The Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) program aims to answer how a manufacturer can match product needs to process capabilities to determine the best assets and ways to produce products to support U.S. industry’s competitiveness and address industry’s need for interoperability across decentralized systems. Replacing a manufacturing system completely is costly. Thus, manufacturers need the ability to manage the development, re-development, and deployment of new sub-systems in the immediate presence of existing (legacy) applications and systems. The MBE program will address the industrial need by researching the coupling of existing technologies with integrations of system, service, product, process, and logistics models, to enable advanced variant configuration -- allowing Industry to be agile and flexible enough to manufacture closer to the end user, in varying lot sizes, with better first-time yields.
Advances in computing and communication technology present great opportunities to improve manufacturing productivity. However, applying this technology without considering the unique needs of manufacturing can adversely affect safety, performance, quality, and cost. This program will research methods to measure the impact of new computing and communication technologies on manufacturing, and to establish a basis of trust in their application, delivering guidelines, best practices, and standards that enable manufacturers to confidently select and apply new technology.
This program addresses measurements and standards necessary to develop and deploy advances in measurement science that will enable rapid design-to-product transformation; material characterization; in-process process sensing, monitoring, and model-based optimal control; performance qualification of materials, machines, processes and parts; and end-to-end digital implementation of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes and systems. Reducing the barriers to widespread implementation and use of AM, such as high level of process variability, low part accuracy and surface quality, and inconsistent material properties, lack of process and part qualification and certification methods, and lack of adequate, well-controlled and traceable measurement data and analysis tools to validate and improve AM process models for better understanding of the processes and their outcomes, as well as resulting methods for decision support (i.e. predictive analytics and design guidelines) will be a main goal of the program. The program will develop: standardized material characterization methods, exemplar data and databases to accelerate the design, processing, and use of AM parts; process metrology, sensing and control methods and algorithms to maximize part quality and production throughput in AM; test methods, protocols, and reference data to reduce the cost and time to qualify AM materials, processes, and parts; and an information systems architecture, including metrics, information models, and validation methods to shorten the design-to-product cycle time in AM. It is anticipated that this programmatic effort will facilitate: accelerated proliferation of AM parts in high-performance applications benefiting from AM's unique capabilities; improved quality and throughput for AM; rapid qualification of AM materials and processes leading to better understanding of AM and more confidence in AM products used in industry; and streamlined design-to-product transformations leading towards more accessible AM technologies for small and medium-sized companies, increasing industrial competitiveness