Manufacturing Technology--A Changing Challenge to Improved Productivity

LCD-75-436: Published: Jun 3, 1976. Publicly Released: Jun 3, 1976.

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A study was conducted to compare the United States to other nations in respect to modern manufacturing technology. The study was undertaken because there were sufficient indications that the private sector was having difficulty maintaining its productivity in dealing with rapid changes in this area.

With new technology, the United States can increase the productivity of industries that produce goods in small lots. Many foreign industrial nations have ways of diffusing technological advances thoughout their manufacturing bases. The United States needs to make manufacturing productivity a national priority to remain internationally competitive and to maintain strong industries.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The National Center for Productivity and Quality of Working Life should develop a national policy and appropriate means for achieving balanced productivity growth in the industrial/manufacturing base. The Center should cooperate with the Department of Commerce on this matter to provide needed leadership in a number of areas. They should provide a centralized source of timely knowledge about existing technology and try to further the development and acquisition of new technology. These can be accomplished by: (1) assessing developments and analyzing those that affect U.S. manufacturers; (2) maintaining a liaison with foreign productivity centers; (3) sponsoring computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing demonstration projects; (4) structuring a national technology diffusion mechanism; (5) encouraging increased industrial capital investments; (6) examining the desirability of providing tax and investment incentives to selected industries; (7) encouraging maximum use of joint ventures for research and development through existing procedures of antitrust regulations; (8) exploring alternatives for financially assisting identified categories of firms which need and merit capital assistance; (9) assisting firms in adapting to management and marketing changes created by technology and foreign competition; (10) developing simplified cost-effectiveness analysis techniques for use by managers in decisionmaking on capital investments in new technology; (11) continuing work on standards; (12) evaluating potential affects of automation on the work force and developing programs to minimize these affects; and (13) assisting in encouraging additional exports of manufactured products.

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