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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology 2 Conference Evaluation CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES The purpose of the “Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology: Toward a Common Agenda” was to provide industry input to the CCIT (Committee on Civilian Industrial Technology) efforts to develop an integrated national plan for manufacturing technology development that would be primarily implemented through federal programs of civilian-oriented federal agencies. Specific objectives of the conference were to: provide an overview to industry and academia of the NSTC (National Science and Technology Council) and CCIT, with emphasis on the CCIT subcommittees on Manufacturing Infrastructure and Advanced Materials Processing; provide a forum for government to understand key issues and needs in the U.S. manufacturing sector; provide a forum for industry and academia to evaluate the generic manufacturing framework proposed by the CCIT Subcommittee on Manufacturing Infrastructure and the needs and priorities that arise in the different component areas of that framework; and assist in defining the major elements of a common plan for the development of manufacturing technology infrastructure that integrates the efforts of government, industry, academia, and workforce organizations.
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology CONFERENCE EVALUATION The National Research Council (NRC) committee conducted an evaluation of the conference versus the specific objectives listed above. The program that was evaluated consisted of five main parts: introductory and keynote talks by conference organizers and government and industry representatives; a panel to introduce and discuss the organization and policies of the NSTC and CCIT; a panel to identify industry-sector issues and needs; six concurrent workshop sessions to identify industry needs and priorities and to elicit comments on the draft version of the five white papers on manufacturing infrastructure; and a plenary session to report on the results of the workshop sessions. The NRC committee established evaluation guidelines before the conference to provide a standard methodology for each of its members to use in evaluating how well the conference met the stated objectives. (These guidelines are included as Appendix B.) All NRC committee members attended the plenary sessions, and each attended a separate workshop session. Conference introductions The Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology was opened by Michael J. Wozny, director of NIST's (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory. He explained that the primary purpose of the conference was to provide further input to the draft white papers on manufacturing infrastructure, with the goal of taking the first steps toward a common agenda in manufacturing that ultimately will lead to the development of a common technology development plan. Raymond G. Kammer, deputy director of NIST, welcomed everyone and introduced the government and industry keynote speakers: Ronald H. Brown, Secretary of Commerce, and J. Tracey O'Rourke, president and CEO of Varian Associates and chair of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers.
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology Secretary Brown presented the government keynote speech. He emphasized that the theme of the conference was in agreement with the economic agenda of the Clinton administration—economic growth and job creation. A fundamental policy issue his department is confronting involves how to redefine the relationship between government and industry so that government can be a better and more effective partner. The confluence of trade and economic policy has led to four primary themes with which government technical programs must align: private investment, education and training, open commercial markets, and innovation. J. Tracy O'Rourke presented the industry keynote speech. He pointed out that manufacturing is an increasingly visible portion of the economy. He emphasized the importance of innovation in remaining competitive. O'Rourke's company, Varian Associates, faced a major challenge due to the nature of their industry and global competition. They responded by making internal improvements that evolved into a new vision: maximize value as growth is pursued, gain competitive advantage, focus on opportunities with significant market potential within the core business, and seek breakthrough technologies. Varian has found that operational excellence requires: customer focus; unbending dedication to quality; fast, responsive, and flexible manufacturing; fast time to market; and organizational excellence. Panel I Toward a Common Framework for Manufacturing Programs and Policies The purpose of the first panel, “Toward a Common Framework for Manufacturing Programs and Policies, ” was to provide an overview of NSTC and CCIT organization and policies and to discuss the work of the CCIT subcommittees on Manufacturing Infrastructure and
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology Advanced Materials Processing. The speakers included Joan Kelly Horn, executive secretary of CCIT; Joseph Bordogna, assistant director for engineering at the National Science Foundation; and Lyle Schwartz, director of the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory at NIST. Overview of the CCIT Joan Kelly Horn presented an overview of CCIT, which is chaired by Mary L. Good of the U.S. Department of Commerce. She pointed out that the United States spends more on research and development (R &D) than any country in the world. However, it is 5th in the world if the metric is R&D expenditure as percent of gross domestic product. If defense R&D is excluded, the United States falls to 28th worldwide. Real growth in business R&D has been only 1.8 percent in the United States. The primary functions of the NSTC are to: coordinate science and technology policy making, ensure that science and technology programs and decisions are consistent with administration goals, help integrate the administration's science and technology policy agenda across the federal government, ensure that science and technology are considered in development and implementation of federal policies and programs, and further international cooperation in science and technology. The responsibilities of the CCIT are to provide oversight and coordination of government-wide research and development and technology programs in industrial technology. The principles driving industry–government technology partnerships include: establishing industry leadership on projects; cost-sharing, selecting projects competitively on merit; establishing mechanisms and criteria to measure success; and providing criteria regarding phase-out of government funding. The NSTC–CCIT identifies those industry sectors in which the potential for technology advances is greatest and where the necessary R&D would not otherwise be done on a timely basis. Current examples include the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), the
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI), and the Building and Construction Initiative. CCIT Subcommittee on Manufacturing Infrastructure Joseph Bordogna gave an overview of the mission and plans of the CCIT Subcommittee on Manufacturing Infrastructure. The subcommittee helps to coordinate the federal R&D budget for materials and manufacturing technology, which is currently estimated to be $2.6 billion. A paradigm shift is occurring in manufacturing, with a trend toward small lot sizes, low unit costs, excellent quality, and short delivery times. Technology related to materials and manufacturing has provided the underpinnings of the focused programs within the Advanced Technology Program. (This program aims at increasing the competitiveness of U.S. companies.) Bordogna pointed out that improvements in the manufacturing infrastructure will benefit nearly all manufacturing companies. The manufacturing infrastructure has been broken down into six components—advanced manufacturing systems, engineering tools for design and manufacturing, manufacturing processes and equipment, manufacturing training and education, manufacturing deployment, and business practices. He emphasized the importance that CCIT and its subcommittees would place on comments made during the workshop sessions. Bordogna described the next step as a collaborative effort with industry, government, and academia participation in developing a technology development plan for the next-generation manufacturing system. Quarterly meetings are envisioned. More details will be announced as the plans for these collaborations are finalized. CCIT Subcommittee on Advanced Materials Processing Lyle Schwartz presented an overview of the efforts of the CCIT Subcommittee on Advanced Materials Processing. The subcommittee's charter is to foster communication and coordination among materials programs within the federal government. An area of emphasis is affordability, including, for example, low-cost processing and manufacturing.
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology Schwartz used the Partnership for the New Generation of Vehicles program as an example of the benefit from focusing on materials processing and affordability. The program's goal is to develop a car with up to three times the fuel efficiency of a current full-sized sedan without a major increase in car price. This presents a significant challenge for structural materials, which also have to be recyclable. As an added challenge, highly reliable parts will have to be produced at mass-production rates. Most of the other focus areas in CCIT also depend on materials such as, for example, aeronautics, electronics, and construction and building. Therefore, material and process equipment suppliers must be an integral part of the development process. NRC Committee Evaluation of Panel I The panel session, “Toward a Common Framework for Manufacturing Programs and Policies, ” was conducted as a plenary session, with all conference attendees seated theater-style. The panel was seated on the stage and the speakers spoke from a podium. Questions were taken at the end of the series of presentations. The NRC committee believes that the presentations very clearly articulated the organization and goals of the NSTC and the CCIT. However the following subjects were not addressed clearly enough for the purposes of most of the workshops: the origin of the manufacturing infrastructure framework and the rationale for the components of the framework. In addition, this session would have been more effective if (1) there had been coordination between these presentations and the industry presentations that followed and (2) if the conference attendees had better understood the organizers' expectations of the conference results. During the question and answer period, there was minimal response from the audience. The NRC committee perceives that this did not indicate lack of interest but rather resulted from the format of the session. The string of presentations did not provide any opportunity for discussion until all presentations were concluded. The NRC committee believes that the purpose of the conference was well stated in the conference program, but its larger mission was not. That is, the mission was to engage participants in seeking a
