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Learning Communities


ManuFutureToday Learning Communities

Our learning communities are organized around specific workstreams of manufacturers applying digital technologies to their operations.

Each community involves applying digital technologies to different phases of manufacturing. 

If one of these learning communities interests you, please join as either a Learning Partner or a Project Partner. The membership level depends on the resources you are willing to commit to the Working Community.

Learning Partners (1 hour per month): Our Learning Partners share their learning journey. They agree to contribute at least 1 hour monthly to the Community. This contribution can take various forms: attending in-person or virtual events, explaining your challenge of digital transformation, answering questions from other community members, or pointing the community to valuable resources or connections.

Project Partners (1 day per month): Our Project Partners get their boots dirty. They commit to contributing the equivalent of one day per month to the Community. Project Partners are actively engaged in advancing the Community’s workstream through pilot projects, technology implementation, data sharing, coaching other members, identifying training needs, and working with research partners on developing practical data analytics.

Do you have real-time factory floor information at your fingertips? Do you know what machines are running and what machines are not? How many parts were made last hour, last shift? This learning community brings together manufacturers looking to connect their factory floor equipment to answer those questions. Partners engage with peer manufacturers on this journey, and see what has worked and not worked for others. See how research students and projects are helping manufacturers unlock the knowledge in primary machine data from low-cost, low-technology devices and solutions.

This learning community combines advanced image processing and to benchmark important manufacturing operations without exposing sensitive company confidential information. See how one member has partnered with our team to develop an online tool for imaging processing to automatically perform imaging analysis that humans were not best suited for, so critical human resources can now focus on fixing problems in their process. Partner with members to investigate other manufacturing opportunities in your operations that could benefit from these technologies and tools.

This learning community focuses on the development of predictive models for electrical heating element failures and the implementation of energy optimization strategies. Join this working community to see how members are sharing their operational data with the network team and how future AI algorithms are being developed to forewarn manufacturers of failures before they occur. See how such data can reduce equipment downtime, better utilize maintenance resources, and eliminate product quality issues due to unplanned heating process issues.

This learning community investigates how to use the data already available in variable frequency drives (VFDs) and smart motor overloads to save energy, provide diagnostics and predictive maintenance on equipment, and use that data to monitor processes being controlled or driven by those motors. Community members will learn best practices from other manufacturers and industry experts.

This working community focuses on a common system within manufacturing. Air compressor systems can be energy-intensive for many manufacturers. Many manufacturers consider compressed air systems as “fixed cost” because they don’t know the “real cost” or how to optimize those operations. Find out what network researchers do with manufacturer’s datasets to define those costs, better maintain their systems, and develop future AI tools to optimize operations.