ing data access may not always be technically challenging, but it can be a policy challenge.

Mr. Ziegler concluded by noting some practical considerations, including these:

  • Not every user is an expert, so the user interface becomes critical.
  • Materials and process data are usually incomplete.
  • Data have value; access control is critical and potentially contentious.
  • It takes time to rationalize and consolidate data. The better the system is at collection, the better it will be at consolidation.
  • Data end users need data in diverse places and formats.
  • Materials information systems need end users. Mr. Ziegler argued that there is no value in the system if it does not have end users. It can be challenging to identify and engage users.
  • Designing a system from scratch is impractical.

A participant indicated that data ownership can be an obstacle to data sharing. He said that DOD contracts have many data requirements in them, and that aspect needs to be managed on the contractual side to ensure that the requirements are not cost prohibitive. He pointed out that there is a responsibility for sharing data among materials suppliers, original equipment manufacturers, and the government. In some cases, a supplier provides a material but no corresponding metadata. Agreements with suppliers can take 1-2 years to develop, which slows down innovation. Mr. Ziegler agreed that acquisition is an important element, though outside the scope of ARL’s mission and activities.

Dr. McGrath asked for clarification on MSAT. Is it a tool for materials selection, with a correspondingly fairly limited user community? Or is it an element of a larger system within a larger community, with a framework surrounding it? What is the plan for scaling up past the Open Manufacturing project? Mr. Ziegler said that MSAT is both a materials selection tool and part of a larger system. MSAT’s current focus is on where to store materials and processes and how to develop a clear interface with the modeling community.

The discussion then turned to standards. A participant stressed that the process for developing standard terminology is very difficult and slow. There is an ASTM committee for standards in this area. Companies do not like to fund their employees to do this type of activity, however, and the ASTM committee terminated its efforts because of insufficient community funding. Also, companies are not interested in attaching themselves to a certain format, as they are concerned they will be forced to share data. They prefer to keep information proprietary in their own formats. A few participants noted that the culture among researchers



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement