Part of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Initiative
(CESMII) and Manufacturing USA of the U.S. Department of Commerce, SyncFab
wants to support smart manufacturing for the clean, local supply chain of the
“If you want a product made in the United States, you can either
start searching now and in two years find somebody or just go directly to
SyncFab, which is where you are going to end up anyway,” said Brad Butler, co-founder
of Bicycle Coffee Co., per the SyncFab homepage.
SyncFab describes itself as an on-demand regional manufacturing
procurement platform, matching buyer purchase order requirements to local
machine shops that specialize in distributed manufacturing technologies such as
computer numerical control (CNC) machining and 3D printing.
CNC manufacturing uses computers to control machine tools
including lathes, mills, routers, grinders and lasers. 3D printing is a
manufacturing process by which digital 3D design data is used to build up a
component in layers by depositing material.
These technologies permit the accurate manufacturing of complex
industrial items according to digital specs. Therefore, CNC and 3D printing can
enable a next-generation, decentralized manufacturing economy, independent of
central physical locations and open to small participants in rural areas.
SyncFab wants to connect buyers to sellers in this decentralized manufacturing
marketplace and match demand to machine shop production capability, with a
platform featuring mobile access, search functions, order flow, digital
inspection reports and online payments.
In September, SyncFab started introducing blockchain technology to
achieve better operational efficiency on its network, and announced its MFG token sale. Using
SyncFab’s MFG, an ERC20 utility token on the Ethereum blockchain, buyers and
sellers of manufacturing services will be able to source domestic manufacturing
and conduct secure transactions using smart contracts.
“With the launch of the MFG token, we aim to blaze a trail in
smart manufacturing and procurement to make economies-of-scale manufacturing
more accessible and affordable to all,” said Jeremy Goodwin, founder and CEO of
SyncFab, per the announcement. “As we are committed to efficiency and security,
the robust functions of smart contracts on our new blockchain service will
enable our customers to shorten their negotiations with suppliers and better
manage their supply chains. Through our automated peer-to-peer platform,
SyncFab is also solving a major problem for manufacturers with limited
marketing budgets and underutilized capacities.”
MFG explainer noted, “For every dollar spent on manufacturing within the United
States alone, $1.81 is expected to be added to the economy.” A more detailed white
paper describes how decentralized manufacturing, blockchain technology
and smart contracts could bring about the “Industrial Revolution 4.0.”
According to the SyncFab white paper, decentralized manufacturing
will strengthen U.S. industry and give small machine shops direct access to a peer-to-peer
manufacturing ecosystem for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where
purchasers will find companies capable of advanced machining of on-demand
parts, dramatically improving the efficiency of their supply chains. It’s likely
that if SyncFab’s initiative delivers on its promise to bring manufacturing
jobs back to local economies, its impact could be huge.
“The future of smart manufacturing is data-optimized precision
parts manufacturing,” added Goodwin in the token sale announcement. “The value
proposition of SyncFab is that, by connecting supply-chain purchase managers
with those underutilized smart manufacturers with advanced CNC machine shops,
many domestic advanced factories are becoming more accessible and productive
and procurement costs are lowered.”