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology consensus manufacturing agenda that focuses efforts of government, industry, and academia on the most important needs. Many of the participants viewed the conference as informational and did not recognize that they had an active role to play in assessing and further refining the six component themes of the manufacturing infrastructure framework, five of which were defined by white papers. The NRC committee believes that the initial conference announcement should have informed the participants that they were expected to: confirm the validity and feasibility of the six manufacturing infrastructure components and suggest how they could be integrated and prioritized; or if shortcomings were found in the vision, suggest necessary modifications; or declare the vision inappropriate and indicate lack of support for the effort. Panel II Manufacturing Sector Needs and Issues The purpose of the second panel “Manufacturing Sector Needs and Issues” was to allow representatives from key industry sectors to identify their most important issues and needs within the CCIT subcommittee 's proposed manufacturing infrastructure framework. Seven sectors were represented: (1) aerospace, (2) food, (3) automotive, (4) electronics, (5) heavy equipment, (6) apparel and textiles, and (7) chemicals. The session was introduced by Aris Melissaratos, vice president of science, technology, and quality at the Westinghouse Science and Technology Center. Aerospace Sector James M. Sinnett, vice president and general manager of McDonnell Douglas Corporation's New Aircraft and Missile Products, presented an overview of the manufacturing technology needed by the aerospace sector in general, from the perspective of McDonnell Douglas. Sinnett said that the U.S. aerospace industry has been “living off its backlog” since 1991. The industry is currently focused on attaining:
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology affordability and profitability, even at low production rates (in the past, high-rate production required attention to recurring costs as the major cost drivers; however, in the current low production-rate environment, nonrecurring costs such as engineering and tooling are the drivers); global manufacturing leadership (applying flexible manufacturing, short product development cycles, and rapid technology implementation), even though U.S. companies often compete with nationalized industries; integrated industry teams and alliances (vertically within the supplier chain) that make full use of feature-based design, digital design databases, and product and process simulation; and, realistic appraisal of market risk. Food Sector Al Clausi, past president of the Institute of Food Technologists, presented an overview of the food sector's needs for manufacturing technology. He pointed out that food represents a $490 billion per year industry, of which the value added by processing is $145 billion. This makes food among the nation's largest industries. It is also in the top three industries for growth, according to Clausi. Clausi pointed out that most food equipment suppliers are now overseas, and a similar trend is occurring for suppliers of packaging materials. Whether a cause or effect of these trends, there has also been a decline in R&D in the United States supporting these areas. At the present time, federally supported research for the food industry is virtually nonexistent, and private R&D is about 0.5 percent of net sales. These data indicate a considerably lower amount of pro rata R&D for food than for the other manufacturing industries. For example, federal R&D is 1.1 percent of net sales for all manufacturing, and private R&D funding is 3.3 percent of net sales. Clausi mentioned that the industry has proposed a collaborative effort, called USFEAST, to improve the industry's R&D posture. However, since the industry has little prior experience in forming alliances and consortia, the start-up has been slow. Also, new professional societies in food technology may be needed. Some results have already been achieved. For instance, Rutgers University has established a research thrust in food technology. Clausi described three areas of significant interest to the entire industry:
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology Food safety. This area involves protection from microorganisms that are dangerous to humans. Sensor technology and predictive analysis of microbial behavior are key challenges. Industrial ecology. The food industry uses vast quantities of water at significant cost, and improvements in water management could greatly improve productivity. Also, there is a need to reduce the amount of solid waste produced. For example a laser potato peeler has reduced waste significantly. Food and health. The food industry must continue to develop products that support a healthy lifestyle and fulfill nutritional needs. Automotive Sector Frank J. Ewasyshyn, vice president of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering at Chrysler Corporation, presented the needs of the automotive sector. He described the industry's critical business metrics as quality, cost, and time to market. He emphasized that suppliers are now full-fledged members of the car companies' “platform teams.” Using the manufacturing infrastructure categories, he emphasized the following needs: Advanced systems. Continue to improve quality while decreasing cost and time to market. Keep the focus on satisfying customer needs. Product and process development. Employ a single, standard representation for the product, tooling, and process. Store information in a common database that is accessible to all specialists. Training and education. This is the most important investment that a company can make. The skill level of the workforce is the key to achieving a competitive edge, since anyone can now buy technology. Projects such as Focus: Hope and Wayne State University's Two Millimeter Reduction Program are examples of effective training programs. Process equipment. The automotive industry wants equipment that is 20 percent more capable, 20 percent more efficient, and 20 percent more productive. Deployment. The supplier base and the original equipment manufacturers must share a vision on advanced technology. Examples of industry and government –industry consortia
