In 1995 professor Yoram Koren proposed to the National Science Foundation to establish an Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMS), thereby initiating the RMS paradigm.  The RMS is a manufacturing system that is designed at the outset for rapid changes in its structure to quickly adjust its production capacity and system functionality in response to sudden market changes and customer demands.

The Center’s Director since its initiation in 1996 is Yoram Koren.  Deputy Directors were A. Galip Ulsoy and Jun Ni. Associate Director for Education: Elijah Kannatey-Asibu. Thrust Area Leaders: S. Jack Hu, Dawn Tilbury, Reuven Katz, Jan Shi, and John Birge.   The Associate Director for Industry and Technology Transfer is Dr. Wencai Wang.

The RMS paradigm was formally recognized when U.S. patents on Reconfigurable machine tool  and Reconfigurable manufacturing system were granted to the ERC-RMS (filing dates Dec 1997 and May 1998, respectively). The charter of the ERC-RMS is bringing the RMS science to the factory floor with new scientific methodologies and innovative equipment that enable to begin production faster and with higher productivity and improved part quality.  RMS technologies give manufacturers “exactly the production capabilities needed, exactly when needed” to compete in the global marketplace.

Over thirty industrial companies are the founding partners of the ERC-RMS Center. They include machine tool builders and control vendors, as well as end-users such as the auto and aerospace industries and powertrain builders.

The ERC-RMS financial support during the period 1996–2010 was close to $50 million, obtained from government and industry sources. The Center graduated 80 Ph.D. students and 270 Masters students, many of whom are working now in the U.S. industry and national labs, and 12 Ph.D. graduates became professors at universities

To find out more about the ERC/RMS or if you have any questions, visit our ERC/RMS Contacts section