Summary

The mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)1 enables NIST to provide broad support for the advancement of U.S. manufacturing. Research and services supporting manufacturing are intended to be an important component in all of the NIST laboratories. Moreover, since manufacturing is a major part of the U.S. economy, the growth or loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs is a very important issue. Clearly, the successful execution of NIST’s programs supporting manufacturing will have a significant impact on manufacturing jobs in the United States. With the multidisciplinary, multisector, and crosscutting nature of manufacturing, the Director of NIST requested that the National Research Council (NRC) assess the manufacturing-related programs at NIST in 2012.

Accordingly, a panel of experts was convened by the National Research Council to perform the assessment. The Panel on Review of the Manufacturing-Related Programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology visited the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 26-28, 2012. This report contains the results of the panel’s assessment.

The assessment considered manufacturing research at NIST broadly, with emphasis on the specific advanced manufacturing areas: Nanomanufacturing (including Flexible Electronics); Smart Manufacturing (including Robotics); and Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation. The area of Biomanufacturing also was reviewed as a subset of the Nanomanufacturing review. As is to be expected for programs covering such wide scope, the boundaries among these broad areas are not rigid and there is some overlap among them. On the basis of its assessment, the panel formed the observations and recommendations presented below, among others discussed in detail in this report.

With respect to the technical merit and the scientific caliber of the manufacturing-related research being carried out at NIST, the program teams are highly qualified and comparable to the best in the world. Equally strong, the equipment and facilities that NIST laboratories have designed, procured, and built are a national asset. Work in the Nanomanufacturing area is impressive, much of which is among the best in the world, and it evidences the unique skills and contributions of NIST. Some of the projects represent very significant examples of nanomanufacturing, and some are paradigm shifting; all of the groups are either world leaders in their chosen area or making strong strides toward a leadership position. In all areas of Smart Manufacturing the technical staff members are highly qualified, and their expertise is well matched to the specific areas being studied. Publications are of high quality and related to the areas being researched. In the Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation area, the scientists and engineers at NIST are among the very best at the national laboratories, leaders in their fields, and equal to the best academics at leading universities or the best scientists at industrial laboratories worldwide. NIST continues to be a leading organization—the accuracy and validity of its data are the benchmark for other industries, and its scope, depth, and quality are among the best in the world.

The field of manufacturing is vast, and selection of the projects to be undertaken at NIST will often be a challenge. Whereas most of the projects in progress are of high value and importance, the vetting process for project selection could be improved, with greater attention

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1 The NIST mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve the quality of life.



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Summary The mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)1 enables NIST to provide broad support for the advancement of U.S. manufacturing. Research and services supporting manufacturing are intended to be an important component in all of the NIST laboratories. Moreover, since manufacturing is a major part of the U.S. economy, the growth or loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs is a very important issue. Clearly, the successful execution of NIST's programs supporting manufacturing will have a significant impact on manufacturing jobs in the United States. With the multidisciplinary, multisector, and crosscutting nature of manufacturing, the Director of NIST requested that the National Research Council (NRC) assess the manufacturing-related programs at NIST in 2012. Accordingly, a panel of experts was convened by the National Research Council to perform the assessment. The Panel on Review of the Manufacturing-Related Programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology visited the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 26-28, 2012. This report contains the results of the panel's assessment. The assessment considered manufacturing research at NIST broadly, with emphasis on the specific advanced manufacturing areas: Nanomanufacturing (including Flexible Electronics); Smart Manufacturing (including Robotics); and Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation. The area of Biomanufacturing also was reviewed as a subset of the Nanomanufacturing review. As is to be expected for programs covering such wide scope, the boundaries among these broad areas are not rigid and there is some overlap among them. On the basis of its assessment, the panel formed the observations and recommendations presented below, among others discussed in detail in this report. With respect to the technical merit and the scientific caliber of the manufacturing-related research being carried out at NIST, the program teams are highly qualified and comparable to the best in the world. Equally strong, the equipment and facilities that NIST laboratories have designed, procured, and built are a national asset. Work in the Nanomanufacturing area is impressive, much of which is among the best in the world, and it evidences the unique skills and contributions of NIST. Some of the projects represent very significant examples of nanomanufacturing, and some are paradigm shifting; all of the groups are either world leaders in their chosen area or making strong strides toward a leadership position. In all areas of Smart Manufacturing the technical staff members are highly qualified, and their expertise is well matched to the specific areas being studied. Publications are of high quality and related to the areas being researched. In the Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation area, the scientists and engineers at NIST are among the very best at the national laboratories, leaders in their fields, and equal to the best academics at leading universities or the best scientists at industrial laboratories worldwide. NIST continues to be a leading organization--the accuracy and validity of its data are the benchmark for other industries, and its scope, depth, and quality are among the best in the world. The field of manufacturing is vast, and selection of the projects to be undertaken at NIST will often be a challenge. Whereas most of the projects in progress are of high value and importance, the vetting process for project selection could be improved, with greater attention 1 The NIST mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve the quality of life. 1