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology working to develop this shared vision on advanced technology include the Automotive Industry Action Group (data translation and hardware standards), Auto/Steel Partnership, the U.S. Council for Automotive Research, and PNGV. Ewasyshyn emphasized the importance of precompetitive research and consortia. He said that government programs need to (1) focus on high-risk technologies that have potential for high pay-off, (2) make use of industry input in establishing needs and priorities, (3) quantify benefits of potential developments, (4) measure performance throughout development efforts, and (5) assess the impact of regulatory processes on markets and affordability. Electronics Sector Mauro Walker, senior vice president and director of manufacturing at Motorola, Inc., described the manufacturing initiative in the electronics sector. He said that high-end electronics manufacturers are evolving toward consumer electronics. The particular strengths of the United States that the industry could draw on were characterized as: world-class basic science and information technology, largest and most advanced domestic market for electronics, and major supplier of semiconductors and semiconductor technology. Walker pointed out that the NEMI technology development plan focuses on technology for near-term deployment. The development and execution of the plan is being led by industry, since industry investors must be sure the technology will pay off before they commit large funds to deployment. Government funding has only been requested for projects that were considered high risk or involved a high cost to demonstrate the technology. Heavy Equipment Sector Richard Thompson, group president of Caterpillar, Inc., described the needs in the heavy equipment sector in terms of common themes, with the overall goal being to compete successfully against global
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology competition. Thompson highlighted the following industry-sector trends: Customer-driven technology. Customers are demanding a guaranteed cost of ownership. This includes improved equipment durability, reliability, and productivity. Lean manufacturing. Cellular manufacturing lines, just-in-time inventory, and statistical quality control allow the industry to reduce costs while improving the quality of their vehicles and equipment and to compete with aggressive foreign competitors. Modernized facilities and processes. The industry must stay at the cutting edge of manufacturing, such as computerized cellular manufacturing. Continuous improvement is necessary, not just a response to the competition. Knowledgeable workers. Everyone must work together to satisfy the customer; this requires that everyone understands customer needs and wants. Concurrent product-process development. Both the engineering function and the manufacturing function must work closely together with a customer focus. (Thompson said that Caterpillar has reduced the time required to introduce a new product by more than 50 percent—from 7 to 3 years—through concurrent product-process development. Advanced simulation capability. Virtual reality design tools that allow engineers to visualize the dynamic aspects of the application have been very useful. Company access to leading-edge facilities in academia has been very important; for instance, Caterpillar has made use of the supercomputer center at the University of Illinois. Supplier involvement. Suppliers are increasingly providing crucial manufacturing technologies; this trend is critical to continued technology growth and improved manufacturing expertise in the industry. Partnerships among government, industry, and academia. Bringing together an entire community of interest to tackle problems of mutual interest can result in rapid advances in manufacturing technology. For example, the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency's Precision Laser Machining Initiative and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Turbine Systems have been successful in involving key
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology companies and organizations so that implementation of technology is not unnecessarily delayed. Thompson said that priority manufacturing technology needs include (1) technology that reduces process variability, (2) standards for manufacturing systems that allow interchangeability, (3) new simulation tools for product-process combinations (including realistic costing models), (4) continuous advancements in core technologies, (5) access to world-class technology, and (6) free flow of information across national boundaries. Apparel and Textiles Sector Craig Long, director of quality at Milliken &Co., discussed the manufacturing technology needs of the apparel and textiles sector. This sector comprises a very large manufacturing base, accounting for 12 percent of all manufacturing jobs, 6 percent of gross domestic product, $4 billion in capital equipment investments each year, and $227 billion in consumer sales in 1993. Long mentioned that this segment experienced a large balance-of-trade deficit in 1994. Long said that product quality alone is not sufficient to be competitive in the current environment; costs must also be driven down and delivery times reduced. Companies have realized large productivity increases using high-speed machines (most of the equipment is manufactured overseas). The industry has found that the key to reducing time to market (i.e., responding to “consumer pull”) is accurate market forecasting and quick-response product development. Long emphasized that the industry is beginning to pull together to develop processes jointly. There is a DOE-industry partnership called AMTEX with eight projects underway, in which DOE participates through a cooperative research and development agreement. Projects include the use of information technology; flexible manufacturing; embedded electronic fingerprints (tags); and use of the information highway to track sales, to exchange product data, and to enable demand-activated manufacturing. Chemical Sector James D. Schoonover, director of operations at DuPont Co., gave a perspective on chemical-sector needs. He said that the most important
