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.
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.