Our History

Founded in 1932 with 33 members, SME was originally named the Society of Tool Engineers. A year later, it was renamed the American Society of Tool Engineers (ASTE). From 1960-69 it was known as the American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers (ASTME). It became the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 1970. In 2013, the use of its full legal name, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, was discontinued and the organization became known as SME.


Enhance progress, prosperity, and strong communities through manufacturing.


Inspire, prepare, and support our stakeholders in the advancement of manufacturing.


Advance manufacturing and attract future generations

Industry Focus Areas

SME is addressing key targeted industry areas (outlined below) with dynamic events, strategic alliances, workforce development efforts and informative publications. In addition, SME engages and supports its members in these and many other fields by connecting them to industry-specific technical experts and resources.

Aerospace and Defense:

Covers the broad array of business improvement practices and advanced technologies such as lean, test and measurement, composites, high-speed machining, rapid prototyping and alternative cutting technologies that have an impact on engine, airframe, rotary wing, naval, space, land-based systems, avionics, defense electronics and materials manufacturing.


Chronicles the trends, technologies and manufacturing processes being implemented in the oil and gas industry as well as geothermal, solar, nuclear and wind.


Summarizes macro trends in major industry segments such as orthopedics, cardiac devices, diagnostic devices, surgical instruments, pharmaceutical delivery systems, and other devices and instruments, while evaluating and providing resources in areas including measurement and inspection, assembly, molding, machining, lasers, additive manufacturing, materials, micromanufacturing, innovation and the impact of regulations.

Motorized Vehicle:

Covers technologies and business improvement practices utilized in motorized vehicle manufacturing such as lean, automation and robotics, marking, test and measurement, and machining and material removal.

Workforce Development:

SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce.