve yield from the casting operations.  Other team members include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Purdue University.

  • Physics-based Models for Air Separation Process – Texas A&M (TAMU/TEES) has developed physics-based steady-state and dynamic models to predict the behavior of Air Separation Units (ASU).  Combined with real-time measurements and control algorithms, these models will be used to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiencies at Linde’s operating locations across the country.  Other team members include PSE, AspenTech, OSISoft, Emerson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and University of Texas at Austin.

  • Thermal Models for Cement Kiln – University of Louisville has developed thermal models to understand and predict the behavior of lab-based and production-scale kilns for the cement manufacturing industry.  These thermal models are being coupled with chemical and fluid models to improve prediction accuracy and will be used to optimize operating temperatures resulting in significant reduction in energy consumption across the cement industry.  Argos USA is the industrial cement manufacturing partner that will help validate and implement the solutions.

  • Machine Learning for Additive Manufacturing – Honeywell has developed data models and machine learning algorithms for anomaly detection in additive manufacturing based on layer-based image processing.  These algorithms will eventually be used to improve build quality and energy productivity for aerospace additive manufacturing.  Other team members include KAM, UCLA, USC, Missouri S&T and Identify3D

  • Inferring Energy Usage in the Food Industry – ThinkIQ has developed ontology based predictive models that will help infer energy usage in a food processing plant without use of meters.  Leveraging the SM Innovation Platform™, the models help identify and drive out energy waste from the operations, resulting in significant reduction in energy usage in the food industry.  General Mills is the industrial partner on the project.  The first facility (a Yoplait plant in Tennessee) is connected to the CESMII platform and feeding the data models in real-time.


Workforce Development

“We're excited about expanding CESMII's network-of-networks and democratizing Smart Manufacturing, doing our part to educate everyone across the diverse U.S. manufacturing ecosystem."  – J. David Porter, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Head for Graduate Education, School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University

Education & Workforce Development (EWD) is one of CESMII’s 4 strategic pillars. The institute took steps forward to democratize the knowledge required to make Smart Manufacturing accessible to everyone who touches U.S. manufacturing through both formal education and less-formal knowledge sharing.

  • Expert-led workshops at CESMII SMICs engaged over 150 innovation champions in training and business transformation sessions teaching the SM principles, the SM Innovation Platform™, and how business strategy connects with SM initiatives
  • EWD Roadmap Projects are developing SM curriculum and hands-on tools to be shared in the education ecosystem. Two are in execution and four more have been selected for negotiation
  • Launched an SM Innovation Center at North Carolina State University to leverage their 4 production facilities connected to the CESMII SM Platform for test beds and education
  • Convened an executive-level gathering of 50+ industry and academic leaders, in collaboration with the Council on Competitiveness and UCLA, to focus on the democratization of SM. The resulting Dialogue Report outlined a set of broad goals, including in EWD, the U.S. should meet to drive action on SM. The report served as the foundation for a Congressional Briefing on SM in early 2020.
  • Established a twice-monthly webcast series to share knowledge from professionals of all industries, engaging with over 300 real-time viewers plus many more on-demand viewers, in addition to virtualizing CESMII’s Annual Meeting, delivering content online to over 500 people through regular sessions, keynotes and workshops


Innovation Ecosystem

“The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Platform will unlock value by improving quality and reliability through visibility and transparency throughout the Supply Chain, enabling scalable, more cost-effective solutions, and driving greater speed-to-market through formal solution selection and roadmap for execution.” – Ken Creasy, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain

CESMII is “the Home of Smart Manufacturing” and brings together a diverse ecosystem of manufacturers, systems integrators, technology vendors and academic institutions to tackle challenges no single entity can address on its own. CESMII’s Small-to-Medium Manufacturers (SMM) Affinity Group gives smaller organizations a voice to shape the future of the institute’s roadmap and initiatives, as do industry-centric Affinity Groups. Another example of the value of this ecosystem is in its response to COVID-19, as several CESMII members – industry-leading manufacturing and technology organizations – rose immediately to take on the challenge of making Supply Chain responsiveness and resilience a national priority and reality. Work began almost immediately on establishing a program to enable a secure end-to-end data backbone for real-time visibility and the mitigation tools to respond nationally to future disruption. The plan will be presented to Federal Government leaders in mid-2020.

“Openness and interoperability are critical to the success of industrial IoT, and we are committed to advancing the industry through the Open Manufacturing Platform.  CESMII and their efforts to build a Smart Manufacturing Innovation Platform align well with our strategy, and we excited to partner with them to simplify the customer journey in manufacturing.” ‐ Sam George, Head of Azure IoT, Microsoft.”


CESMII success stories

Technology Advancement Success Story

Less Means More in Smart Manufacturing

CESMII project team members from Savigent Software, ThinkIQ, Avid Solutions and NC State University have enabled a multi-vendor software system to interoperate and behave as a single, orchestrated Smart Manufacturing solution set. Driving different applications, intelligence and advanced analytics for a manufacturing enterprise off of the same, base real-time manufacturing datasets is seen by many as the key to unlocking innovation in manufacturing at scale, leaning out waste in system architectures and start-up while optimizing impact.

In the implementation for a Bio-Tech facility at NC State, project team members leveraged CESMII-developed technology (the CESMII SM Innovation Platform™, or SMIP) to provide the base layer of data collection, contextualization and management. Each independent software application provider accessed data in the SMIP to perform their dedicated functions (such as tracking material flow or triggering Maintenance Department work processes) and report their status back to the SMIP. This centralized data-management allowed for the orchestration of applications from multiple vendors in a way not previously possible in industry. Tim Shope, Chief Innovation Officer at Avid Solutions said, “The CESMII SMIP is a gamechanger for industry. We can finally see software applications from multiple vendors bring standalone value with what they do best and, at the same time, be part of an orchestrated, optimized ‘Smart’ system that can scale.”


Learn more about CESMII