As presented to the panel, the Smart Manufacturing area represents current programs in the Engineering Laboratory (EL) and the Material Measurement Laboratory. The Smart Manufacturing program area uses a systems approach. By doing this, the staff are able to see the relationship of discrete elements to the entire system, since changes in the former can impact system performance. Since manufacturing systems can be very large and complex, the staff realizes the need and the challenge in identifying and researching those elements that are of significance to multiple U.S. manufacturing industries and can also provide data for the development of standards in relevant areas. All of the research groups in the overall area of Smart Manufacturing mentioned the need to develop focus for their areas of work.
The Smart Manufacturing staff assess the impact of several areas with respect to manufacturing. Specific programs and areas that were covered during this site visit included the following:
1. Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment (SMPE) program,
2. Next-Generation Robotics and Automation (NGRA) program,
3. Smart Manufacturing Control Systems (SMCS) program,
4. Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications (SIMCA) program,3
5. Sustainable Manufacturing (SM) program, and
6. Manufacturing with Sustainable Materials program.
The following section describes and discusses work in each of the programs and areas listed above. These comments are followed by discussions of the Smart Manufacturing activities in terms of their technical merit and scientific caliber, the efficacy of NIST’s engagement with outside stakeholders, and program coordination and cohesion across NIST. The final section presents recommendations.
Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment Program
The objective of the Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment program targets the development and deployment of advances in measurement science that improve product quality and productivity. This is demonstrated, for example, by projects addressing machine tool performance standards and machining process modeling tools. The SMPE program includes the modeling, simulation, and measurements of equipment and processes to produce complex finished parts. Complexity is defined through geometry, material, part size, and tolerance.
These are worthwhile projects that promote the development of standards for interoperability among production machines of varied sources and better understanding of the
3 Formerly the Systems Integration for Manufacturing Applications (SIMA) program.
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3 Smart Manufacturing INTRODUCTION As presented to the panel, the Smart Manufacturing area represents current programs in the Engineering Laboratory (EL) and the Material Measurement Laboratory. The Smart Manufacturing program area uses a systems approach. By doing this, the staff are able to see the relationship of discrete elements to the entire system, since changes in the former can impact system performance. Since manufacturing systems can be very large and complex, the staff realizes the need and the challenge in identifying and researching those elements that are of significance to multiple U.S. manufacturing industries and can also provide data for the development of standards in relevant areas. All of the research groups in the overall area of Smart Manufacturing mentioned the need to develop focus for their areas of work. The Smart Manufacturing staff assess the impact of several areas with respect to manufacturing. Specific programs and areas that were covered during this site visit included the following: 1. Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment (SMPE) program, 2. Next-Generation Robotics and Automation (NGRA) program, 3. Smart Manufacturing Control Systems (SMCS) program, 4. Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications (SIMCA) program,3 5. Sustainable Manufacturing (SM) program, and 6. Manufacturing with Sustainable Materials program. The following section describes and discusses work in each of the programs and areas listed above. These comments are followed by discussions of the Smart Manufacturing activities in terms of their technical merit and scientific caliber, the efficacy of NIST's engagement with outside stakeholders, and program coordination and cohesion across NIST. The final section presents recommendations. DESCRIPTION AND DISCUSSON OF PROGRAMS Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment Program The objective of the Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment program targets the development and deployment of advances in measurement science that improve product quality and productivity. This is demonstrated, for example, by projects addressing machine tool performance standards and machining process modeling tools. The SMPE program includes the modeling, simulation, and measurements of equipment and processes to produce complex finished parts. Complexity is defined through geometry, material, part size, and tolerance. These are worthwhile projects that promote the development of standards for interoperability among production machines of varied sources and better understanding of the 3 Formerly the Systems Integration for Manufacturing Applications (SIMA) program. 17
