The mission of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is to promote innovation and the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing through measurement science, measurement services, and critical technical contributions to standards.
The MEL is organized in five divisions: Intelligent Systems, Manufacturing Metrology, Manufacturing Systems Integration, Precision Engineering, and Fabrication Technology. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the first four divisions.
Overall, this book finds that the four individual divisions are performing to the best of their ability, given available resources. In many areas in all four divisions, the capabilities and the work being performed are among the best in the field. However, reduced funding and other factors such as difficulty in hiring permanent staff are limiting (and are likely to increasingly limit) the degree to which MEL programs can achieve their objectives and are threatening the future impact of these programs.