3
Priority Technologies and Supporting Research

Manufacturing enterprises will require new capabilities to meet the grand challenges identified in Chapter 2. This chapter builds on the enabling technologies identified in Chapter 2 and describes the technologies that have the greatest potential to furnish these capabilities. Research opportunities to develop the priority technologies are also described.

Priority technologies and research opportunities were identified on the basis of the workshop, the Delphi survey, briefings by technology experts, and committee deliberations based on the following criteria:

  • Was the technology identified as a high priority technology in the Delphi survey?
  • Was the technology identified as a high priority technology at the workshop?
  • Is this a primary technology for meeting one of the grand challenges?
  • Does the technology have the potential to have a profound impact on manufacturing?
  • Does the technology support more than one grand challenge?
  • Does the technology represent a long-term opportunity (i.e., is the technology not readily attainable in the short term)?

The 10 technology areas selected as the most important for meeting the grand challenges are listed below (not in priority order):

  • adaptable, integrated equipment, processes, and systems that can be readily reconfigured


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--> 3 Priority Technologies and Supporting Research Manufacturing enterprises will require new capabilities to meet the grand challenges identified in Chapter 2. This chapter builds on the enabling technologies identified in Chapter 2 and describes the technologies that have the greatest potential to furnish these capabilities. Research opportunities to develop the priority technologies are also described. Priority technologies and research opportunities were identified on the basis of the workshop, the Delphi survey, briefings by technology experts, and committee deliberations based on the following criteria: Was the technology identified as a high priority technology in the Delphi survey? Was the technology identified as a high priority technology at the workshop? Is this a primary technology for meeting one of the grand challenges? Does the technology have the potential to have a profound impact on manufacturing? Does the technology support more than one grand challenge? Does the technology represent a long-term opportunity (i.e., is the technology not readily attainable in the short term)? The 10 technology areas selected as the most important for meeting the grand challenges are listed below (not in priority order): adaptable, integrated equipment, processes, and systems that can be readily reconfigured

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--> manufacturing processes that minimize waste production and energy consumption innovative processes to design and manufacture new materials and components biotechnology for manufacturing system synthesis, modeling, and simulation for all manufacturing operations technologies that can convert information into knowledge for effective decision making product and process design methods that address a broad range of product requirements enhanced human-machine interfaces educational and training methods that would enable the rapid assimilation of knowledge software for intelligent systems for collaboration Examples of long-term research opportunities that will support the development of each technology to meet the grand challenges for 2020 are described in this chapter. Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems Adaptable, integrated equipment, processes, and systems that can be readily reconfigured for a wide range of customer requirements for products, features, and services is a priority technology. Hardware and software components, sub-processes, and subsystems will have to be adaptable and linked in easily programmable ways into higher-level processes and systems that span the entire product/service life cycle. Research opportunities to support the development of adaptable and reconfigurable manufacturing processes and systems fall into five broad areas: (1) processes and tooling, (2) theoretical foundations, (3) new manufacturing systems, (4) modeling and simulation, and (5) control and communications concepts. Manufacturing Processes and Tooling Adaptable, reconfigurable manufacturing processes and tooling include programmable, net-shape forming processes (e.g., free-form manufacturing concepts) that do not require hard tooling. Process technologies derived from rapid prototyping are particularly promising. Processing methods that can be readily reconfigured include nanofabrication concepts for manufacturing materials and components directly from molecular building blocks. Bioprocessing (i.e., combining molecular constituents to produce a range of products that vary in function and performance) could provide a model for manufacturing directly from molecular building blocks. Ultimately, a library would be developed of reusable

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--> processes and subprocesses for building and reconfiguring manufacturing systems (analogous to object-oriented programming in software development). Tooling concepts range from modular tools, which would enable rapid changes in tooling within a process line, to a new tooling paradigm, in which hard tooling is replaced by software that defines the size, shape, and molecular constituents of a product. Theoretical Foundations The theoretical foundations for adaptable, reconfigurable manufacturing processes include the scientific basis for manufacturing processes on which models are based. Ultimately, simulations of manufacturing systems would be based on a unified taxonomy for process characteristics that include human characteristics in process models. Other areas for research include a general theory for adaptive systems that could be translated into manufacturing processes, systems, and the manufacturing enterprise; tools to optimize design choices to incorporate the most affordable manufacturing approaches; and systems research on the interaction between workers and manufacturing processes for the development of adaptive, flexible controls. New Manufacturing Systems New manufacturing systems will be required for adaptable and reconfigurable manufacturing processes that can meet the changing demands of the marketplace. Research in self-organizing manufacturing systems could include the development of autonomous manufacturing modules; bioprocessing technology; chaos theory; holonics1; and new concepts and models for partitioning manufacturing equipment, tools, human/organizational resources, and software systems. Finally, the development of new manufacturing systems must include a taxonomy and metrics for manufacturing systems that address open system architectures, mass customization, optimized system value, maximum use of available assets (including human, intellectual, and knowledge assets), and environmental impact. Modeling and Simulation Modeling and simulation capabilities for evaluating process and enterprise scenarios will be important in the development of reconfigurable enterprises. Simulations will have to be based on a systems view of the entire enterprise, including markets, workers, and cross-disciplinary interactions. Simulations will 1   Holonics is a theory of organization and management that describes systems made up of interacting, self-similar units (holons). A similar, but less rigorous, concept is networked, autonomous, distributed units.

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--> have to be designed to optimize human interaction, human and machine learning, and real-time information acquisition and analysis. Virtual prototyping of manufacturing processes and systems will enable manufacturers to evaluate a range of choices for optimizing their enterprises. Promising areas for the application of modeling and simulation technology for reconfigurable systems include neural networks for optimizing reconfiguration approaches and artificial intelligence for decision making. Control and Communication Concepts Processes that can be adapted or readily reconfigured will require flexible sensors and control algorithms that provide precision process control of a range of processes and environments. Reconfiguration of communications and control systems will rely on a common programming and control architecture, as well as ''flexible" and "adaptive" software that does not require reprogramming but does provide operators with sufficient real-time information about the process to allow effective intervention, troubleshooting, and control. Waste-Free Processing Manufacturing processes that minimize waste production and energy consumption is a key technology for the future. Manufacturing that does not damage the environment will be facilitated by manufacturing processes that do not create waste (e.g., free-form fabrication instead of material removal operations) or processes that create waste that can be used as feedstock in complementary manufacturing operations and, therefore, create no downstream waste. Processes that minimize energy consumption (e.g., processes with room-temperature bonding rather than high-temperature curing) will conserve resources and reduce costs and will also reduce indirect environmental effects from energy production. Research in two principal areas will be required to meet the ultimate goal of waste-free processing—(1) waste reduction and utilization and (2) product design and analysis, including materials and process selection. Waste Reduction and Utilization The most effective way to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing will be to use processes that do not produce by-products. Potential areas for research include net-shape processes (including net-shape forming, casting, and direct deposition), new routes in chemical synthesis that reduce or eliminate reaction by-products, and biological building processes. Incremental improvements in processes have been made, but the committee believes that breakthroughs in new process technologies will be necessary to approach waste-free processing goals.

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--> Another key research area for reducing waste is processes that reuse by-products, either by recycling "home scrap" (use within the same factory) or by using process waste as a feedstock for another product line. A database will have to be developed for multiple material uses to match waste streams with potential users. Product Design and Analysis The production of sustainable products that have no detrimental effects on the environment throughout their life cycles will require advances in design tools and a philosophy based on concepts such as "design for reuse," which involves recovering major components or subsystems and reusing them instead of discarding them, and reprocessing materials and components, which involves re-manufacturing and upgrading products instead of discarding them. The development of modeling capabilities to minimize life cycle costs, including financial, resource, and environmental costs, will also be necessary. New Materials Processes Innovative processes to design and manufacture new materials and components will enable the manufacture of innovative, customized, waste-free products. The goal will be to develop new classes of materials with extraordinary physical properties (e.g., strength, wear characteristics, and electromagnetic properties). With miniaturization, new classes of "intelligent" products will be produced, but miniaturization at submicron scales will require materials with properties that can be controlled at the molecular scale. The processes for designing new materials and their components, especially submicron-sized components, will require design methodologies based on atomic and molecular physics and chemistry. In many cases, the materials will be organic, and the design methodologies will be biologically based. The processes for manufacturing these materials and components may require manipulation at the atomic level (nanofabrication), processes akin to gene splicing, and perhaps biological processes. Research opportunities to support the development of processes to produce new classes of materials with extraordinary properties fall into three broad areas—innovative processing, design and analysis methods, and theoretical foundations. Innovative Processing Innovative processing methods include nanofabrication and improved net-shape processes. The committee believes that nanofabrication (nanoscale technology for fabrication) is an exciting leapfrog technology that could revolutionize manufacturing. The key technologies include nanomachining (e.g., nanolithography, abrasive ultraprecision finishing, and placement of atoms or molecules using techniques such as atomic-force microscopy and scanning

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--> tunneling microscopy), chemical-physical processing (e.g., molecular self-assembly, self-organizing structures, and ultrafine particle production), and bioprocessing (described in the following section) (Nelson and Shipbaugh, 1995). Significant advances will have to be made in process measurement and control technologies, as well as in the fundamental understanding of processes to support design and modeling capabilities, before the promise of nanofabrication technology can be realized. Programmable, net-shape forming processes will enable the development of adaptable, reconfigurable processing methods. Once products can be produced directly from a digital description without hard tooling, the development of cost-effective, customized, small-batch production processes with near-zero waste will become feasible. Another research area is the development of measurement and control technologies (e.g., scanning tunneling microscopy, virtual reality, and feed-forward controls) that are applicable at submicron size scales. Ultimately, with the development of design, processing, and sensing and control technology with precise control of processes at all size scales—from the molecular level to the macro level—defect-free structures will be producible. The durability and reliability of these products could be far beyond those of current products. Design and Analysis Methods The development of innovative processing capabilities will require new concepts for life cycle material design. Potential advances include methods of designing and analyzing complex systems, such as "smart" materials (materials that can adapt to changing service requirements), biomimetic materials (materials based on biological models), and functionally gradient materials. Theoretical Foundations Manufacturing enterprises that apply advances in innovative materials processes will require a sound theoretical understanding of the processes and of materials performance. This will require capabilities for measuring and characterizing materials at extremely small size scales, design materials and components based on first-principles understanding, and precisely controlled processes and materials structures. Moreover, manufacturing enterprises will need technologies to collect, analyze, store, and use information based on performance and characterization experience to validate theoretical models. Biotechnology for Manufacturing Biotechnology for manufacturing has the potential to lead to revolutionary advances in innovative new products and manufacturing processes. Research

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--> would be based on an understanding of the precision and flexibility of biological processes and on finding ways to address their fundamental weaknesses (slow processes and the limited range of available materials). New bioinspired and bioderived products will include biomemory and logic devices that can take advantage of the ways that biological organisms recognize environmental stimuli, learn, and adapt to changes; unique materials based on biological structures; and durable ultrasoft membrane materials. Processing advances could include the fabrication of parts and assemblies with design enzymes, tissues, and biocatalysts; self-organizing manufacturing systems; and the genetic engineering of biological feedstocks to produce novel, tailored materials. Enterprise Modeling and Simulation Modeling and simulation for all operations of a manufacturing enterprise could enable the simulation of any operation, which could then be used for making decisions based on alternative scenarios. Detailed models of manufacturing enterprises—made up of integrated submodels describing the entire product/service life cycle—could be used for real-time control of all levels of manufacturing (from the manufacturing cell or factory floor to the globally distributed extended enterprise). Models and simulations should include descriptions of the interactions between people and between people and machines. Research opportunities to support the development of modeling and simulation capabilities fall into two broad areas—(1) communications and information technology and (2) modeling tools. Communications and Information Technology Enterprise models will require the development of unified communication methods and protocols for the exchange of information, which will be used for the integration of process submodels of all levels of manufacturing enterprises, from individual human and process operations to distributed enterprises. Rapid communications will be required to support concurrent design and manufacturing. Unified methods and protocols should include a unified taxonomy, metrics for optimization, and identification of manufacturing primitives (basic operations of a manufacturing enterprise). Significant advances in software will be needed for the integration of the whole range of submodels included in the enterprise model. Because software models will present an incomplete view of a dynamic enterprise, they will have to be adapted to incorporate new knowledge either through human intervention or machine intelligence. Key research areas include formalized representations of process knowledge to translate fundamental process information and design information for use in a variety of environments, reusable software modules,

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--> and enterprise models that incorporate new knowledge, and applications of artificial intelligence for flexible decision-making modules. Developments in information technology will be required to support enterprise modeling. Promising research topics include planning tools for real-time decision making; representation of difficult abstractions and perspectives (e.g., value judgments); and display concepts that represent a large number of variables (e.g., information sources, content, reliability, robustness, degree of certainty, and application). Modeling Tools Research in enterprise modeling tools will include "soft" modeling (e.g., models that consider human behavior as an element of the system and models of information flow and communications), the optimization and integration of mixed models, the optimization of hardware systems, models of organizational structures and cross-organizational behavior, and models of complex or nonlinear systems and processes. Information Technology Converting information into knowledge for effective decision making is a priority technology. Integrated information technologies will be used to identify the information required for a specific decision, synthesize the information from distributed sources, filter out extraneous information, and present the information so that it can be used easily and immediately. The information system architecture should include semantics, protocols, and algorithms for conveying, filtering, and fusing data and information so that people can use the information for decision making. Research opportunities to support the conversion of information to knowledge for decision making fall into three broad areas: (1) information synthesis, (2) presentation, and (3) architecture. Information Synthesis Future information systems will have to be able to collect and sift through vast amounts of information. Potential research areas for information synthesis include situation theory, human memory relational systems, and human-machine transformation technologies (e.g., from speech to text or from mind to computer). Promising research areas for filtering information include neural networks for interpreting data, case-based reasoning, artificial intelligence, intelligent agents for gathering knowledge ("knowbots"), and search engines based on "soft" semantics. Another research area is the development of methods to consider conflicting perspectives on causes and potential solutions to problems.

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--> Information Presentation Research and development will be needed on presentation methods for information systems that can present complex process variables and their relationships in forms that people with varying skills, capabilities, and backgrounds can use easily for decision making. Presentation technologies will have to allow for multiple levels of analysis, provide contextual information to facilitate accurate interpretation, and be customizable to individual preferences. Information Architecture Changes in the type and amount of information that manufacturing enterprises will use will require changes in the structure of knowledge databases. Research is needed to construct databases that include representations of cultural context, biotechnology architecture, the storage of knowledge (analyzed information rather than information), human behavior, manufacturing-oriented knowledge, and metastructures for "uncertainties" (e.g., degree of automation vs. human intervention). Product and Process Design Methods Product and process design methods that address a broad range of product requirements will be priority technologies for 2020. General purpose, modular design methods and tools could be used to meet a wide range of rapidly changing customer requirements. The methods and tools should accommodate scaleable and parametrically-defined families of products and processes; single, customized products; and mass-produced products. Design methods will also have to consider concepts and processes for a variety of materials, constructions, environmental conditions, and unique functional requirements, which might be thought of as "platforms" on which designs could be compiled from modular component and subsystem designs or edited from generic master designs. The design system and tools should provide for complete simulations of products and enterprises and should integrate input from customers and workers, who will be integral members of the design team. Design tools should enable the enterprise to move directly from a digital product description to the development of production processes and tools. Design methods will have to consider reconfigurations of products and processes, concurrent designs of products and production processes, optimized life-cycle costs, modular assembly, robust production processes, product flexibility, and social and environmental goals. Enhanced Machine-Human Interfaces Enhanced human-machine interfaces between people, equipment, and information technology will be essential for manufacturing in 2020. Communications

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--> must be semantically correct, consider differences in human languages and cultures, and convey intention as well as facts. The interfaces must include all appropriate media for communication, building on the repertoire of technologies used today for virtual reality. Ideally, interfaces will be adaptive and customizable (i.e., they will be able to improve communications with specific individuals as they use the interfaces). Research opportunities fall into two principal areas: technical advances for the physical interface and learning technologies to enhance worker performance. Seamless human input technologies could include a range of topics, from voice synthesis and control to full sensory input to direct mind-machine interfaces. Research on man-machine interfaces could include remote control for globally distributed enterprises, technologies that simplify and display large amounts of process data, interfaces that compensate for physical disabilities, and "smart" process algorithms. Research on learning and design processes that will enhance worker performance include neural networks learning theories, decision support tools that are integrated with manufacturing operations and equipment, new techniques in education and cognitive science, training with simulations/virtual reality, and situation theory. In addition research will be needed to develop technologies for continuous learning by individuals and teams and collaborative design tools to allow people with different skills, education, cultural backgrounds, and organizational status to participate in the design process. Workforce Education and Training Educational and training methods that would enable workers to assimilate knowledge to improve their effectiveness are priority technologies. Constant changes in manufacturing will place extreme demands on people to acquire and use new knowledge. Education and training technologies based on learning theory and the cognitive and linguistic sciences could provide knowledge in formats that could be used easily by a wide spectrum of individuals. These learning technologies will be supported by information technology for interactive, multimedia, distance learning, and information sciences for filtering and fusing knowledge for specific applications. Long-term research will be based on changes in technologies that are available to educators (e.g., the transition to computer-based training) to teach people quickly in remote locations. The way people are educated and trained will change as enterprises become global, as jobs and skills change, and as new technology and processes are introduced. Research opportunities include the development of tools that are not language or culturally dependent; technologies that can capitalize on advances in the cognitive sciences; interactive techniques, including simulation and virtual reality; and learning modules that can be adapted and tailored to meet individualized educational needs.

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--> Software for Intelligent Collaboration Systems The final priority technology is software for intelligent systems for collaboration. Intelligent systems for collaboration will enable people around the world, who have different functional expertise, communicate in different languages, and come from different cultures, to collaborate and interface through automated processes and machines. Collaboration systems will incorporate human-machine interfaces that can adapt to the user's expertise, language, and culture. They will also incorporate algorithms and methodologies for solving problems and facilitating organizational interactions. The new tools will have to accommodate completely transparent remote interaction, including conferences, enterprise collaborations, and process controls. Long-term research goals include the development of protocols for group communication; network protocols specific to manufacturing (e.g., standards and protocols for the exchange of electronic data); methods and standards for controlling processes in a distributed enterprise; and methods for sharing enterprise and process knowledge. Research on collaboration software should include human interaction interfaces based on models of human interaction dynamics that can represent human behavior and characteristics. The goal will be to provide a virtual space for collaboration that compensates for differences in skills, languages, cultures, organizational status, and terminology. The participation of educators and social and behavioral scientists will ease the transition to these kinds of interactions, which are likely to make many people uncomfortable. Meeting the Grand Challenges Through Technology Each priority technology is matched with prioritization factors in Table 3-1. All of the priority technologies would provide an enabling capability for meeting at least one of the grand challenges for manufacturing. The key technologies for each grand challenge are shown in Table 3-2. Descriptions of the enabling capabilities of each technology for each grand challenge are shown in Table 3-3 through 3-8.

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--> Table 3-1 Applicability of Evaluation Criteria to Priority Technology Areasa   Criterion Priority Technology Priority in Delphi Surveyb Priority in Workshop Primary Technology for a Grand Challenge Profound Impact on Manufacturing Key Technology for Multiple Grand Challengesc Adaptable and reconfigurable systems 1       (5) Waste-free processes 2         New materials processes (e.g., submicron and nanoscale manufacturing) 7       (2) Biotechnology for manufacturing 8       (2) Enterprise modeling and simulation 2       (6) Information technology 6       (6) Improved design methodologies 11       (4) Machine-human interfaces 5       (3) Education and training 17       (2) Collaboration system software 21       (2) a All of the selected technologies represent long-term opportunities. b Priority ranking based on voting by Delphi survey respondents (see Appendix B). c Number of Grand Challenges where technology area was identified as applicable (see Table 3-2).

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--> TABLE 3-2 Applicability of Priority Technology Areas to the Grand Challenges   Grand Challenges Priority Technology Concurrent Manufacturing Integration of Human and Technical Resources Conversion of Information to Knowledge Environmental Compatibility Reconfigurable Enterprises Innovative Processes Adaptable and reconfigurable systems           Waste-free processes           New materials processes (e.g., submicron and nanoscale manufacturing)           Biotechnology for manufacturing           Enterprise modeling and simulation           Information technology           Improved design methodologies           Machine-human interfaces             Education and training             Collaboration software systems          

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--> TABLE 3-3 Enabling Capabilities for Concurrent Manufacturing (Grand Challenge 1) Technology Enabling Capabilities Enterprise modeling and simulation This is the primary technology for meeting this challenge. It provides the basis for understanding the interactions between the various entities of manufacturing enterprises. It enables the application of solutions that are optimized for the enterprise as a whole. It also enables the design of effective communication and information exchange systems. Information technology True concurrence requires more than the exchange of information. The knowledge exchanged must enable decisions based on the exchange. This technology will permit the recipient to convert diverse sources of information into knowledge that can be readily used. Without this technology, the integration of the diverse functions of the enterprise could result in gridlock rather than integration. Improved design methodologies This technology will allow close cooperation between product design and production and the simultaneous design of products and processes. It will also incorporate all of the parameters that describe the impact of the product design on all aspects of the enterprise (e.g., environmental, support, contractual, financial) into the initial design process. Collaboration software systems A 2020 concurrent organization will not only require the ability to exchange information and knowledge, but will also require effective interaction between entities. This technology will facilitate interaction by overcoming differences in context, culture, terminology, and language.

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--> TABLE 3-4 Enabling Capabilities for Integrated Human and Technical Resources (Grand Challenge 2) Technology Enabling Capabilities Machine-human interfaces Advanced machine interfaces will enable people to make independent decisions that will enable them to control production processes. People will be able to understand the ramifications of process changes on products and on the manufacturing system. Enhanced interfaces will facilitate conceptualization and provide information in a context that promotes understanding. Adaptable and reconfigurable systems The development of processes that can be reconfigured easily will empower people to make changes on the floor to meet changing demands. The team of 2020 will require new levels of interaction with technology. Trying out new processes and prototyping new methods will not be fast enough. With virtual reality software, people will be able to determine what will work and what won't and quickly understand the impact of process changes. Highly adaptable teams trained in the use of a wide variety of tools will implement changes in the enterprise. System tools will be used routinely by team members to measure projected improvements and the consequences of reconfigured processes. Enterprise modeling and simulation This technology will link the production worker, the production process, and the rest of the enterprise. It can provide feedback on the negative, as well as positive, effects of a worker's actions. Workers will be able to optimize processes and make decisions based on enterprise considerations. Information technology This technology will systematically and consistently present knowledge so that it facilitates work. Information technologies will automatically discard irrelevant information. Education and training This technology will enable people to acquire and use knowledge quickly and effectively, making workers more confident and better able to respond to new circumstances.

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--> TABLE 3-5 Enabling Capabilities for Converting Information to Knowledge (Grand Challenge 3) Technology Enabling Capabilities Information technology This is a primary technology to meet this challenge. Technology and the competitive environment will continue to change very quickly. The underlying infrastructure will require system architectures and algorithms and methodologies for acquiring information and converting it into immediately usable knowledge. Enterprise modeling and simulation This technology will guide the processes for converting information into knowledge and for conceptualizing manufacturing functions and operations. The technology is essential to combining information from many sources into a consistent description of the enterprise and its operations. Effective decisions will depend on predictions, perhaps even optimizations, of system behaviors. Machine-human interfaces This technology will enable individuals to access the information and knowledge within the enterprise's systems. Individuals will participate in synthesizing knowledge for application in manufacturing operations. Education and training This technology will enable workers to participate in the transformation of information into useful knowledge. As the ultimate decision makers, workers will be required to acquire, accept, and process information and knowledge in ways that can be used in manufacturing operations.

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--> TABLE 3-6 Enabling Capabilities for Environmental Compatibility (Grand Challenge 4) Technology Enabling Capabilities Waste-free processes This is the primary technology to meet this challenge. The objective of the new or modified processes must always be to produce no waste of any kind, to consume the minimum amount of energy, and to do both economically. New materials processes (e.g., submicron and nanoscale manufacturing) One way to reduce waste is to use free-form fabrication with tolerances that do not require material removal. Another is to build products using materials with environmentally favorable physical characteristics, such as very lightweight, but very strong, structural components. Biotechnology for manufacturing Biotechnology offers the possibility of using renewable biological processes for manufacturing, to manufacture biologically-defined products, and to create only nonpolluting, biodegradable wastes. Improved design methodologies With this technology, environmental considerations, energy utilization, and waste minimization can be considered early in product and process design. Design methodologies that include these factors as part of the trade-off criteria will enable the design of affordable products that have minimal adverse environmental impacts.

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--> TABLE 3-7 Enabling Capabilities for Reconfigurable Enterprises (Grand Challenge 5) Technology Enabling Capabilities Adaptable and reconfigurable systems This is the primary technology to meet this challenge. The rapid reconfiguration of enterprises will require that the underlying equipment, manufacturing and business processes, and manufacturing systems all be rapidly reconfigurable. Equipment and unit processes must also be easily integrated into macroprocesses and systems. Enterprise modeling and simulation Rapid, virtual prototyping based on advanced modeling and simulation of complex manufacturing processes and systems will enable ''just-in-time" reconfiguration decisions for products and physical processes; appropriate business processes; and enterprise design, organization, operations, and control. Information technology This technology will provide the underlying infrastructure, architecture, algorithms, and methodologies for acquiring information and converting it into immediately usable knowledge. In an environment where product and process technology are changing very quickly, knowledge that can be used in real time for operations and decision making will be crucial. Information will be synthesized from diverse sources. Improved design methodologies This technology will provide design methodologies that can be quickly adapted to accommodate significant changes in requirements. The capability to reconfigure designs quickly will be the basis for reconfigurations throughout the enterprise. In most competitive situations, there will be little time for constructing new design methodologies ab initio. Machine-human interfaces This technology will enable timely decisions on complex manufacturing issues at any level of the enterprise. People will participate in key decisions about design and operations when equipment, processes, systems, or the enterprise itself are reconfigured. People will make key decisions based on knowledge provided by automated machines and systems.

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--> Technology Enabling Capabilities Education and training New knowledge delivery systems will facilitate rapid learning for manufacturing applications. Individuals involved in the planning and operations of reconfigurations will be asked to make quick, accurate decisions. Their ability to do so will depend on their ability to learn. Collaboration software systems Reconfiguration at any level will involve many people interacting with each other and with machines. This technology will be able to accommodate teams whose members are separated geographically and have widely different functional backgrounds, skill levels, languages, and cultures.

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--> TABLE 3-8 Enabling Capabilities for Innovative Processes (Grand Challenge 6) Technology Enabling Capabilities New materials processes (e.g., submicron and nanoscale manufacturing) With this technology, new materials with unusual properties (e.g., room-temperature superconductivity, electromagnetic properties confined to submicron domains, and unidirectional heat flows) will make possible new classes of products or radical reengineering of traditional products. Technology to create these new materials and then manufacture them in bulk will be required to realize this potential. Manufacturing components using these new materials will also require new processes. Biotechnology for manufacturing This technology will enable a special class of manufacturing: biological processes to manufacture new raw materials and finished components with biologically defined properties and shapes. The technology will enable new products and products using hybrid materials. Adaptable and reconfigurable systems This technology will make possible programmable equipment, processes, and systems that can be used to create a broad range of products rapidly and with minimal changeover costs. Affordable, one-of-a-kind products will be quickly produced to meet specific customer requirements. Improved design methodologies This technology will provide new design methodologies that can be quickly adapted to accommodate major changes in requirements. Timely, affordable, one-of-a-kind products will require rapid product and process designs.