Yoram Koren was the Director of the Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems since its initiation in 1996 until 2011. Deputy Directors were 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 were John Cristiano and Wencai Wang (2005-2012). Since 2012 Prof. Jun Ni is the ERC-RMS Center Director.
The RMS paradigm was legally 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 launch production faster, with higher productivity and improved part quality. RMS technologies give manufacturers “exactly the production capabilities needed, exactly when needed” – an important advantage when competing in the global marketplace.
Over thirty industrial companies were 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 $47 million, obtained from government and industry sources. The Center graduated 70 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.
Out of 186 proposals that entered the ERC competition in 1996, the NSF awarded 4 ERCs, including the ERC-RMS. The ERC-RMS was the first Engineering Research Center that the University of Michigan won, which was recognized as a major milestone in the U-M College of Engineering 150 years history.
To find out more about the ERC-RMS or if you have any questions, visit our ERC/RMS Contacts section.