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production processes that can eventually be integrated into the design process of the target products. The emphasis on standards supports NIST's mission. There are three thrust areas in the SMPE program: metal additive manufacturing, smart machining, and micromanufacturing and nanomanufacturing. Additive manufacturing encompasses technologies used to join raw materials together to fabricate three-dimensional objects directly from electronic design data. This technology has the potential to increase the rates of prototyping and thus accelerate the time required to implement new materials and designs onto the product lines. Demonstrations of additive manufacturing with metals were observed by the panel's review team. Based on inputs from the Additive Manufacturing Consortium, the ASTM F42 Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies, industry interactions, and the roadmap for additive manufacturing, the NIST group is focused on fundamental measurement science for additive manufacturing processes that is used to evaluate and improve additive manufacturing equipment, standard test methods, physics-based modeling of the process, and in situ measurements of these parts. The group also is developing materials standards for additive manufacturing that include powder characterization, test protocols, and analysis methods. Current metrics used to measure the progress toward a goal of improving the producibility of additive manufacturing are the project milestones and are not quantitative in nature. The work in additive manufacturing lags behind industry leaders, such as Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company, which are implementing additive manufacturing onto production platforms with larger parts and more extensively in comparison with what is being researched at NIST. The need for standards on additive processing methods, data, testing, and monitoring is critical in further adoption of additive manufacturing. Additionally, common approaches to how the testing is being accomplished for design allowables development are also needed.4 The NIST work is aligned well, but it needs to be accelerated to address these issues. The work of the SMPE group also includes the development of data to support machine tool performance standards. The goals here are to mitigate risks for users of high-end machine tools through the application of standards to machine manufacturers. There also is a project to improve models and simulations for optimization of these machine tools. These are well- established projects with industry partners, and metrics are developed with industry partners. Next-Generation Robotics and Automation Program The objective of the Next-Generation Robotics and Automation program is to provide the means for using smart robots and automation systems in production systems regardless of size. The work targets multiple industries. The focus areas are sensing and perception, manipulation, mobility, and autonomy. There is an emphasis on workplace safety in areas where robots are co- located with people. The group applies knowledge of robot safety, perception, autonomous mobility, and situational modeling in order to develop data that will be used in establishing standards. It also develops tests for current and future standards. The group works through key industry associations, such as the Robotics Industries Association (RIA), the U.S. Council for Automotive Research, and the Material Handling Industry of America, to develop broad-based industry adoption of these standards. This group's work is coordinated with the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) and the Engineering Laboratory. The metrics used are project management milestones and are not quantitative in nature. 4 Design allowables are materials property values that are statistically determined from test data. They represent the limits of stiffness, stress, or strain that are allowed for a particular material, application, configuration, and environmental condition. 18
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Commendable effort is being demonstrated by the Next-Generation Robotics and Automation program in promoting and participating in the development of robot safety standards as a member of the Robotics Industries Association. Beyond safety standards, the program is in its infancy. The human-robotic interaction that is currently being developed for use in industry is much more complex than the situations being studied at NIST. Objectives are yet to be clearly stated and demonstrated with respect to collaboration with humans and dexterous manipulation at microscales and nanoscales. How this effort relates to RIA or ASTM standards for measuring performance is not clear. The pursuit of these activities at NIST should proceed only if they are potentially viable and if constructive standards can be envisioned. NIST need not compete for leadership in the development of robotic technology for industry, but research on characterization of the technology and the development of supporting measurements and controls can be valuable to the developers of robotic technology for industry. NIST should maintain and develop expertise in robotics to a scale supportive of standards development for products or technologies that are already in use or potentially viable, and it should resist the temptation to develop its own innovative products or technologies--endeavors that are better left to industry, universities, and other research-tasked federal laboratories. Otherwise, the effort would not fit well into the mission of NIST. Robotics expertise at NIST could help identify, research, and promote the standardization of modes of interoperability among robots of various manufacturers, as is being done for machine tools. This type of effort would help industry utilize robots more efficiently, and it would continue to support NIST's mission. Smart Manufacturing Control Systems Program The purpose of the Smart Manufacturing Control Systems program is to enable real-time monitoring, control, and optimization of manufacturing systems. The program deals with measurement science that utilizes factory networks, information modeling and testing, and performance measurement and optimization. This work requires advanced analytics, modeling and simulation, and the use of real-time production information. The goal of this activity is to utilize measurement science to develop standards to allow real-time sharing of information between manufacturing equipment and the applications that control the machine performance. This group is actively working with General Motors (GM) and the Boeing Company in pilot production tests. It also is affiliated with the Open Modular Architecture Controls Users Group, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, and the Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium, and it collaborates with the