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DMDII Launches Seven Digital Manufacturing R&D Projects

Posted By Jeff Moad, January 27, 2015 at 1:39 PM, in Category: The Innovation Enterprise

What are the core technologies, process, and skills that manufacturers can employ to  assess cyber security vulnerabilities they may face, increase the productivity of shop floor workers using wearable devices and augmented reality, and create a digital thread of information that can be used to improve products throughout their life cycles?

These are some of the questions that the recently-formed Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) will be attempting to answer through a series of seven newly-announced research and development projects that it is sponsoring. The DMDII says it will spend $12.5 million on the projects and expects project participants to kick in at least another $12.5 million.

The DMDII is asking large and small manufacturers, academics, and government agencies to collaborate on project proposals. The goal is to translate the outcomes of the demonstration projects into processes, practices, and technologies that can be adopted broadly by manufacturers.

The seven project topics are:

  • Factory Cybersecurity Infrastructure Assessment: Will develop tools that can be used for assessing the vulnerabilities of small manufacturing businesses;
  • Smart Factory Visibility and Real-Time Optimization: Will focus on topics that can provide real-time visibility into smart factory operations and create controls-based real-time feedback loops;
  • Communication Standards for Intelligent Machines: Seeks to provide a framework and set of standards for communication among legacy plant machines, robots, manufacturing cells, and smart manufacturing systems;
  • Shop Floor Augmented Reality and Wearable Computing: Will demonstrate technologies such as wearable devices, mobile computing, and advanced digital visualization for shop floor workers ;
  • Systems Design Using the Digital Thread: Will focus on technologies that can use data from across the product lifecycle and the value chain to improve product design and manufacturing;
  • Operating System for Cyberphysical Manufacturing:Will focus on developing systems than can be used manage resources “from the lowest hardware to the highest enterprise level”;
    • Virtually-Guided Certification: Will demonstrate technologies such as advanced computing, modeling, simulation, and data analysis that can be used to reduce the time and cost needed to certify material and manufacturing process or design.

Many of the projects initially targeted by the DMDII reflect concerns and priorities that are consistently identified by members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council as critical issues. In discussions, surveys, and articles in the Manufacturing Leadership Journal, Council members, for example, have said they are concerned with how to integrate legacy plant equipment into so-called smart manufacturing frameworks, and many smaller Council members are concerned with how to stop cybersecurity threats without access to costly expertise and security technologies.

The DMDII said it will host a workshop for organizations interested in submitting project proposals. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Atlanta Airport Marriott.

The DMDII is one of several manufacturing innovation institutes created by President Obama as part of his National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit

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