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Added: May 09, 2013 10:33 am1. Contracting Office Address
Department of the Army, US Army Contracting Command - Redstone, AMRDEC Contracting Directorate. This is an Office of Secretary of Defense sponsored, Department of Army led effort.
2. General Information
(i) Overview: This is a Request for Information (RFI) only, as defined in
FAR 15.201(c) and 5.205(c). Responses should be focused on the technology areas identified in section 4 below. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT A MARKETING BROCHURE. THIS POSTING IS NOT A FORMAL SOLICITATION. Furthermore, this posting shall not be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a formal solicitation or make an award.
(ii) RFI Applicability: All sources may submit a response that shall be considered by the agency. Responses to this notice will not be considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract or agreement. The Government does not intend to make an award on the basis of this RFI. Responses will be treated as information only and will not be used as a proposal. Companies that respond will not be paid for the information submitted and the Government will not pay for any submission preparation/related costs. Registration as an interested vendor on www.FBO.gov does not in any way exempt your firm from submitting the requested information.
Category AJ9 (General Science /Technology: Other) is the product service code (PSC) applicable to this posting. Due to system constraints, PSC AJ93 (General Science /Technology: Other-Advanced Development was selected. However, PSC AJ 95 (General Science /Technology: Other-Operational Systems and Development) and PSC AJ 97 (General Science /Technology: Other-Commercialized) are also applicable to this posting.
(iii) RFI submission and post submission guidelines
Documents submitted in response to this RFI will not be returned. The Government is under no obligation to provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. There is no guarantee that any submission in response to this RFI will result in a Government program. The Government may or may not use any responses to this RFI as a basis for a subsequent project. The information submitted in response to this RFI may be used to help the Government further define its requirements. If the Government develops a program that addresses any submitted or similar topic, the resulting procurement will address technology and business specific requirements as defined by the Government to achieve the required objectives. Any projects developed from the RFI responses may be the subject of a subsequent acquisition; any such subsequent acquisition will be publicized accordingly. Responders to this RFI will have no competitive advantage in receiving any awards related to the submitted topic area. Proposers who do not submit a response to this RFI will not be prohibited from submitting a concept paper if a formal broad agency announcement is published at some point in the future. In order to protect the integrity of any possible future acquisition, no additional information other than the information contained in this RFI will be provided. In addition, no appointments for presentations will be accepted.
3. General Intent
The President of the United States has launched a major, new initiative focused on strengthening the innovation, performance, competitiveness, and job-creating power of U.S. manufacturing called the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Key design tenets for the NNMI are captured within National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: A Preliminary Design a report issued by the White House National Science and Technology Council on Jan. 16, 2013 (http://www.manufacturing.gov/docs/NNMI_prelim_design.pdf). In support of this initiative, the Department of Defense launched the 1st pilot institute, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in 2012. NAMII utilizes a multi-agency, quote mark whole of Government, quote mark approach to serve as a national model for innovation and technology advancement. Building on the success of the pilot institute, the President has challenged the Federal Agencies to develop concepts for three new Institutes in FY 13-14. This RFI is related to one of the proposed two new DOD-led institutes: the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute.
