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EL Highlights December 2015

EL Highlights December 2015

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Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment

EL Keys New Version of QIF Standard Released by Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium

At the recent Quality Information Framework (QIF) Summit, a new version of the QIF standard (v2.1) was approved by members of the Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium (DMSC). NIST staff contributed substantively to the development, testing, and review of QIF version 2.1. QIF 2.1 is a tightly integrated set of standard digital information models that enable efficient, accurate, cost-effective, and traceable exchange of quality data on the manufacturing shop floor.

The normative elements of QIF 2.1 include eight text Parts, 22 XML schema files, and 22 data dictionary files. The NIST Engineering Laboratory's Digital Thread for Smart Manufacturing (DT4SM) project played a leading role in developing QIF 2.1. EL researchers John Horst, Hui-Min Huang, and Tom Kramer participated directly in creating QIF 2.1 – by contributing to QIF working groups, serving as authors and editors of text Parts, generating the data dictionaries, and serving as principal editor of several of the XML schema files. In addition, the major expansion of the QIF measurement resources model contained in QIF 2.1 was drafted by researchers at UNC Charlotte through a cooperative agreement with NIST's DT4SM project.

The DMSC is a global, not-for-profit community of manufacturers, industry leaders, and solution providers focused on providing rich and usable information models for the entire manufacturing quality measurement activity.

Contact (s): John Horst, (301) 975-3430; Hui-Min Huang, (301) 975-3541

EL Launches Global City Teams Challenge 2016

More than 350 municipal officials, technological innovators, and government leaders from across the globe gathered in NIST's Red Auditorium in Gaithersburg for the Global City Teams Challenge 2016 (GCTC 2016) Kickoff Workshop on November 12-13, 2015. In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director of Laboratory Programs, highlighted the shared challenge of "applying Internet of Things technologies to solve specific problems that will improve the quality of life for the residents of your communities." Many others joined the event via webcast and satellite Kickoff events in Chicago, Raleigh, and Toronto.

The program featured plenary presentations by 27 speakers representing industry, non-profits, academia, and government agencies. A video of those plenary presentations and plenary speakers' presentation slides are available online.

The real heart of the program, however, took place in five breakout rooms where participants built teams and began the development of Action Clusters. By the end of the workshop, 16 teams had been formed, and they each made a five-minute presentation during the report-out session. Projects were proposed in a number of smart city areas, from "an intelligent system to enable connected vehicles" to "wayfinding for first responders" to "IoT-based healthcare services." In the weeks and months ahead, new members will join existing Action Clusters, and new projects will be initiated. Earlier this fall, the Global City Teams Challenge for 2016 had been formally announced at the White House Smart Cities Forum as part of the Administration's New Smart Cities initiative. For additional information on the Global City Teams Challenge and its many participants, please visit the program's websites at and at

Contact(s): Sokwoo Rhee 301-975-6325


EL and MEP Workshop Brings Together Small Manufacturers and Collaborative Robots

Small manufacturers typically have not been able to benefit from incorporating robots into their operations due to high technical and financial hurdles that come along with traditional robots. A new generation of collaborative robots promises to reduce some of these burdens. But there are still many remaining challenges for small manufacturers to successfully adopt new technologies like robots. NIST's Engineering Laboratory (EL) partnered with the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to organize and conduct a workshop focused on the special needs of small manufacturers with respect to robotic systems. The Collaborative Robotics Workshop: Advantages and Challenges for Small Manufacturers was held on October 7 at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD. Among the fifty-four participants were almost two dozen small manufacturers, representatives from several MEP centers, systems integrators, robot developers, and robotics researchers from the EL Intelligent Systems Division.

The day-long workshop's presentations included perspectives from systems integrators, small manufacturers, and the research front. Facilitated table-top discussions were used to draw information from small manufacturers on topics such as what task they would want robots to perform in their company, the best means for them to learn more about robots and whether their facility could benefit from them, and what has kept them from using robots thus far. To encourage further dialog and collaboration, the EL Robotic Systems for Smart Manufacturing (RSSM) Program and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership provided presentations on how the attendees could partner with NIST or have an ongoing engagement on the topic of robotic systems adoption. The workshop was rounded out with an optional tour the next day of some of the RSSM Labs, where the visitors had extensive opportunities to interact with the researchers and see several advanced robotic systems in action. Intelligent Systems Division staff providing demonstrations and answering questions included Jeremy Marvel, Rick Norcross, Roger Bostelman, Joe Falco, and Karl Van Wyk.

EL staff will continue to work closely with Dave Stieren and Samm Bowman of MEP, and their support contractor, Ellen Sweeney of IMC, on a publicly-available report for the workshop results and on follow-on interactions with MEP centers and small manufacturers. The public web site for this event includes the attendee list, presentation slides, and agenda:

Contact(s): Elena Messina 301-975-3510, Jeremy Marvel 301-975-4592, Lisa Fronczek 301-975-6633

EL Provides Leadership in Coordination of Additive Manufacturing Standards

EL researchers Shawn Moylan, Alkan Donmez, Brandon Lane, and Paul Witherell contributed to the "Technology Exchange on Coordination of U.S. Standards Development for Additive Manufacturing" held at Penn State University on October 7 and 8. With the increase in interest, research, and implementation of additive manufacturing (AM) in industry has come an increase in the need for standards, as well as an increase in the number of standards developing organizations (SDOs) looking to issue AM standards. Just within the past several months, multiple SDOs have formed committees and started working on standards focused on additive manufacturing.

The first day of this two-day workshop featured presentations from four SDOs currently working on AM standards: ASTM International's Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing and Committee E7 on Nondestructive Testing, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee Y14.46 on Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing for Additive Manufacturing, SAE International's Aerospace Material Specifications (AMS) for Additive Manufacturing (AMS-AM) Committee, and the American Welding Society (AWS) Committee D20 on Additive Manufacturing. As Vice-Chair of the Committee, Paul Witherell presented an overview of the ASME Y14.46 committee. The second day featured presentations and a panel discussion from key AM standards stakeholders and regulatory agencies, as well as breakout sessions focused on (1) Coordination of U.S. Standards and (2) Qualification and Certification.

Among the presentations by key stakeholders, Shawn Moylan presented the "NIST Perspective on AM Standards." This presentation featured several recommendations to enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration among AM users, standards bodies, and regulatory agencies, including recommendations for liaisons between committees at several levels and a proposed new structure for AM standards. Few other presentations made concrete recommendations, further demonstrating the need for NIST's leadership in the area of AM standards. Feedback on the recommendations given in the NIST Perspective has been all positive. As a next step in the coordination, it was agreed that America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, would convene a smaller working meeting of SDOs and key stakeholders to continue the dialog. That meeting will be hosted by NIST in mid-January.

Contact(s): Shawn Moylan, (301) 975-4352; Kevin Jurrens, (301) 975-5486

EL Research Presented at Prognostics and Health Management Society Conference

EL researchers Brian Weiss and Greg Vogl represented NIST's Prognostics, Health Management, and Control (PHMC) project while EL researcher Jeremy Marvel represented NIST's Performance of Collaborative Robot Systems project at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) Society held in Coronado, CA on October 18-24. This conference brought together "the global community of PHM experts from industry, academia, and government in diverse application areas such as energy, aerospace, transportation, automotive, and industrial automation." The conference included parallel technical sessions, panel discussions, hands-on demonstrations of PHM technologies, luminary speakers, and a doctoral symposium. Collectively, Brian, Greg, and Jeremy presented two research papers, participated on two panels, chaired a third panel, chaired two technical sessions, and were contributors to three other research papers. This included:

  • Greg presented the research paper "A Sensor-based Method for Diagnostics of Machine Tool Linear Axes" which he co-authored with Brian and Alkan Donmez (NIST). The paper outlines a sensor-based method to quickly estimate the degradation of linear axes of machine tools, as well as use of the NIST Linear Axis Testbed for verification and validation (V&V) of the new method.
  • Brian presented the research paper "Measurement Science for Prognostics and Health Management for Smart Manufacturing Systems: Key Findings from a Roadmapping Workshop" which he co-authored with Greg, Moneer Helu (NIST), Helen Qiao (NIST), Joan Pellegrino (Energetics), Mauricio Justiniano (Energetics), and Anand Raghunathan (Energetics).
  • Brian participated on the Standards panel where he presented NIST's perspective on the existing and needed standards for smart manufacturing. In addition to contributing to the overall panel discussion, Brian was invited by the panel chair to collaborate on a document highlighting the existing standards challenges in manufacturing.
  • Brian chaired the Smart Manufacturing panel where Jeremy was a participant. Jeremy discussed the current state of PHM within the industrial robotics community and highlighted areas that could benefit from increased robotics PHM.
  • Brian chaired the technical session Manufacturing I that featured papers from NIST, the Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems, and the University College (Cork, Ireland).
  • Greg chaired the technical session Manufacturing II that featured papers from NIST, the University of Virginia, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore (Indore, India).
  • Jeremy and Brian were co-authors on three papers that were presented by their collaborators from the University of Virginia, including: "Adaptive Multi-Scale PHM for Robotic Assembly Processes," "Linear Temporal Logic (LTL) Based Monitoring of Smart Manufacturing Systems," and "System Interdependency Modeling in the Design of Prognostic and Health Management Systems in Smart Manufacturing."

NIST's involvement has been well-received in this event and Brian has been selected to lead the Panel Session Committee for next year's annual conference scheduled for October 2016 in Colorado. Brian has already begun planning for next year's panels, including the exploration of robotics, machining, and wireless panels.

Contact(s): Brian Weiss, (301) 975-4373; Greg Vogl, (301) 975-3198

EL Holds Manufacturing-centric Special Session at IEEE BigData 2015 Conference

"From Data to Insight: Big Data and Analytics for Advanced Manufacturing Systems" was the theme of NIST's special session at the IEEE BigData 2015 Conference. Organized and executed by researchers from EL as well as Stanford University, Northeastern University, and Bosch, the two-day session focused on pressing issues in research, implementation technology, and interoperability and standards for big data in advanced manufacturing. Major topics were 1) Model-based approaches for manufacturing system with data analytics capabilities, 2) Business best practices and big data applications for advanced manufacturing Systems, and 3) Information and communications technology infrastructure, standards, and protocols. About 70 internationally diverse participants (over 40% from Industry) received keynote, technical paper, and poster presentations, and interacted with panels on "Research, Technology, and Development Challenges and Deployment" and "Industry Use Cases, Standards,, and Best Practices."

Contact(s): Sudarsan Rachuri 301-975-4264


EL's Shawn Moylan Receives 2015 Distinguished Collaborator Award from America Makes

EL researcher Shawn Moylan received the 2015 Distinguished Collaborator Award from America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. This year's award was issued to members of the America Makes Roadmap Advisory Group, which Shawn has contributed to since its inception in 2014. The award trophy is a unique, additively-manufactured structure with an embossed plaque that reads "In recognition of exceptional commitment and dedication to advancing additive manufacturing technology, practices, and innovation." The award was presented at the America Makes Program Review and Members Meeting on November 18 in Youngstown, OH.

Contact: Shawn Moylan, (301) 975-4352

EL's Shao Awarded 2015 Winter Simulation Conference Committee's Distinguished Service Award as Board Liaison

During the 2015 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) held in Huntington Beach, CA, December 6-9, Guodong Shao was awarded for his distinguished service as Board Liaison by the 2015 Winter Simulation Conference Committee. Dr. Shao's role was to maintain the critical connection between the Board of Directors and the Conference Committee. This included participating in committee teleconferences, providing guidance and planning assistance to the committee, and contributing to the overall organization and execution of the successful 2015 Winter Simulation Conference. Guodong has been a board member since 2009, and has served in prior leadership roles as Secretary (2012), Vice Chair (2013), and Chair (2014). The Board Liaison position distinguishes Shao as serving prior years in these leadership roles. This year's Conference theme centered around social and behavioral simulation. With more than 1,600 members and 25 tracks to choose from, WSC is the annual premier international forum for disseminating recent advances in the field of system simulation. This year's WSC was held in conjunction with the Modeling and Analysis for Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference.

Contact(s): Kevin Lyons

Created February 12, 2016, Updated September 21, 2016