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EL Highlights March 2013

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Engineering Laboratory's Mark Palmer Awarded Fiatech STAR Award
Mark Palmer of the Engineering Laboratory (EL), was presented Fiatech's Superior Technical Achievement Recognition (STAR) award during Fiatech's meeting held in San Antonio, TX the week of March 26, 2013.  Palmer was recognized for his dedication and achievements in advancing technology and innovation in the capital projects industry.  Fiatech's STAR Award recognizes annually the personal contributions of Fiatech members who have given immensely of their own time and energy to help Fiatech achieve its vision.  Palmer, Group Leader of the Processing Engineering Group within EL's Systems Integration Division, has been involved with Fiatech since its inception and continues to lead the quest for interoperability.  He has been involved in many Fiatech projects, including procurement exchange standards and data handover guides.  He currently leads the Harmonizing Industry Standards to Exchange Equipment Data (HEED) project and contributes to the Capturing Equipment Data Requirements Using ISO 15926 and Assessing Conformance (EDRC) project.

Fiatech is an international consortium that leads global development and adoption of innovative practices and technologies to realize the highest business value throughout the life cycle of capital assets.  Fiatech was founded in 2000, from a partnership between NIST and the Construction Industry Institute, a research center at the University of Texas at Austin.
  For more information, please refer to Fiatech's press release, "STAR Recipients Shine Bright at Fiatech Conference.

Contact: Vijay Srinivasan, (301)975-3508
  Category: Recognition

Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment

EL Presents Research Results at Fiatech Technology Conferences
Peter Denno and Mark Palmer made multiple presentations at the annual Fiatech Technology Conference (March 2013) to disseminate research results from NIST's Systems Integration for Manufacturing and Construction Applications' Collaborative Requirements Engineering (CRE) project.  These results included demonstrations of new methods and tools for testing the evolving ISO 15926 standard titled "Industrial automation systems and integration — Integration of life-cycle data for process plants including oil and gas production facilities".  Over 300 people from 23 countries attended the conference.  The NIST presentations explained the key insights from the CRE project's 2012 work with companies that have encountered challenges in attempting to implement and deploy the process plant standard. The details of this work are documented in NISTIR 7919 "Modeling and Conformance Testing for the Engineering Information Integration Standard ISO 15926."  This report provides the basis to advance the industry's understanding of key topics that should be addressed to achieve broad use of ISO 15926 including Domain Conceptual Models, Validation and Conformance Testing, and a Roadmap for the Infrastructure & Standardization of ISO 15926.  U.S. manufacturing and software companies at the Fiatech conference expressed strong support for the NIST recommendations and committed new resources to work with the Fiatech CRE project.

Contact:  Mark Palmer, (301)975-5858
  Category:  Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment


Industry-Driven Manufacturing Product Standards' Meeting Co-Sponsored by NIST
The Engineering Laboratory co-sponsored the Spring 2013 PDES, Inc. Offsite meeting at the Gaithersburg, MD Hilton from March 11 - 15, 2013.  Over 80 representatives from industry and government attended the meeting to participate in manufacturing standards development and implementation projects.  NIST is a founding member of PDES Inc., with participating staff from EL's Systems Integration and Intelligent Systems Divisions.  Highlights of the March meeting featured contributions of EL staff to international standardization efforts that complemented collaborative PDES projects.  EL staff led a workshop on additive manufacturing and presented NIST research results on additive manufacturing, including quality test artifact and material property tests.  EL also led a workshop on composites design information standards. The goal of this workshop was to begin developing a roadmap for composites information standards.  The workshop included a demonstration to representatives from several industry forums on the EL STEP File Analyzer, and an EL-developed software tool for determining entity coverage of STEP exchange files.

Contact: Josh Lubell, (301)975-3563
  Category: Interaction

EL Studies CO Emission and Exposure Resulting from Operating Portable Generators Indoors
EL recently completed a study that measured and modeled CO emission and exposure, and O2 depletion, resulting from portable generators operating in a home's attached garage under various use and environmental conditions. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is concerned about the hazard of acute residential carbon monoxide (CO) exposures from portable gasoline powered generators that can result in death or serious and/or lasting adverse health effects in exposed individuals. As of April 2012, CPSC databases contain records of at least 755 deaths from CO poisoning associated with consumer use of generators in the period of 1999 through 2011. Typically, these deaths occur when consumers use a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space or outdoors near an open door, window or vent, and they often occur after severe weather events such as hurricanes and ice or snow storms. The EL study, published in NIST Technical Note 1781, included both an experimental effort, in which generators were operated in both a single-zone test shed and in the attached garage of a multizone test house, and a computer simulation phase, in which the EL-developed CONTAM indoor air quality simulation program was used to extend the measurement results to other scenarios. The EL results enable CSPC staff to analyze the safety implications of operating a portable generator under multiple conditions.

Contact:  Steven Emmerich, (301)975-6459
  Category:  Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment

New Standards Group Formed for Characterizing the Performance of Ultra-Precision Positioning Systems
  EL researcher Ronnie Fesperman recently led an industry group to create an ASME B5 working group to address ultra-precision positioning systems. Specifically, this working group will develop a new performance testing standard to evaluate the performance of new ultra-precision positioning systems that will enable the development of advanced manufacturing applications. New ultra-precision linear and angular positioning systems, with positioning resolutions on the order of a nanometer and a micro-radian, respectively, are finding their way into emerging micro- and nanotechnology applications, including in the areas of photovoltaic manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, life sciences and medical systems, and telecommunications. Accurate knowledge of positioning performance is critical to select the appropriate positioning system(s) for a given use. These measurements are challenging, however, because the performance of ultra-precision positioning systems is approaching the uncertainty of existing measuring devices. Without standard test methods, many manufactures and users of these systems have begun to develop their own internal methods and standards for characterizing the system performance, leading to further confusion for U.S. manufacturers. Ronnie Fesperman was selected to lead the new standards working group to develop a draft standard for performance characterization of single-axis, ultra-precision positioning systems by the end of 2014 and multi-axis, ultra-precision positioning systems by the end of 2015. Since the March meeting at NIST, 22 additional small and large organizations have expressed interest to join this standards development.

Contact: Ronnie Fesperman, (301) 975-3620
  Category: Interactions

NIST Hosts International Conference on Service Life Prediction of Polymeric Materials:  Vision for the Future
  The 5th International Conference on Service Life Prediction of Polymeric Materials was held March 3-8, 2013, jointly organized by the Engineering Laboratory of NIST, Underwriters Laboratories, the National Science Foundation, and Q-lab Corporation.  The conference engaged a broad group of stakeholders having an interest in polymeric materials and focused on fundamental aging mechanisms, accelerated environmental aging, and mathematical models of polymeric degradation and service life. The 5-day conference featured a total of 41 speakers representing many countries, and eight panel discussions on a wide variety of polymeric material applications and their associated service life and durability issues. The presentations and the panel discussions all converged on the critical need for the development of a roadmap for advancing methodologies to predict the long-term performance of polymeric materials, and brought to light a number of important issues to be considered in accelerated environmental aging, including moisture and oxygen diffusion, ultraviolet radiation effects, and a lack of validated mathematical models. In conjunction with this conference, NIST co-hosted sessions with Underwriter Laboratories and industry stakeholders that were focused on redesigning the UL 746a long-term thermal aging and relative thermal index (RTI) program for polymeric materials. This test standard has been used for many decades, but is a source of great controversy to the plastics industry. NIST is providing the essential technical support and fundamental polymer science principles to this effort. At the end of the UL 746a sessions, a white paper containing recommendations for changes to the standard was drafted, and will be presented to the UL Standards Technical Panel. During this conference, the National Science Foundation Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation also hosted a session on the Durability of Polymers and Polymer Composites, highlighting the accomplishments of grantees from 12 universities.  

Contact: Chris White, (301)975-6016
  Category: Interactions

Created May 23, 2013, Updated September 21, 2016