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology recent manufacturing breakthroughs have resulted from use of modeling, simulation, and process measurement. He emphasized the importance of business practices (i.e., “soft” technologies) in this industry. For instance, DuPont has reorganized into dedicated common project groups, known as strategic business units, to better serve their customers. Schoonover described the characteristics of a high-performance work team: principle-driven, common understanding of vision and mission, leadership, knowledge of customer needs and the effect of the work on the customer, team is part of the accepted management structure, and explicit obligation for teaching and learning—people and leadership development are most important. Schoonover said the primary government role in manufacturing technology was to provide a level playing field. NRC Committee Evaluation of Panel II The panel session on “Manufacturing Sector Needs and Issues” was organized as a plenary session, with the entire conference seated theater-style. The panel was seated on the stage and the speakers spoke from a podium. Questions were deferred until the end of the series of presentations. The seven industrial sectors represented a broad cross-section of the U.S. manufacturing economy. The different sectors provided the audience with an appreciation of the breadth of manufacturing and provided an opportunity to test the applicability of the six framework themes across disparate industry sectors. Each industry-sector representative took a somewhat different approach in identifying key issues and needs; many did not relate their needs to the manufacturing infrastructure framework. The representatives generally described issues of importance to their industry and their recent experiences and lessons learned; they did not necessarily attempt to speak for the entire industry sector. Most of the speakers were not specific regarding priorities. Because many of the
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology presentations did not relate to the white papers or manufacturing infrastructure, it was difficult for the participants to identify industry needs for discussion in the workshop sessions. The format was not conducive to eliciting comments from the conference participants. Since questions were deferred until the end of the session and time was limited, very little discussion occurred. The NRC committee believes that a major opportunity was missed to elicit comment and insight from the industry representatives. For instance, an expanded panel discussion with clearly stated objectives, possibly moderated by members of the first panel of speakers, could have drawn out the views of the representatives regarding the manufacturing infrastructure framework and how it aligns with their needs. The expanded panel discussion could have stimulated more questions, comments, and discussion from the other participants. The speakers' discussion of the role of government in addressing industry needs was inconsistent. Specific details on how industry and government should work together were generally lacking, other than a description of current programs and initiatives. Although the presenters did not always highlight the needs and issues, and attendees did not have a chance to comment or amplify on common needs, the NRC committee identified several common themes and trends from the industry presentations. These themes are discussed in Chapter 3. Manufacturing Infrastructure Workshops Concurrent workshop sessions were conducted to allow the participants to comment on the manufacturing infrastructure needs and priorities summarized in white papers that were available at the start of the conference (except for business practices). Summaries of the draft white papers are presented in Appendix C. Six concurrent workshops were held: advanced manufacturing systems, engineering tools for design and manufacturing, advanced manufacturing processes and equipment, manufacturing training and education, manufacturing deployment, and business practices. While each session was organized differently, there were some similarities among them. All sessions were cochaired by individuals who had been involved in the development of the white paper drafts and previous workshops (except for business practices, which met for the first time at this conference). There were industry and government
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology cochairs in each session. The workshop sessions began with presentations from the cochairs to introduce the contents of the white papers and to summarize critical issues. Attending a few of the sessions were invited speakers who helped to stimulate the discussions. Each workshop session was conducted somewhat differently, as discussed in the following sections. The results of each workshop were reported by one of the cochairs in a plenary wrap-up session at the end of the day. Advanced Manufacturing Systems The session on advanced manufacturing systems began with an overview by the cochairs (Michael J. Wozny, NIST, and Richard Engwall, Westinghouse) of the white paper, with their perspectives on how the paper was developed and how it could lead to a technology development plan. Gene Meieran of Intel gave an invited presentation on manufacturing system needs in the electronics industry; he emphasized the need for cross-cutting, precompetitive research in manufacturing systems. The stated objective of this session was to critique the white paper. The workshop broke into four groups to answer the following questions: Is the white paper adequately comprehensive and complete? Does it make sense? What are industry and community reactions? What areas should receive priority? What are key infrastructure issues that industry needs government seed to stimulate? What is the financial magnitude of the problem? Engineering Tools for Design and Manufacturing The workshop session on engineering tools for design and manufacturing was chaired by Joseph Erkes of GE and Peter Brown of NIST. This session was conducted in three parts: Peter Brown summarized the white paper, and Joseph Erkes highlighted portions that were particularly important from his industrial perspective.
