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Modular Manufacturing: Seurat’s Versatile Solution for National Security Challenges

Authored by Seurat's CEO, Co-Founder & Co-Inventor, James DeMuth


In an era marked by geopolitical uncertainties and global health crises, complacency is the enemy of progress. Since the supply chain disruptions linked to Covid 19 and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the need for reshoring critical industrial manufacturing capabilities to the U.S. has become an economic and national security imperative. Recent attacks on shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the increased tensions in the South China Sea are reminders of the fragility of international supply chains. The ability to rapidly adapt and innovate is crucial for resilience and safeguarding national security. 



Imagine a world where production lines can seamlessly transition from civilian to military needs at a moment’s notice. This potential to repurpose civilian and commercial applications to military needs is a reminder of similar shifts that occurred during World War II (car factories converted to produce tanks, nails and screw production lines shifted to cartridge manufacturing, etc.[1]) and more recently during the Gulf War (conversion of racing sand buggies to desert patrol vehicles) and in current conflicts (use of civilian drones for military purposes in Ukraine). Except this time, modular manufacturing will allow the shift from civilian production to military production to occur in hours, instead of months.


Today, the established defense procurement system does not have sufficient risk appetite to build up manufacturing capabilities based on new technologies and innovative industrial processes. The comfort of the “tried and true” is standing in the way of rapid innovation. We have seen the Pentagon lead the way in capacity investments in 155mm artillery shell production. This is impressive but those shells are 1950s technology. We need a similar commitment to building an industrial base for the 21st century war-winning materiel: hypersonics, drones, electronics, lasers, undersea capabilities, cyber capabilities, near orbit systems, etc.

 

This isn't just a futuristic dream. This is exactly the reality that Seurat Technologies is enabling through their highly automated modular print factories and advanced metal additive manufacturing technology.

 

This isn’t just a futuristic dream. This is exactly the reality that Seurat Technologies is enabling through their highly automated modular print factories and advanced metal additive manufacturing technology. Leading the way in green manufacturing and leveraging next generation data and machine learning, Seurat is venture backed by Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, True Ventures, and NVentures (NVIDIA’s Venture Capital arm), as well as by strategic partners in automotive (GM Ventures, Porsche SE (VW Group), Denso, and Honda), and energy and industry partners (Siemens Energy and Xerox). Seurat represents a revolutionary departure from conventional wisdom, providing a dynamic solution to both defense imperatives, public health demands, and commercial needs.


Seurat’s Chief Scientist, Andy Bayramian, making adjustments to Alpha System's printer optics.
Seurat’s fully swappable print cartridges reduce printer downtime to minutes.

A Seurat factory could be producing parts for an electric vehicle in the morning, and shift to the production of metal parts for a hypersonic cruise missile that very afternoon. And it could do this on a large scale, producing hundreds of tons of specialized metal parts per year. Gone are the days of lengthy retooling processes; now, we can mobilize resources within hours, not months.


The need for the United States to rapidly respond to unpredictable challenges has never been greater. Only by leveraging innovative technologies like metal additive manufacturing, advanced automation, and embracing flexible production models can the United States gain a competitive advantage, enhance its strategic readiness, and ensure resilience in the face of evolving threats.

 

Think of this as a SpaceX moment and the bold emergence of the Falcon 9 — a purpose-built rocket designed to redefine the rules of space exploration.

 

Think of this as a SpaceX moment and the bold emergence of the Falcon 9 — a purpose-built rocket designed to redefine the rules of space exploration. Through relentless experimentation and innovation, the Falcon 9 delivers 10x cost reduction and shatters the status quo of incumbent launch technologies. Sometimes to make meaningful progress, a fresh approach is needed, considering all the historical learnings but unburdened by the past’s legacy constraints.


Seurat’s Chief Scientist, Andy Bayramian, making adjustments to Alpha System's printer optics.
A Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 7, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker)

Progress and preparedness require policymakers to prioritize innovation and collaboration across government, industry, and academia to foster the development and adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Additionally, regulatory frameworks and incentives should be tailored to support the growth of emerging industries and facilitate rapid response to national security challenges.

 

The urgency for a more agile defense procurement process extends beyond adopting specific technologies; it encompasses a fundamental shift in mindset and investment strategy. Just as the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) laid the groundwork for a new industrial base in the United States for clean energy and electric vehicles, substantial investments are needed to build a robust defense-ready manufacturing landscape for the 21st century. This investment must not be confined to established defense contractors but should include emerging companies driving technological innovation.


Throughout history, transformative changes in manufacturing have been vital to ensuring the United States’ national security and competitive advantage. The time for action is now. Seurat represents not just a solution to immediate challenges but a catalyst for long-term strategic advantage. Let us seize this opportunity to build the adaptable industrial base the United States needs to safeguard our future in an ever-changing world.



For more information please contact us at info@Seurat.com

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