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EL Highlights for September 2012

Programmatic/Technical Accomplishments

Industry Takes HEED to Work with NIST on Harmonization of Interoperability Standards

Fiatech, an industry consortium, launched a new project, Harmonizing Industry Standards to Exchange Equipment Data (HEED), to advance the use of electronic data exchange and new capabilities for performance and margin management of equipment included in mechanical systems. NIST is providing key technical leadership and developing test models through the Engineering Laboratory's Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications (SIMCA) program that will be used by the HEED stakeholders.  Staff from HEED and SIMCA's project, Collaborative Requirements Engineering, will work to develop and demonstrate new methods and tools that enable interoperability and model-based systems engineering. 

Fiatech is an international community of stakeholders working together to lead global development and adoption of innovative practices and technologies to realize the highest business value throughout the life cycle of capital assets  - make step-change improvement in the design, engineering, construction, and maintenance of large capital assets.

Contact:  Mark Palmer, 301-975-5858


NIST Builds and Validates "Gold-Standard" for Network Performance Testing

EL researcher Jim Gilsinn has built the "gold standard"  for network performance testing Ethernet-networked systems by creating a series of background traffic datasets and automated scripts for testing performance. These testing tools respond to high-priority needs defined in the EtherNet/IP Interoperability Test Plan maintained by members of the ODVA industry association. The datasets were generated using NIST's network packet generator and have the high precision and extremely low variability (on the order of a few microseconds) required for testing. NIST staff analyzed and validated these datasets using the NIST Industrial Ethernet Network Performance (IENetP) Test Tool. In addition, automated scripts were generated, documented, and validated to create the background traffic needed for performance testing of these systems. Vendors of Ethernet/IP based products, such as factory networks, equipment control systems, and integrated sensor networks, need these tools to test their products in a standardized way, resulting in higher-performing and more secure products for industrial end-users.

Contact: Jim Gilsinn, (301) 975-3865

NIST Builds and Validates "Gold-Standard" for Network Performance Testing

EL researcher Jim Gilsinn has built the "gold standard"  for network performance testing Ethernet-networked systems by creating a series of background traffic datasets and automated scripts for testing performance. These testing tools respond to high-priority needs defined in the EtherNet/IP Interoperability Test Plan maintained by members of the ODVA industry association. The datasets were generated using NIST's network packet generator and have the high precision and extremely low variability (on the order of a few microseconds) required for testing. NIST staff analyzed and validated these datasets using the NIST Industrial Ethernet Network Performance (IENetP) Test Tool. In addition, automated scripts were generated, documented, and validated to create the background traffic needed for performance testing of these systems. Vendors of Ethernet/IP based products, such as factory networks, equipment control systems, and integrated sensor networks, need these tools to test their products in a standardized way, resulting in higher-performing and more secure products for industrial end-users.

Contact: Jim Gilsinn, (301) 975-3865

 

Impact of NIST Research and Services

Quality Measurement Standard Showcased at Manufacturing Technology Show

Following months of planning and several years of standards development, NIST researchers and industry members of the Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium (DMSC) publically demonstrated use of the new Quality Information Framework (QIF) information exchange standards. NIST contributions to QIF information modeling, validation testing, and verification testing were vital to the success of the demonstrations.In particular, EL researchers Bill Rippey and John Horst contributed to the standards development, as well as the planning and execution of the demonstrations at IMTS. The QIF standards improve the productivity of quality assurance processes by streamlining and automating the flow of quality information across systems provided by different vendors. Demonstrations of interoperable exchange of quality measurement information among the dimensional measurement systems and equipment from seven different vendors were provided twice daily during the 2012 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) held at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago from September 10-15. More than 100,000 visitors attended IMTS and the DMSC booth had good attendance throughout the event. To prepare this demonstration, seven competing vendors of metrology software and equipment worked together to verify the correctness and completeness of the QIF standard and the vendor implementations of QIF. An aerospace application for first article inspection was chosen to showcase the new QIF standards at IMTS. At the opening of the IMTS event, EL researchers Fred Proctor and John Horst spoke with Department of Commerce Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank to highlight the objectives and activities of the EL Smart Manufacturing programs and to describe the QIF information exchange demonstrations with the DMSC partners. Video of the QIF demonstration at IMTS can be viewed online at http://youtu.be/_-XlTjG6_6w.

Contact: John Horst, (301) 975-3430 or Bill Rippey, (301) 975-3417

Interactions

Lee Co-Chairs International Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization

EL researcher Kang Lee chaired the 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization (ISPCS) for Measurement, Control, and Communication held in San Francisco, CA on September 24-28. NIST was the co-chair of the symposium organized by the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society. The symposium consisted of two parts – the interoperability "Plugfest" and the technical conference. About 170 international participants from 23 countries attended the conference and exchanged research results on precision clock synchronization. During the Plugfest, 40 organizations (including NIST) performed interoperability testing and demonstrated hardware and software implementations based on the IEEE 1588 standard for precision clock synchronization(adopted as IEC 61588). A notable system implementation presented at the conference is known as the CERN "White Rabbit" project. In this effort, the Precision Time Protocol (known world-wide as PTP) defined by the IEEE 1588 standard enabled sub-nanosecond synchronization and determinism of accelerator control through precisely-timed data transfer from 4000 sensing devices. Several industry sectors have adopted the PTP, including aerospace, industrial automation, power and utility, semiconductor, telecommunications, test and measurement, financial, and defense communities. A special session was conducted at ISPCS to obtain industry input for future revisions to PTP and the IEEE 1588 standard. Kang's research to develop and test the IEEE 1588 standard with industry partners helps to improve the performance of manufacturing systems through precision time stamping of sensor data for synchronizing factory equipment network operations.

Contact: Kang Lee, (301) 975-6604

 

Interactions

Schlenoff Chairs UBICOMP Workshop on Ubiquitous Robotics

EL researcher Craig Schlenoff co-chaired a workshop titled Ubiquitous Robotics at the 14th ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP) held in Pittsburgh, PA on September 8. U.S. manufacturers face major challenges to implement new robot safety and human-robot collaboration capabilities, so the need to bring these communities together to address joint challenges was paramount. The workshop successfully facilitated discussions among the ubiquitous computing, robotics, and human-computer interaction communities and built connections that strengthen relationships among these groups. Approximately ten technical presentations were given, along with invited presentations from high-level representatives from the Advanced Agent-Robotics Technology Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Microsoft Research Connections, and ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs. The technical papers focused on several joint challenges, including intention recognition in collaborative human-robot industrial environments and standard ontology-based approaches to human-robot communication in a manufacturing work cell. Workshop results will be published in mid-2013 in a special issue of Robotics and Autonomous Systems Journal (Elsevier), with Craig and two other workshop co-chairs serving as guest editors of the special issue.

Contact: Craig Schlenoff, (301) 975-3456