Advanced Manufacturing

Person looking at 3d image of blueprints

Advanced manufacturing involves using new materials, processes, and management methods to improve the development and manufacture of products. These innovative technologies and practices have changed the interface between workers, their work, and their workplace. Workers are the first to be exposed to potential hazards of emerging technologies. Good workplace practices and an educated workforce are vital to safe, responsible, and successful use of new technologies. Some of these new technologies include the following:

  • Additive Manufacturing & 3-Dimensional Printing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biological Manufacturing & Synthetic Biology
  • Robotics
  • Machine Language & Artificial Intelligence
  • Digitization
  • Augmented & Virtual Reality
  • Advanced Materials
What's New

Advanced manufacturing has been identified as a set of key drivers that are shaping the way products are created more rapidly and efficiently and creates an environment for the development of new products. Critical to the creation of a successful advanced manufacturing effort are; accelerated research and development investment in manufacturing materials and processes; developing and deploying rapid design and prototyping technologies; integration of digital processes into the total supply chain; adoption of artificial intelligence, advanced sensing, and data analytics; development of advanced, high-performance materials; and accelerating development of promising technologies such as additive and bio-based manufacturing.

NIOSH’s Role in Advanced Manufacturing

NIOSH is exploring how to promote responsible development and use of advanced manufacturing technologies, thus protecting the health and safety of workers. NIOSH has been conducting research on innovative technologies for close to 20 years, beginning with engineered nanomaterials and expanding into 3D printing, and robotics. Future plans include evaluating the impact of other advanced manufacturing technologies on worker safety and health. In addition to exploring the potential worker health implications of any advanced manufacturing technology, possible solutions to worker health and safety issues might reside within these advanced technologies.