ITL at NIST. The work of the SMCS program is well executed and reflects the input from its industry partners. The systems that were demonstrated for the review team are linked together well. The metrics used are the project milestones, which should be replaced with metrics that measure improvements in productivity, quality, and safety. The technology has a long way to go before it becomes the "plug-and-play" system that the SMCS program is aiming to provide. In this area, the group needs to understand how to accelerate its efforts to keep up with the advances that are being made in industry research. One strategy that should be considered is the gathering of data in industry environments (machine builders and/or users) and the use of these data to develop standards. The goals of the program also need to be clarified so that the connection between the development of standards in control systems and the maintenance and creation of U.S. jobs is clearly stated in view of the fact that many controller manufacturers and machine integrators are overseas. 19
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Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications Program The Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications program deals with the integration of information in the development and production of fabricated parts. The program integrates information from model-based definitions, systems, and supply chains, and quality data. The data that are gathered from these areas are integrated into standards for design and production that contribute to highly integrated production networks. The program participates in American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) geometric and tolerancing standards, as well as STEP standards (product data standards; named for the Standard for Product Model Data)5 and Object Management Group (OMG; systems engineering standards)6 standards. The SIMCA program has already had a role in developing conformance tests for engineering integration standards. The program has worked closely with industry (Boeing, GM, General Electric Company [GE], and Caterpillar Inc.). It also participates in organizations that deal with standards for systems engineering, such as the Automotive Industry Action Group, the Aerospace Industries Association, the Open Applications Group, and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). The program collaborates with the Engineering Laboratory's Smart Manufacturing Control Systems and other Smart Manufacturing programs, the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), and the NIST ITL. The program acts as the integrator of information from the other Smart Manufacturing groups and production networks. The approach that the SIMCA program uses can be utilized for a number of systems and materials, but the focus in the program has been on the machining of metallic materials. The program staff need to decide how much more effort is required with metallic fabrication systems and to make a decision about what it will do, if anything, with other materials systems, such as composites, ceramics, and coatings. It also needs to define what role the program needs to have beyond fabrication. There is a great need for standards in the assembly and integration of industry production systems. If this is truly an integration group, it should be working with its industry partners to develop data for assembly standards. It also needs metrics that truly measure quality and productivity instead of using the project milestones as metrics. Sustainable Manufacturing Program The purpose of the Sustainable Manufacturing program is to gather data related to energy consumption in order to enable sustainable processes and practices. The program's stated purpose is to apply the group's technical knowledge and tools to assess the sustainability of existing operations and to predict the impacts of proposed actions related to suppliers, plants, processes, and products. Various group members are aligned with researchers at numerous universities and companies. They also are collaborating with the Engineering Laboratory's SMPE and NGRA programs, the MML's Manufacturing with Sustainable Materials program, and with the ITL, and they participate in outreach events with the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The Sustainable Manufacturing program partners with multiple universities in work on information modeling, which is the key to what this program offers, and program staff have engaged with key manufacturers to assess the state of the art and to understand the diversity of the needs from different industries. 5 For definition of STEP, see http://www.steptools.com/library/standard/step_1.html. Accessed July 6, 2012. 6 OMG is an international, open-membership, not-for-profit computer industry consortium involved with setting software standards; see http://www.omg.org/marketing/omg-standards.htm. Accessed July 6, 2012. 20
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The focus of the SM program is on the energy and material efficiencies in an actual manufacturing plant during its operations; the program is still in the early phases of planning what data are to be gathered. The program staff should survey the industry to determine where the greatest needs are in terms of sustainable manufacturing research. Almost all companies that currently have greenfield sites (undeveloped sites set aside for commercial development or industrial projects) are aware of the fiscal and political advantages of being energy-responsible. The models that the SM staff has would be of use; however, most companies have employed historic and current data to design and build their plants. This group is lagging with regard to what it is planning to do. A better focus would be on other parts of the value stream, such as the supply chain, assembly and integration, and post-delivery support. Although the group mentioned supply chain in its purpose, there was no discussion of measuring energy consumption by basic materials suppliers. As an example, what is the energy consumed in making a pound of a composite versus a pound