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paid to industry needs, manufacturability, and commercial potential. With respect to the organizational aspects of the research efforts, some programs give the appearance of being a collection of projects, lacking a coherent focus that binds them together. Program focus and program alignment under specific managers could be made stronger. In assessing the level of progress in various efforts, the panel found that in a number of cases the program metrics could be more quantitative; some of the stated metrics appear merely to be project milestones. The interactions of NIST with industry are strong, but they could be further expanded, with more visits to companies and a greater awareness of industry practices. Such interactions would be especially helpful in avoiding research efforts that lag behind the industry state of the art. The coordination among teams across NIST laboratories is broad, although at the same time it often is ad hoc and informal. Greater benefits could be realized with more structured coordination. Finally, for its technical and scientific capabilities and accomplishments in the areas reviewed, NIST deserves more national visibility than it receives--perhaps as a result of service being a core element of its mission, and perhaps also as a result of institutional modesty. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS The following sections present the key recommendations of the panel for the three advanced manufacturing areas of NIST: (1) Nanomanufacturing; (2) Smart Manufacturing; and (3) Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation. These and related recommendations are presented and discussed in Chapters 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Nanomanufacturing 1. NIST should continue to define its vision for its Nanomanufacturing program, making clear choices about what nanomanufacturing should be on the basis of the NIST mission. To have more impact, NIST should focus on the following definitions or aspects of nanomanufacturing: Making nanoscale objects to obtain special properties, and Using nanotechnology to manufacture other things. 2. In addition to the focus in the Nanomanufacturing program on the current CMOS technologies, NIST should work with industry to develop the metrics for benchmarking the new, potential CMOS replacement technologies. 3. In the large CMOS device market, which is dominated by companies with vast resources, NIST should make careful judgments about where it positions itself with respect to device metrology supporting continuation of semiconductor technology advances. 4. To play an important role with respect to the issue of bankability of new technologies, NIST should consider providing methodologies, databases, reference materials, and modeling so as to provide those in the manufacturing community (especially new entrants) with a way to evaluate their approaches independently and objectively. 5. Since the structural determination of biologics may constitute a useful measurement tool for assessing the impact of modified variants on Biomanufacturing, future work 2

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should focus on developing clear goals that will test the robustness of the approach for specific protein therapeutics. Smart Manufacturing 6. NIST should be more proactive at partnering with industry--particularly in the areas of Additive Manufacturing, Robotics, and Automation--to decrease the gap between industry needs and the current state of the art at NIST, to decrease the need for NIST to capitalize, and, more importantly, to decrease the gap between industry needs and NIST's data-gathering and standards-development work. 7. To foster the engagement of stakeholders in additional ways besides industry association meetings and workshops, focused visits to stakeholders to determine needs and challenges in each of the Smart Manufacturing programs should be undertaken. 8. NIST should increase the engagement of stakeholders in the development of the appropriate Smart Manufacturing program goals and metrics. 9. The competitiveness of the Smart Manufacturing projects reviewed should be made more appropriate to current industry practices. Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation 10. As NIST continues its healthy collaboration with industry, its increasing focus on advanced manufacturing should proceed with additional recognition of industrial needs. Most of the projects in the area of Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation should be market-driven, that is, based on market pull rather than on technology push. In establishing its technical portfolio, NIST should continue to seek strong partnerships with industrial consortia when these exist. 11. NIST's key manufacturing researchers should visit several manufacturing facilities each year in order to broaden their understanding of the real-world manufacturing environment. 12. NIST should take advantage of the opportunity to play an important role in the multiagency Materials Genome Initiative as the potential repository and gatekeeper of scientific data from multiple sources. In the design of a next-generation materials database, strong consideration should be given to seeking a full understanding of the queries that will be made against the database so that suitable accuracy and dynamic performance can be obtained. A targeted workshop on handling data should be convened with industry and other stakeholders. 13. In line with its role in external programs involving the characterization of nanoparticles for achieving a greater understanding of environmental, health, and safety issues and development of in-line nanoscale sensing and measurement capabilities, NIST should continue to take a visible role in the coordination of related 3

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external efforts in this area within the scope of its Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation work. 14. In addition to facilitating cross-NIST collaboration in the area of Next-Generation Materials Measurements, Modeling, and Simulation, NIST should continue to strengthen partnerships with other research institutions and industry. The NIST postdoctoral and visiting researcher programs in these areas should be continued or perhaps even strengthened as a significant source of renewal and outreach for the permanent staff at NIST. 4