The US Government (USG) has led several independent initiatives addressing technologies both on and above the factory floor with the goal of maximizing the use of digital data across the life cycle of products. This quote mark digital thread, quote mark captures information generated from concept development and design to analysis, planning, manufacturing, assembly, maintainability, and disposal. The complexity of what can be designed, built, and maintained to meet product needs in both military and commercial markets is constantly increasing while the lead time available to develop and move these products from design to the customer is decreasing. Early consideration of manufacturability, during both the development of the science and technology and the design and acquisition phases, is essential to dealing with this complexity. Government and industry both have recognized the need to integrate physics-based characteristics into models that enable the simultaneous consideration of the physical configuration, computational elements, and predictable system behaviors to promote products and processes that are both quote mark correct-by-design quote mark (designed correctly) and quote mark correct-by-construction quote mark (built correctly). Other enabling technologies like 3D scanning of prototypes and final products should be fully embraced and integrated with design and manufacturing tools. The intended results are reduced tooling cost and lead time with increased fidelity in manufactured parts for quality control of the final product. Further development is needed in system level digital assembly based on 3D scanned data for quote mark as built quote mark and quote mark as assembled. quote mark Optimized digital data generated above the factory floor can be seamlessly translated to intelligent machines on the factory floor that are capable of self monitoring and control to manufacturing products with zero defects. Digital product data is further enhanced by smart cyber-enabled, cyber-enhanced, and cyber-secure design. Manufacturing systems which are capable of providing information about system health and performance enhances the digital product data, establishing critical feedback loops within secure distributed environment if needed.
Challenge: The risk to industry to develop and implement these technologies is high and access to this technology for small and medium sized enterprises is limited due to the increasing complexity, difficulty and costs. Competition on many fronts makes it difficult for individual companies to capitalize or develop these technologies in a global marketplace. The quote mark factory of the future, quote mark with prospects of advanced automation, affordability, and transformation of the workforce from low-wage manual labor to higher-wage technical labor, has been beyond the reach of traditional manufacturing enterprises, with companies opting for world-wide sourcing to lower cost in lieu of technology and infrastructure investments.
Goal: The goal of DMDI is to establish a national institute as a resource to focus on these complex issues in manufacturing and develop solutions to offset the risk to the U.S. industrial base in adopting these new technologies, thus improving competitiveness. Since global competitiveness is driven by the speed at which products can enter the marketplace at a competitive price point, this institute's focus will be on enterprise-wide utilization of the digital thread, enabling highly integrated manufacturing and design of complex products at reduced cost and time. The ability to reduce the time and cost to bring products to the marketplace is a common need shared by Government and industry.
Government and industry also need a way to reduce the risk of adopting new technologies. The DMDI Institute can reduce that risk by providing a demonstration facility that integrates the next generation (NexGen) of manufacturing practices utilizing intelligent machines with advanced product development on the factory floor and advanced factory command, control and communications to demonstrate agile, flexible and reconfigurable operations. By demonstrating the potential for integrating information technology, smart factory processes (e.g. computer simulation, use of advanced materials), and sophisticated analytics, a DMDI Institute could be a key competitive differentiator in efforts to overcome those risks and create a quantum leap forward in the execution of the manufacturing enterprise. This rapid revolution in the development and application of manufacturing intelligence to every phase of the product life cycle has the potential to fundamentally change how products are invented, manufactured, shipped, sold, and supported. It could be a key factor in keeping jobs in the US by helping manufacturers become more competitive in the global marketplace. The DMDI Institute is envisioned to be the innovation engine for digital manufacturing and design, as well as the NexGen demonstration enterprise for industry to use as a test-bed for product design, manufacturing, and support. The USG is interested in receiving input on how a DMDI Institute could provide access to technology for interoperability as well as a high-performance computing hub and NexGen enterprise processes leading to a responsive and integrated industrial base.
Information is being requested from industry to identify the current barriers and limitations in the domain of digital manufacturing and design and assist in defining and maturing the technologies necessary to create a step function improvement to US manufacturing. The USG team has identified four technology areas of interest for the Institute, but understands that there may be other areas that are also of interest. Responders are encouraged to submit ideas in the four listed areas, but are also encouraged to propose other technology areas aligned with the purpose of DMDI. Additionally, there is interest in identifying potential enabling products that would emerge from the research and implementation of DMDI initiatives. Responses to this RFI should clearly link a technology area with a specific concept of how that technology can impact that marketplace. The objective is to take the Department of Defense technology readiness level from 4 to 7.