of a metal? All materials should be investigated. The work should cover the entire product life cycle--namely, the fundamental materials production, fabrication, assembly, integration, sustainment, and recycling. Considering that 75 to 80 percent of the life cycle of certain products is outside of the original manufacturing, a better research project would be in the maintenance and recycling areas. Manufacturing with Sustainable Materials Program The overall area of manufacturing with sustainable materials is critical to U.S. manufacturing companies. Knowledge and selection of materials that support environmentally compliant platforms are needed in order to comply with or anticipate environmental needs. Data are needed that can be used to perform trade-off studies that support materials selection. The standard technical data are needed to ensure technical integrity and performance of the final products; they include materials, environmental, and structural properties. NIST currently develops tests and data to support the development of standards. However, additional data related to the environmental impact of the production of a variety of materials need to be determined. Examples include data on the extraction and refining of materials, such as the extraction of metals from ores and comparisons of different fabrication technologies (e.g., forging or casting). Also, as manufacturers use new structural materials such as composites or ceramics, the environmental impact of producing these materials needs to be determined. The environmental requirements for many nonstructural materials, such as coatings, and chemicals used in manufacturing processes, such as cleaning, are currently regulated. In all cases, more information about the recycling processes is required so that these processes can be standardized and the data can be used in materials selection. TECHNICAL MERIT AND SCIENTIFIC CALIBER In all areas of Smart Manufacturing, the technical staff members are highly qualified to address the projects on which they are working, and their expertise is well matched to the specific areas being studied. The laboratories are well equipped to meet the program needs of the work that is being done. With respect to publications, the quality is high, and they are related to the areas being studied, indicating that the correct expertise is being applied to the specific areas being researched. The mission of the laboratories is very clear. All of the employees understand and can communicate the mission--to help improve the quality and productivity of U.S. industry in order 21
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to maintain and create U.S. jobs. However, better clarification of how their work relates to keeping and creating jobs needs to be stated. The thrust areas are relevant to a number of industries in keeping with NIST's mission to provide standards for multiple, diverse industries and not just to serve one industry. The NIST groups have worked with applications that apply to automotive, aerospace, medical, and heavy- equipment industries. This is also true across the Smart Manufacturing program area. From what the panel's review team observed, for the SMPE and SIMCA programs, manufacturing deals almost exclusively with the fabrication of parts and very little with the assembly and integration of parts and systems. This is a very narrow component of manufacturing. Manufacturing in the United States involves not just the fabrication of parts but also the assembly and integration (drilling, fastener installation, sealing, coating, etc.), as well as the sustainment of products, for which standards are needed. The level of maturity of the thrust areas needs to be more appropriate to current industrial practice. Although it is understood that there is some lag in identifying the most appropriate thrusts for research and data gathering, industry practices and needs and university research and development have progressed significantly beyond where NIST is gathering data. Unfortunately, all of the areas of Smart Manufacturing that are being researched are lagging behind industry in their research. With additive manufacturing, although parts are being produced and integrated onto production platforms, companies are interested in accelerating and rapidly progressing beyond where NIST is today, in order to use more parts made by additive manufacturing. In the robotics area, the human-robot interface is more than just the physical presence of the two in the same manufacturing cell. Industry cares about this scenario, but there are also many other human-robot and robot-robot interactions that are developing and evolving rapidly; data from these must be gathered to provide standards for these more sophisticated interactions. With respect to the SIMCA program and the controller areas, there is a limited focus on metals and fabrication. Once again, there needs to be more attention placed on the integration and assembly areas and on other materials systems. In the sustainability area, there needs to be more attention paid to the energy considerations for the materials manufacturing and on post-fabrication processes, including product sustainment and recycling. This attention should include all materials systems. The noted lag in the relevance of the technologies may be due to the need to acquire appropriate capital equipment for gathering data. This is a long-lead-time process that increases the gap between what NIST is measuring and where industry is. NIST should consider working with the industries to acquire data in real production facilities or machine production facilities and forget about obtaining its own equipment, which is a very costly and time-consuming endeavor. All of the fabrication work was performed on metallic materials. Although fabrication of metallic parts is very important and still in use in a wide variety of industries, the programs should formulate plans for integrating other materials systems as well. This may necessitate obtaining different capital equipment that is used to produce parts from nonmetallic materials. The metrics being used are project milestones and not quantitative in nature. Even though all of the mission statements note that the projects have goals to improve quality and producibility, none of the metrics measure these. Instead, they measure project schedules. This is true of all of the Smart Manufacturing program areas. The NIST staff should work with industry to develop a better understanding of what realistic, meaningful metrics are. Product and process quality may be measured differently, depending on the needs of the individual production programs. 22
