Identify, Develop, and Document Manufacturing Workflows
Foundational studies of desktop-bound technical computing users, referred to as the “missing-middle” of the High Performance Much has been accomplished to advance the "smartness" of individual machines in manufacturing processes at the micro layer where intelligent sensors, actuators, and process control units implement automated production workflows, however, the identification and application of manufacturing intelligence across a manufacturing plant (the meso layer) and a manufacturing supply chain (the macro layer) languishes. Additionally, with the ever increasing levels of complexity of micro layer components and the increasing volumes of data they produce, there has emerged a “big data” challenge and the need to process the data with high performance computing (HPC) to extract the intelligence required for the higher layers to create a fully integrated smart manufacturing workflow environment. Current solutions are typically proprietary factory-specific one-off solutions with no open design patterns or infrastructure.
An industry-directed group, known as the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), identified that by lowering the implementation barriers around cost, complexity, ease-of-use, and measurement availability, the U.S. manufacturing industry could deploy foundational infrastructure for manufacturing intelligence to collectively strengthen capability. By providing a mechanism for ready access and by lowering the cost and effort to use and support these technologies, small and medium sized manufacturers (SMMs) are incentivized to adopt new manufacturing practices that improve their performance in the form of available easy to use open workflow-based software modules incorporating software applications (APPs) hosted in a cloud platform. Another unique characteristic identified is the notion of bringing the real-time data to the APPs instead of the APPs to the data. Creating an open manufacturing APP workflow cloud platform market ecosystem will also stimulate entrepreneurs to develop and license their IP in the form of models that can be plugged into the open platform.