(Restricted) Survey of Manufacturing Technology (SMT) (ICPSR 37538)

Version Date: Dec 16, 2019 View help for published

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United States. Bureau of the Census


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The Survey of Manufacturing Technology (SMT) provides the first comprehensive data on the use and diffusion of advanced technology in the manufacturing sector; providing a method for obtaining comparable information on technologies in other sectors (such as nondurable goods industries).

Basic data are collected on the presence and plans for using advanced technologies, establishment characteristics, technologies, and other topics. The survey covers 17 specific technologies, including numerically-controlled machines, computer-aided design or engineering technologies, programmable controllers and local area networks. Characteristics data include type of manufacturing, age of plant, primary customer, and price of products sold. Other basic questions include the reasons for not adopting technologies and interaction with federal defense agencies.

The survey is conducted periodically, beginning in 1988, as needed to document changes and obtain new information. The first survey emphasized prevalence and plans, and was replicated in 1993. A one-time survey was conducted in 1992 to detail the barriers, benefits, and costs of advanced technologies. Reference periods are usually for activities during the prior calendar year.

The Department of Defense uses the data to assess the diffusion of technology in the manufacturing sector and plans to acquire technology. Other federal agencies use the data to gauge competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector. The data are also used by the private sector in market analysis, competitiveness assessments, and planning.

Use of these data requires approval from the Internal Revenue Service. The Census Bureau will coordinate all additional necessary reviews.



  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.