To conduct its workshop on evolving paradigms for design and manufacturing, the Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure (DMMI) standing committee organized a workshop planning committee to identify workshop topics, agenda items, speakers, and guests. The DMMI standing committee is organized under the auspices of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and with the sponsorship of Reliance 21, a group of professionals that was established in the Department of Defense (DoD) sciences and technology community to increase awareness of DoD science and technology activities and improve coordination among DoD services, components, and agencies.
The workshop was held at the Keck Center of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, D.C., on September 24-25, 2015. Approximately 30 people, including speakers, members of the DMMI standing committee, Reliance 21, invited guests, and members of the public, participated in the two-day workshop to discuss ways to lower costs and shorten production time in defense systems while bringing materials and manufacturing alternatives into the tradespace.
The workshop was organized into two sessions: (1) Modeling Frameworks That Fit the Defense Materials, Design, and Manufacturing Tradespace and (2) Changing the Design Paradigm. Within these two sessions, individual speakers gave presentations on related topics and answered questions from workshop participants. Also during these sessions, two panel discussions were held focusing on (1) Uncertainty and Change Propagation in Modeling and (2) High Leverage on Cost, Schedule, Performance, and Adaptability Metrics.
To assist the reader, recurring themes from the workshop are summarized here. These recurring themes represent discussion items that were addressed by multiple speakers or participants during the course of the workshop; they were identified for this summary by the workshop rapporteur, not by the workshop participants. The recurring themes are as follows:
- Adoption of new design tools,
- Digitization of data,
- Collaboration of diverse communities,
- Integration and empowerment of the person in the design process,
- Use of adaptable systems, and
- Characterization of materials.
After briefly describing each recurring theme in this overview, the workshop presentations and discussions are summarized. Appendix A contains the statement of task for the workshop, Appendix B lists the workshop participants, and Appendix C contains the workshop agenda.
This report is a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the summary are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of the workshop participants as a whole, the planning committee, or the National Academies.
Adoption of New Design Tools
Many of the speakers introduced different tools and methods that can be used to improve the balance of cost, performance, schedule, and adaptability metrics. Kristen Baldwin, Principal Deputy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering, DoD, shared some of the programs that the DoD has implemented in order to further model-based systems engineering: one such program is the Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments (CREATE), which looks at ways to use physics-based modeling for the acquisition process. Simon Goerger, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, focused on the use of high-performance computing, tradespace analytics, additive manufacturing, and advanced modeling to make better defense decisions in constantly changing environments. Steve Cornford, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, encouraged participants to adopt full-breadth modeling for better simulations and systematic changes. James
Guest, Johns Hopkins University, introduced the idea of topology optimization as a design tool grounded in mathematical algorithms that can be used to create a structure from scratch while factoring in things like cost models in order to make better decisions. Raul Radovitzky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discussed methods for and challenges of modeling material failure in terms of scalability, dimensionality, and coding. Kyu Cho, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, supported the integration of materials and manufacturing technologies to better protect soldiers. Johan de Kleer, Palo Alto Research Center, introduced self-aware systems that can maintain their own models and can examine and make adjustments to achieve desired outcomes.
Digitization of Data
A central theme of the workshop consisted of the notion that data should be converted to digital form so as to be more widely and efficiently used. Baldwin pointed out that a data-intensive environment enhances modeling opportunities where data can be collected and carried through each phase of the process, but it also presents challenges such as data security that must be anticipated. As a result, protecting systems while still enhancing performance remains a primary objective for DoD. Goerger also emphasized the importance of data security as he introduced the notion of the “trust factor.” He stated that if data is to be used by and shared throughout defense systems, users must trust that the data is both reliable and secure. The Army’s Engineered Resilient Systems (ERS) program has goals to continue using an open architecture and share data readily between communities while still protecting intellectual property and maintaining a high level of security. With this data, ERS can improve life cycle modeling and operational testing, for example. Pamela Kobryn, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, highlighted the importance of archived digital systems during her talk. She introduced the Digital Thread,1 which enables the interplay of technical data to be better used for simulations. Data accessibility and usability is crucial, she explained, if the Digital Thread is to be successful for acquisition program decision making.
Collaboration of Diverse Communities
Another important topic discussed by multiple speakers focused on the diversity of communities involved in systems engineering. Materials and manufacturing communities, for example, use different processes and languages in their fields. However, these communities will need to be able to communicate and work
1 The Digital Thread is the creation and use of a digital surrogate of a materiel system to allow dynamic, real-time assessment of the system’s current and future capabilities.
together to advance model-based engineering. Baldwin noted that DoD wants to improve cross-disciplinary communication so that the engineering design model can be integrated with the operational model. Cornford introduced the idea of using an “ontology” instead of a taxonomy so that multiple experts can be looking at, understanding, and communicating about a model simultaneously. With this level of interaction, changes to the system can be made more quickly and more accurately.