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NIST ENGAGEMENT WITH OUTSIDE STAKEHOLDERS In all program areas of Smart Manufacturing, integration with industry--including both the equipment manufacturing and the equipment user industries--needs to be strengthened. With SIMCA and the controller research, there is more integration with industry than with the other areas. However, this integration is limited to very specific areas. Surprisingly, although the SIMCA program's role is to provide a systems perspective and systems integration, the program staff are limited by what is defined as a system. In addition, they tend to only look at metals fabrication. The other areas have limited true collaboration with outside stakeholders. They may hold workshops, which is one method for beginning the collaboration. However, they have not been proactive enough at approaching the various industries for collaboration. One suggestion for all program areas of Smart Manufacturing is to propose projects in which NIST investigators can use the stakeholder resources to gather the data. It would be a good way to accomplish several things: (1) to promote collaboration with the stakeholders, (2) to gain a better understanding of manufacturing, (3) to avoid the increasing lag behind the industry due to the capital process, and (4) to develop meaningful metrics. For the Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment program, stakeholder engagement is through standards committees, such as the ASTM F42 Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies, the Additive Manufacturing Consortium, and the ASME B5 and ISO/TC39/SC2 standards committees. The SMPE program cosponsored a workshop in 2009 to determine the state of the art and the barriers for the use of additive manufacturing. However, the state of the art has continued to advance since that workshop. The SMPE program needs to quickly reassess how much of what it learned in 2009 is still relevant and quickly readjust its research plan. The program would benefit from more proactive engagement with industry in order to determine how and where to accelerate program efforts. Industries, such as aerospace, want to accelerate the use of parts made with additive manufacturing and would like to see the standards efforts accelerated. One possible activity would be to use industry facilities to gather the appropriate data. In the Next-Generation Robotics and Automation program, the work targets multiple industries. Stakeholder engagement is primarily through industry associations, such as the Robotics Industries Association, the U.S. Council for Automotive Research, and the Material Handling Industry of America. Industry needs are assessed through workshops and standards interactions and through literature reviews. Interaction with industry (GM, Ford Motor Company, Procter & Gamble [P&G], etc.) is in place. However, the NGRA program would benefit from developing a roadmap with industry on the specific needs of industry so that the program can determine what human-robot or robot-robot interactions are relevant in order to focus the program research in relevant areas. The program also would benefit from setting up relationships with industry and universities to use their facilities for research and data gathering. This would accelerate the data gathering and avoid the lags caused by NIST's ordering and using its own robotic equipment, and it would guarantee that the data were gathered from state-of-the- art equipment. For the Smart Manufacturing Control Systems program, stakeholder engagement was highlighted with a production pilot program with GM and Boeing, demonstrating strong interaction. Other interactions are with industry groups, such as the Open Modular Architecture Controls Users Group, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, and the Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium. There is very good interaction across the board with respect to the development of control 23
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systems for metals machining. However, this effort needs to be expanded to cover other materials systems, such as composites fabrication, coatings application, and assembly and integration technologies. These areas are more state of the art and are used to produce major products or components, and they require standards. It would be useful for the SMCS program to partner with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or industry users to gather the data, and thus eliminate the need for capital equipment. In the Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications program, industry needs and focus areas are sought by means of hosting meetings and visiting stakeholders. The program staff have had key roles in ASME and ISO geometric and tolerancing standards, and they have helped in the establishment of reference data and test methods. They have worked closely with companies, such as Boeing, GM, GE, and Caterpillar. They contribute to the Automotive Industry Action Group, the Aerospace Industries Association, and the Open Applications Group. They work closely with groups involved with systems engineering standards, such as INCOSE and OMG. The program staff would benefit from expanding their view of how systems are defined in industry. The view of what they are defining as a system is limited to what the other parts of the Smart Manufacturing area at NIST are doing. In industry, the definition of a system and the use of systems engineering are broader than just working on metals machining and fabrication. They include other materials systems, the supply chain, assembly and integration, and post-delivery support. The Sustainable Manufacturing program partners with many universities (University of Kentucky; Rochester Institute of Technology; University of California, Berkeley; Purdue University; University of Maryland; Wichita State University; Oregon State University; and Georgia Institute of Technology) in work on information modeling, which is the key to what this program offers. The program staff also has engaged with key manufacturers (Stanley Black & Decker, Boeing, GM, Ford, 3M, GE Aerospace, United Technologies, P&G, and Xerox Corporation) to assess the state of the art and to understand the diversity of the needs from different industries. A broader view of the needs of industry is required, since the SM program is focused on the energy requirements for plant operation. It needs to develop models that provide data on the energy considerations for producing various starting materials and for recycling. The researchers do go to actual manufacturing plants, but usually after a project begins. Proactive visits are rare and limited. PROGRAM COORDINATION AND COHESION The various project areas in Smart Manufacturing are aligned with the correct standards organizations. They are also aligned appropriately with the MML and ITL--out of necessity, since this is where the testing occurs. Coordination among the different areas of Smart Manufacturing is evident since there is a system approach to how they link together, although not all groups acknowledge this. The SIMCA group is responsible for the systems integration and should provide a strong role in the Smart Manufacturing projects. That group should also be the one to look at and recommend the collaborations with other parts of NIST. It appears that the research projects drive the SIMCA group and what they do. The interactions are limited, since the work they are doing focuses only on metals fabrication. In all project areas, there is a lag behind industry state of the art and industry needs. It seems that the decision of a research topic in one area drives all of the other areas. It would be good to have a stronger tie-in with the advanced materials area so that more relevant materials and manufacturing areas can be researched for standards development. 24
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The Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment program coordinates with other NIST laboratories, including the MML, and with other programs, such as the Sustainable Manufacturing program. The additive manufacturing activities are coordinated with the Metallurgy Division of the MML for powder characterization. The Smart Manufacturing Processes and Equipment program collaborates with the Sustainable Manufacturing and the Smart Manufacturing Control Systems programs. The SMPE program also coordinates with the PML, MML, and CNST. It would be further beneficial for the program to interact with other NIST staff who are involved with advanced materials to determine what they could be doing outside of the metals fabrication work. In the case of the Next-Generation Robotics and Automation program, coordination across NIST occurs with the Information Access Division of the ITL, which covers human detection and tracking, and the Sustainable Manufacturing program in the Systems Integration Division of the Engineering Laboratory, for assessing energy utilization associated with robots. Coordination for the Smart Manufacturing Control Systems program occurs with the SIMCA program to understand how they would fit into a larger production scheme. The program staff have collaborated with the ITL in the areas of control systems cybersecurity and a precision time protocol that contributed to a smart manufacturing testbed. In the Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications program, there is coordination with the Engineering Laboratory's SMCS and SM programs, with the PML for smart inspection, and with the ITL for software testing techniques. The Sustainable Manufacturing program works closely with the Engineering Laboratory's SMPE and NGRA programs. All of these measure energy consumption during their operations. The Sustainable Manufacturing program participates in outreach events with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership on the Green Supplier Network project. The NIST Sustainable Manufacturing Caucus coordinates activities in the area of sustainable manufacturing across NIST. The Sustainable Manufacturing program also coordinates with the MML's Manufacturing with Sustainable Materials program and the ITL. Coordination across the laboratories varies with each program and needs to be standardized. There is a lack of coordination with the Physical Measurements Laboratory. RECOMMENDATIONS The recommendations for the Smart Manufacturing area are as follows: 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. NIST should increase the engagement of stakeholders in the development of the appropriate Smart Manufacturing program goals and metrics. 25
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4. The relationship between the work that the Smart Manufacturing laboratories are doing and U.S. industry productivity and costs needs to be stated more specifically, toward the goal expressed by NIST of creating or saving U.S. jobs by improving productivity and costs. Meaningful metrics should be provided to measure this relationship and how industry can benefit from this work. 5. The competitiveness of the Smart Manufacturing projects reviewed should be made more appropriate to current industry practices. 6. A well-defined process should be established for determining and prioritizing projects that should be undertaken in the Smart Manufacturing area. 7. Program metrics that are more meaningful and quantitative than project milestones should be developed. 8. The Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications (SIMCA) program should coordinate the other Smart Manufacturing activities. The SIMCA program needs to take the enterprise view that it claims to have and include other areas of manufacturing, not just metals fabrication. 26