The four DMDI core technology areas are: Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise, Intelligent Machines, Advanced Analysis, and Cyber-Physical Security. These areas of interest are expanded on below. The USG also is interested in how a DMDI Institute's work force development and technology transfer components would be uniquely tailored to ensure widest dissemination of digital manufacturing and design concepts throughout the manufacturing workforce. Thus, each of the topics of interests below inherently contains a focus on workforce development and technology demonstration & transition. Submissions of other topics are encouraged, if the respondent considers them to be of potential interest to the institute.
The core technology areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
1) Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (AME): Consists of agile and robust manufacturing strategies & integrated capabilities that dramatically reduce the cost and time of producing complex systems and parts. Concepts proposed should develop and implement the industrial information infrastructure to support: (1) the transfer of relevant data between research, design, fabrication, test, and sustainment operations quickly, without distortion, error, or omission; connect products, machines, and supply chains using enterprise-based solutions; (2) deploy tools and practices to minimize multiple designs, prototypes, and test iterations typically required for product or process qualification enabling an earlier start of the manufacturing phase; (3) develop supply network integration technologies and management practices that provide connectivity and enhance collaboration among disparate and geographically distant organizations in the supply network, and (4) significantly shorten lead times for optimum supply chain performance and risk management. Agility and adaptability of the entire manufacturing enterprise, with the tools and systems to support these strategies, is the overarching interest.
Input is sought on ways to develop and integrate model based design (MBD) and model based enterprise (MBE) principles into the everyday operations of the DOD and US Industrial Base to include total product life cycle management. A fully annotated 3D product model will be the source of all the information required to design, construct, assemble, and validate the parts and systems. AME seeks to develop tools that increase efficiencies to support the long life cycles of many defense and civilian systems to include reconfigurable to mission, modification to incorporate advances in technology or emergent requirements, maintainability and sustainability. Core model-based technologies of the model based environment fundamental to the Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise are the long term archival of product data, the integration of Product Manufacturing Information, and the 3D technical data package.
2) Intelligent Machines: Input is sought on approaches that support the development and integration of smart sensors, controls, and measurement, analysis, decision and communication software tools for self-aware manufacturing providing continuous improvement and sustainability. Intelligent machines (IM) realize the quote mark first part correct quote mark philosophy by allowing equipment plug and play functionality and enabling equipment to utilize manufacturing knowledge while planning and processing components. IM allows the capture and use of near-real-time information and process details throughout the manufacturing enterprise and provides information on demand in a suitable format for all requesting functions. IM equipment can automatically sense and understand the current production environment and perform self-diagnostics/prognostics enabling equipment to detect and perform corrections to operational deviations, providing flexibility. Aspects of an intelligent machine consist of the following but are not limited to:
(a) Machine/System/Sensor health and maintenance diagnostic and prognostic evaluation tools for a qualitative definition of the machine/system/sensor health will allow for proactive maintenance based on machine quality information rather than schedule based reactive or preventative maintenance.
(b) In-process verification tools will provide statistical and quantitative information for discrete part features at the manufacturing source. Utilizing this quality/geometric information in combination with solid models, software tools and feedback adjustments to the production process, nonconforming parts can be eliminated.
(c) Knowledge driven manufacturing - Computer Aided Manufacturing provides intelligent linkage between the various manfacturing activites from design and planning to production. Utilizing knowledge, advisors and manfacturing planners can develop process plans with best practices embedded. Through knowledge driven manufacturing, the engineer can select the right equipment, tooling, and process sequences for the prodution of components. The end result is an optimal process plan based on the users proven manufacturing practices and data.
(d) Manufacturing interoperability is key to unlocking a rich data set for monitoring, coordinating, integrating and streamlining and automating discrete parts manufacturing processes resulting in factory flexibility and agility of operations.
(e) Process monitoring and correction will allow production flow, optimization and, control of discrete parts manufacturing through the use of sensor feedback coupled to software incorporating manufacturing rules and process models.