The ontology can be seen as “a formal naming and definition of the types, properties, and interrelationships of the entities that really or fundamentally exist for a particular domain of discourse.” As a comparison one could say that having an ontology is similar to having a sentence with verbs and nouns, whereas a taxonomy would be compared to having a sentence containing only nouns. The ontology thus allows designers to talk about types of components, their properties, and their functions, as well as how the three relate to one another.
Integration and Empowerment of the Person in the Design Process
While much of the conversation around systems-based engineering focused on the materials and processes used to develop complex systems, a number of the speakers emphasized that people and the tools they have access to are essential components in both design and manufacturing. Because of this, newly developed models should be empowering to people. Matthew R. Begley, University of California, Santa Barbara, also noted that design relies too much on human involvement to evaluate the space and make decisions without ideal analysis tools.
Use of Adaptable Systems
As designers and engineers consider improving defense capabilities for the future, an important question arises: Can new technologies simply be inserted into existing platforms? Paul Collopy, University of Huntsville, Alabama, and Goerger emphasized that transforming the supply chain and injecting new technologies into existing modular systems substantially shortens the process from operational, to concept demonstration, to deployment. A. Galip Ulsoy, University of Michigan, discussed his concept of reconfigurable manufacturing, which relies on the notion that manufacturing systems can be altered in response to changing environmental circumstances, such as market demand, by adding or removing singular parts within a machine. Such a strategy reduces time in both the design and production phases. Begley also spoke about using virtual simulation to better understand and predict material properties, which can then be used to develop new materials.
Characterization of Materials
In light of model-based engineering objectives, a few of the speakers focused on the attention that should be paid to the characterization of materials. Rosario A. Gerhardt, Georgia Institute of Technology, said that multiple tests need to be used because materials respond differently depending on their components and their environment. Models can then be used to corroborate characterization techniques to validate analysis.
WORKSHOP INTRODUCTION: WELCOME AND MEETING OBJECTIVES
Michael F. McGrath, chair of the DMMI standing committee, welcomed participants to the Workshop on 21st Century Paradigm Change in Performance and Design Metrics.
McGrath explained that this workshop would be a bit different from other National Academies activities, such as consensus studies, in that a rapporteur would generate a summary based on what was said over the course of the two days; no findings and recommendations would be made. He reminded participants that, in order to do this, all conversations throughout the workshop would be recorded and later summarized in this written document. He encouraged active participation among those in attendance. McGrath noted that prior workshops in this particular series published summaries, and these summaries are available for download from the National Academies Press. These summaries focused on such topics as materials and manufacturing capabilities for sustaining defense systems,2 novel processes for advanced manufacturing,3 big data in materials research and development,4 limited affordable low-volume manufacturing,5 materials state awareness,6 and lightweighting through materials.7
2 National Research Council (NRC), 2013, Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems: A Summary of a Workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
3 NRC, 2013, Novel Processes for Advanced Manufacturing: A Summary of a Workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
4 NRC, 2014, Big Data in Materials Research and Development: A Summary of a Workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
5 NRC, 2014, Limited Affordable Low-Volume Manufacturing: A Summary of a Workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
6 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2015, Applying Materials State Awareness to Condition-Based Maintenance and System Life Cycle Management: A Summary of a Workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
7 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018, Combat Vehicle Weight Reduction by Materials Substitution: Proceedings of a Workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
Because this workshop takes a systems-level approach, McGrath asked participants to explore issues like how to bend the cost and schedule curve to advance defense systems programs. McGrath said that he participated several years ago in a review of DoD Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program,8 but that was only the beginning of such a conversation. With this workshop, it is important for people to think on a much larger scale in order to make a difference.
Before introducing the keynote speaker, McGrath stated that the objective of the workshop is to understand how to better couple optimization at the materials-development level (micro-scale) with optimization at the systems level (macro-scale), as well as to identify which tools, technologies, and methods will make this possible. The metrics of such an understanding are cost, schedule, performance, reliability, quality, and adaptability. Though McGrath admitted that these metrics are affected by acquisition practices, acquisition would not be the central focus of the workshop. McGrath explained that the agenda, primarily focused on systems engineering, would begin with a high-level discussion of modeling frameworks; would progress to a deeper, more technical discussion of modeling issues relating to uncertainty and change propagation; and would return to a high-level conversation in the final panel discussion.
8 The ManTech Program has served as DoD’s investment mechanism for defense manufacturing for the past 50 years.