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology A brainstorming session followed to identify the two most important issues to each participant, with special emphasis on components missing from the white paper. Government programs in this area were reviewed. Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Equipment The session on advanced manufacturing processes and equipment was chaired by Diane Bird of the U.S. Department of Energy and John DeCaire of the National Center for Manufacturing Science. The session started with an overview of the white paper, progress made toward identifying key issues for technology development planning, and a review of industry feedback resulting from the previous workshops. In an invited presentation, Richard Kegg of Cincinnati-Milacron described experiences in the machine tool industry and lessons learned in technology transfer. The workshop broke into five groups, each of which addressed the following objectives: Identify roles and high-priority areas that are appropriate for government, academia, and industry to focus on, emphasizing those roles for each that play to its strengths. Identify initiatives already underway in industry, government, and academia. Identify high-priority activities that need to be undertaken by government, industry, and academia, both individually and in partnership (if appropriate). Manufacturing Education and Training The session on manufacturing education and training began with presentations by those involved in preparing the white paper. Marshall Lih of the National Science Foundation reviewed the history and main points of the white paper; Don Schrage of Georgia Institute of Technology talked about the changes made as a result of the previous workshop; and Bruno Weinshel of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers highlighted two issues of particular prominence in the white paper: (1) treating education and training as an asset and
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology (2) apprenticeship. Following the session, the group was divided into smaller groups to discuss the action items proposed in the white paper. Manufacturing Deployment The session on manufacturing deployment was chaired by Aaron Leventhal of NIST and William Morin of the National Association of Manufacturers. The attendees were largely representatives of various manufacturing extension programs throughout the United States; there was little representation from industry. NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) mission statement was advanced as an introduction to the topic: “Strengthen the global competitiveness of smaller U.S.-based manufacturing firms.” The origin of the white paper was described briefly. Leventhal said that the paper would be updated to reflect the latest thinking. The workshop discussed an outline of a revised white paper. The focus of the workshop was on the MEP and did not consider deployment issues relevant to the other white paper areas. Examples of successful MEP and government agency collaborations with small and medium-sized companies were discussed. The workshop discussion emphasized the importance of continuing the MEP program and the most appropriate role of government support. Business Practices The cochairs of the business practices session were Michael McGrath of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency and Dale Hartman of the Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing International. This workshop was the first organized attempt to define the content for a white paper. The cochairs presented an overview of their perspectives on the development of a white paper covering business practices from an industry perspective (Hartman) and government perspective (McGrath). Stephen Goldman from Lehigh University's Agility Forum presented a perspective from academia in an invited talk. A more detailed summary of this session is presented in Appendix C. After the opening remarks, each workshop participant submitted at least three key business practice issues on 3×5 cards. These issues
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology were then categorized into three groups: (1) general business practices, (2) defining an agile customer and supplier, and (3) government regulatory environment and oversight. These issues are expected to help form the basis of the first draft of a white paper. NRC Committee Evaluation of the Manufacturing Infrastructure Workshops The workshop sessions addressed the specific elements of the manufacturing framework through discussions of the draft white papers that were available. Although the organization of each session was different, in general the open discussion of break-out groups provided opportunities for reasonable participation on the topics discussed. The use of extensive presentations to introduce white paper status and background and, in some cases, invited speakers to stimulate discussion may have limited the time available for workshop discussions. Also, the white papers should have been updated and mailed to the participants before the conference, so that the participants could have prepared for the discussions. The point was made in the previous day's panel presentations that the purpose of the workshop sessions was to comment on the manufacturing infrastructure framework and contribute needs and issues to the groups working on updating the white papers. However, these objectives were not well reinforced in many of the workshops. The result was that there was a disconnect between the panel discussions of the first day and the workshop sessions of the second day. Because there was little review of the previous day' s activities and limited time for discussion, the manufacturing infrastructure framework and the interactions and overlap between its component areas, for the most part, were not addressed. While the workshops yielded many issues and ideas, limited time was available to discuss or prioritize them. The discussion and assessments were dependent on the interest levels of the conference participants who chose to attend a particular workshop. Attendance at the workshops was purely voluntary; no attempt was made to balance the affiliations or number of participants between the different workshop sessions. Therefore, a balanced industrywide perspective was not achieved. During the wrap-up plenary session, the workshop session chairs summarized the principal issues and ideas that came up at their respective workshops and described their impact on the white papers.
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Evaluation of the Second National Conference on Manufacturing Technology However the relevance of these issues must be carefully weighed against the demographics of the participants. Elements of a Common Manufacturing Agenda The identification of issues and elements to contribute to the development of a common manufacturing agenda and development plan was stated as an ultimate goal for the conference. However, the panels and workshop sessions did not directly address this issue. The organization of the workshops allowed for the generation of ideas, but did not allow for the categorizing and prioritizing of ideas that would be necessary to contribute to a development plan. The workshop chairs had very little time to extract the relevant issues, integrate them into the white papers, and suggest elements for future planning activities. Given the time available for the workshops, it would have been reasonable to expect group consensus on a prioritized list of issues only if the attendees were already familiar with the white papers. It should not be expected, however, that a large group could develop technology development plans during a relatively brief workshop.
Representative terms from entire chapter: