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Perspectives on the Future of Manufacturing Engineering



R Jackson


Technology-based competition is heating up everywhere. One economist uses the analogy-not of a race--but of a casino to convey the flavor of the global competition as well as the nature of the high-risk technology bets that companies confront. Three paths of technology-development trends are described. Unfolding events in all three could have revolutionary consequences for manufacturing engineering.Deterministic, or mathematics-based, manufacturing: Algorithms, process models, analytical methods, and the like have become critical enablers of superior machine tools, more efficient processes, advanced manufacturing capabilities, and better decision-making. Machine tools must grow in sophistication and capability to reliably produce parts with increasingly complex geometries and ever-smaller dimensional tolerances.Integrated process control: It's not the installation, but rather the integration of technology that delivers the decisive advantages and improvements that manufacturers seek in their capital investments. Progress in computers, sensors, software, and mathematical modeling presents incredible opportunities for predictive, closed-loop process control. Yet, today, companies are devoting more resources to application maintenance than to pushing the envelope and pursuing new, more robust approaches to control.Information technology: Modem information technology is creating an expanding bubble of capabilities and business opportunities. It will catalyze and enable changes in the way companies organize, operate, collaborate, and compete. For now, however, U.S. industry's investment in IT is not yielding full value. In large part, this is because we lack the means to flexibly integrate processes, functions, systems, and companies on small and large scales.Examples of relevant projects involving the National Institute of Standards and Technology and industrial partners will be given. Part of the Commerce Department, NIST works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards.
Proceedings Title
Conference Proceedings
Conference Dates
May 18-20, 1998
Conference Location
Conference Title
DIISM Conference


deterministic manufacturing, information technology, integrated process control, mathematics-based manufacturing


Jackson, R. (2008), Perspectives on the Future of Manufacturing Engineering, Conference Proceedings, Undefined (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created October 16, 2008