Launching the Dialogue: Safety and Innovation as Partners for Success in Advanced Manufacturing
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Launching the Dialogue: Safety and Innovation as Partners for Success in Advanced Manufacturing

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Occup Environ Hyg
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    Emerging and novel technologies, materials, and information integrated into increasingly automated and networked manufacturing processes or into traditional manufacturing settings are enhancing the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing. Globally, there is a move toward a new era in manufacturing that is characterized by: (1) the ability to create and deliver more complex designs of products; (2) the creation and use of materials with new properties that meet a design need; (3) the employment of new technologies, such as additive and digital techniques that improve on conventional manufacturing processes; and (4) a compression of the time from initial design concept to the creation of a final product. Globally, this movement has many names, but "advanced manufacturing" has become the shorthand for this complex integration of material and technology elements that enable new ways to manufacture existing products, as well as new products emerging from new technologies and new design methods. As the breadth of activities associated with advanced manufacturing suggests, there is no single advanced manufacturing industry. Instead, aspects of advanced manufacturing can be identified across a diverse set of business sectors that use manufacturing technologies, ranging from the semiconductors and electronics to the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. The breadth and diversity of advanced manufacturing may change the occupational and environmental risk profile, challenge the basic elements of comprehensive health and safety (material, process, worker, environment, product, and general public health and safety), and provide an opportunity for development and dissemination of occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) guidance and best practices. It is unknown how much the risk profile of different elements of OEHS will change, thus requiring an evolution of health and safety practices. These changes may be accomplished most effectively through multi-disciplinary, multi-sector, public-private dialogue that identifies issues and offers solutions.
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