PolymerOhio today launched the Polymer Portal, a new initiative designed to enhance productivity for small- and mid-sized companies (SMEs) by providing affordable access to advanced modeling and simulation capabilities. The program, developed in collaboration with the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), is funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP). User access to the program is available at the website PolymerPortal.org and supported through software training and the guidance of PolymerOhio’s qualified industry experts.
Modeling and simulation has been used for decades by large companies to significantly reduce the cost of developing new products. The Polymer Portal will lower barriers to entry that have traditionally deterred SMEs from engaging in such competitive, high-value R&D activities. Advanced modeling and simulation replaces the traditional iterative process of physical prototyping with a “one shot build” process that reduces labor and cost by utilizing software prototyping. While this approach has previously been price prohibitive for SMEs, the Polymer Portal now offers a pay-per-use model that provides a scalable and immediately accessible alternative, opening the door for smaller companies to aggressively create new products and enter opportune markets.
The current modeling and simulation software offered is Moldex3D® from CoreTech System Co., Ltd., the world’s largest independent molding CAE solution provider. Additional software products will be added in coming months providing models for extrusion, manufacturing efficiency and supply chain management. In initial rollout, the program will focus on Ohio polymer companies to be followed by national expansion to all types of manufacturing.
“In order to maintain and grow our valuable manufacturing sector, it’s critically important that we enable more companies to participate in advanced product development,” said Richard Markham, vice president of programs for PolymerOhio. “This is a fast and affordable track for individual companies to spur growth. We also anticipate economic impact on the Ohio polymer industry, given that 90% of all Ohio polymer companies are SMEs.”
“Ohio’s impressive network of small businesses and innovative entrepreneurs makes our state fertile ground to cultivate new opportunities through the Polymer Portal,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said. “That’s why the exciting work at PolymerOhio is crucial to attracting 21st century jobs to our state. By providing tools that reduce the cost of developing new products, Polymer Portal can help American workers out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world.”
“The Polymer Portal will demonstrate to SMEs that a tremendous return on investment can be achieved by applying computational methods to quickly solve their problems without incurring the cost of expensive software licenses,” said Ashok Krishnamurthy, interim co-executive director of OSC. “The Portal combines a unique software pricing concept with the power of OSC’s computing capabilities to bring value to SMEs.”
NIST MEP Director Roger Kilmer adds “This program is addressing a very important area related to the ability of U.S. manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace. Success in manufacturing depends increasingly on the ability to rapidly translate new technologies into market-ready products tailored to customer requirements. Modeling and simulation tools are key enablers for accelerated product development.
By focusing on a specific sector within a specific region – the polymer industry in Ohio – this project is taking an approach designed to produce tangible, meaningful, and manageable results. NIST MEP is interested in the potential to apply learning from this project on a broader basis across other manufacturing industry sectors as facilitated by the nationwide MEP network.”
About PolymerOhio, Inc.
PolymerOhio, Inc. is a polymer industry-specific Ohio Edison Technology Center, which is funded by the Ohio Department of Development. PolymerOhio focuses on enhancing the global competitiveness of Ohio’s polymer industry, including companies from the plastics, rubber, bioproducts, and advanced materials segments. For more information, visit polymerohio.org.
The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) addresses the rising computational demands of academic and industrial research communities by providing a robust shared infrastructure and proven expertise in advanced modeling, simulation and analysis. OSC empowers scientists with the vital resources essential to make extraordinary discoveries and innovations, partners with businesses and industry to leverage computational science as a competitive force in the global knowledge economy, and leads efforts to equip the workforce with the key technology skills required to secure 21st century jobs. For more, visit http://www.osc.edu/.