NIST Leader Assesses State of Standardized Product Manufacturing Information at Workshop

In February 2023, NIST’s Allison Barnard Feeney addressed several standards for capturing product manufacturing information in a presentation to the Secure Data Exchange/Interoperability workshop, which was held by the Department of Defense (DoD) Digital Manufacturing Enterprise Working Group. The workshop focused on developing a secure and interoperable manufacturing enterprise. This capability is seen as helping the DoD innovate its acquisition processes with the private sector.

Barnard Feeney covered where we are today regarding standards for product manufacturing information; this standardization is key to enabling systems to get the varying information needed for their respective functions in the manufacturing enterprise.

This portion of the presentation covered:

  • ISO 10303 application protocols: These are standards for software, enabling downstream use of product design data.
  • ISO TC 184/SC 4 standards: These standards apply to content, meaning, and quality of the digital data being exchanged.

Despite the need for more work on interoperable data flow, these standards have enabled accurate data exchange of geometry for repurposing data and long-term archiving. These standards also have been widely implemented.

Barnard Feeney also addressed the challenges that must be overcome to achieve standardized product information across the manufacturing enterprise. For example, initial Computer Aided Design output, a graphic representation, must be an output for a human readable medium. How to map semantic product information to geometric models has made considerable headway in the past decade, but requires a considerable amount of work to be able to exchange many other types of product manufacturing information.

Barnard Feeney ended by saying that ISO’s pursuit of “smart standards” promises to help overcome some of these challenges. Barnard Feeney said that the achievement of smart manufacturing could save industry $57.4 billion annually, citing NIST Government Contractor Report (GCR) 16-007, Economic Analysis of Technology Infrastructure Needs for Advanced Manufacturing.

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