Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Technologies Enabling Agile Manufacturing
The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Technologies Enabling Agile Manufacturing (TEAM) program seeks to enhance U.S. global competitiveness by advancing and improving the national manufacturing infrastructure. As a technology transfer initiative, the TEAM program leverages common visions and cooperative alliances among government, industry, and academia to provide practical tools which streamline product development, reduce cost, shorten time-to-market, and enhance quality through integrated design-to-manufacturing solutions. The TEAM program consists of a set of models which define the product realization enterprise, and a growing set of tools which demonstrate and validate the models.
More than 50 government, industry, and academic partners comprise the TEAM program and provide in-kind contributions of about $15 million per year. Guided by an industry-led steering board with multi-agency participation, the program uses joint industry and government thrust-area groups to provide critical enabling technologies, validate technologies through product vehicle demonstrations, and optimize manufacturing through total system performance.
The TEAM program’s key capabilities include feature-based design and manufacturing tools; a hierarchical modeling and simulation environment; expert tools for manufacturing information creation and management; web- based integration managers; and application programming interface specifications for open architecture controllers. During 1997, the program established product vehicle demonstrations including a GM engine head for integrated material removal and an exhaust nozzle for a Pratt and Whitney jet. The program’s tools are also being implemented by DOE weapons program to produce weapon parts and assemblies.
The TEAM program possesses several unique characteristics. The program not only addresses manufacturing as a system, it also measures the value of its tools and technologies to that system. Its tools and technologies can either be used as a modular, stand-alone feature or as part of an integrated system. In addition, the program’s open agenda, strategic plan, and cooperative alliance method of operation have resulted in new benchmarks for teaming and cooperation. Because of its success in executing a process, from needs assessments through delivery of solutions, the TEAM program is providing leadership in the Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) project. The NGM project is an industry-led effort, made possible with support from the DOE, the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Science Foundation. The project builds on other national initiatives to develop a broadly accepted model of future manufacturing enterprises, and to recommend actions that manufacturers (working individually and in partnership with government, industry and academia) can use to attain world-class status.
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