Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Advanced Manufacturing Technology Network
An Advanced Manufacturing Technology Network (AMTnet) has been established at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) to serve as a single point of communications for Sandia's outside customers. It allows internal and external network communications to use a broad range of communications protocols from WAN environments to high speed dial-up using PC modem connections.
AMTnet was developed to address a communications problem between SNL and their customers, particularly when trying to effectively work within a consortia of companies of various sizes, financial resources, and equipment capabilities. To effectively work in an interactive concurrent engineering environment where designs were shared between geographically isolated partners, as well as those with various grades of computational and communication equipment, was extremely difficult.
AMTnet, designed to aid in implementing interactive concurrent engineering, agile manufacturing, effectively establishes what is - in effect - virtual corporations, and at high speed and low cost. Because of difficulties working with Internet and because many smaller companies do not have access to Internet, a network that can handle data in the range of 100 Kbps to a few Mbps and at low cost is definitely required, and this is the capability that AMTnet presents. It is actively used by several consortia of companies working with Sandia.
The system utilizes several dial-up numbers depending on the communication link being used. Typical costs for these communication links range from $500 to $5K per year. These costs are normally within the budget of any company, and the AMTnet allows for communication between these companies if they are members of the net. This network also allows for communications to anyone within the Sandia complex (within some level of security) as most internal LANs are provided gateways to AMTnet.
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