Manufacturing assistance center brings new initiative to traditional manufacturing
The importance of small- and medium-sized organizations (SMO) to the overall health of the economy is often underestimated. The Manufacturing Assistance Center (MAC) is an initiative of the University of Pennsylvania that is designed to assist western Pennsylvania recover from recent manufacturing job losses. MAC is based on the concept of shared manufacturing, or the idea that small manufacturers from different environments share common problems and can contribute toward common solutions. This article analyses the MAC project in light of Cooper's 7-stage new product development model, discusses the educational benefits to both the students and professionals involved, and addresses some of the organizational challenges that the MAC project faces into the future.