One of the terms that has really come into conversation over the past decade is “community of interest” (COI). The Computer Security Resource Center of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory defines COI, in part, as “a collaborative group of users who exchange information in pursuit of their shared goals, interests, missions, or business processes, and who therefore must have a shared vocabulary for the information they exchange.”
What you may not know is that the organization that you now know as AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology was established in 1902. A group of machine tool builders created the organization to “exchange information in pursuit of their shared goals, interests, missions, or business processes.”
Yes, a community of interest.
And so, for the past 120 years, the members of AMT have continued to be a COI. But like any good organization, there has been evolution as things change in the environment at large. Whereas AMT’s focus was once all about machining metal – and for a good period of time, just ferrous materials – a series of changes has occurred to broaden its scope from just machines, tools, and fixtures to include the wider environment of manufacturing technology, from additive manufacturing to lasers to metrology to a toolkit of digital tools. For example, AMT established the MTConnect Institute for the development and support of a standard that links an array of shop floor equipment and systems.
Without a doubt, one of the technologies that has had profound effect on manufacturing is robotics, a space from which AMT has long retained member companies.
As companies learn to optimize their operations, particularly as staffing concerns continue across all industries and the movement to reshore and near shore gains momentum, interest naturally grows in robotics and automation.
To help keep AMT members at the forefront of this important technology, we are excited to welcome Silicon Valley Robotics (SVR) into the AMT community. Andra Keay, the managing director and founder of the non-profit robotics organization, has joined AMT as vice president of Global Robotics.
SVR has over 200 member companies that, as its name indicates, work at the leading edge of technology development. While “leading edge” is the kind of term that gets applied simply because it makes something sound cool, SVR is the real thing when it comes to the advance of automation.
SVR members create leading robotics and automation technologies – at the cutting-edge of technology innovation.
These are firms like Ceres Robotics, which makes equipment for the lunar surface; FLX Solutions, which has developed a one-inch-diameter, snake-like robot to get into difficult-to-access spaces; Kestral Robotics, which develops harvesting robots.
Of course, there are other SVR members, like Robotics Materials, which makes autonomous mobile manipulators for manufacturing operations, and the Toyota Research Institute (yes, that Toyota).
It would be easy to say that the AMT community of interest is more than a century old. But the fact of the matter is, AMT is more than a century “new” – and with this affiliation with Silicon Valley Robotics, we plan for our COI to help create the future.