The combination of these technologies and tools will enable and drive a philosophy of first part (and every part thereafter) correct, utilizing flexible/agile manufacturing, correct-by-design and correct-by-construction, real time actionable manufacturing information at all levels, and automatic verification and correction of the production process. RFI responses should discuss how an Institute can improve and accelerate the use of these IM technologies.
3) Advanced Analysis: Capitalizes on advances in high-performance computing to develop physics-based models of material, product and process performance by quote mark design with manufacturing in mind. quote mark Develops and integrates smart design tools to help reduce over-design in order to reduce manufacturing cost (e.g. avoid tight tolerances without added functionality). The DMDI should facilitate the development of a number of case studies to help identify manufacturing tradeoffs (i.e. when to use additive vs. molding vs. conventional machining). RFI responses should address the elements of advanced analysis which include but are not limited to the following areas:
(a) Integration of multi-physics models, models of software and leveraging high performance computing assets - to enable the co-design of physical engineered and computational elements with predictable system behaviors.
(b) Correct-by-construction design techniques - to address the need for simplification of manufacturing. This may include the potential sacrifice of component-level optimization in exchange for system-level verifiable properties and correct-by-construction methodologies.
(c) Agility and adaptability in assembly - advances in systems engineering and integration for automated assembly and manufacturing to facilitate rapid design-test, redesign iterations and error recovery utilization of the virtual product and processes. These costs can be as much as 90% of the total manufacturing cost
(d) Co-design and co-architecture of cyber and physical elements - new modeling approaches leading to hybrid (continuous plus discrete), hierarchical abstractions, and automated provably-correct code generation.
(e) Additional advanced design and analysis capabilities are needed to help address designed-in manufacturing problems impacting complex aerospace and defense system affordability, such as
(i) Systems engineering trade-off studies and design methodologies that allow rapid quote mark -ility quote mark trade-offs (e.g. Producibility, Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Testability, etc.) to be performed during early conceptual and preliminary design activities.
(ii) System integration, assembly, and test modeling to predict production rate, yield, and cycle time performance characteristics as a function of key system architecture and test parameters.
(iii) Electrical, mechanical, and assembly yield models that allow the statistical prediction of manufacturing yield targets as a function of key design, process, and test method attributes.
(iv) Enterprise level supply chain design and analysis methods that incorporate quality loss mechanisms and allow quote mark what if quote mark scenario analyses to pinpoint and understand global risks.
(v) Quantitative quote mark Design for X quote mark analyses including complexity characterization that are non-rule based and characterize the cost and yield impact of deviating from established guidelines.
(vi) Life cycle modeling including uncertainty and risk impact analyses that enable life cycle cost, environmental impacts and energy usage considerations to be analyzed over a range of uncertain quote mark what if quote mark scenarios.
4) Cyber Physical Security: Input is sought on methods and technology to provide a secure and trusted infrastructure for the management of information assets in a collaborative manufacturing environment. In addition to the known vulnerabilities of networked business systems and transactions used in manufacturing, the factory of the future needs to address the new vulnerabilities of cyber physical systems (CPS) in intelligent machines, sensors and control systems. The digital thread -- which includes transactions with executable files that drive processes, ubiquitous sensors and feedback, networking at every level, self organizing systems, and product and process data shared across global supply chains -- opens new paths for cyber threats to cause physical failures, theft of intellectual property, or denial of service. New practices and tools are needed to dynamically install security patches without shutting down manufacturing operations, and to keep systems operational while reducing the need for manufacturing technicians to have administrator privileges. Some principles and solutions may apply to all CPS applications, while others may be unique to particular manufacturing domains and business relationships. Architecting an open data structure with built in cyber security will require new standards and methods. Responses to this area are asked to identify important gaps in available solutions and identify promising development approaches to enhance the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digitally driven engineering and manufacturing systems.
In addition to the technology areas described above, this request for information seeks to evaluate potential composition and organizational models under which an institute may operate. In order to evaluate the business process for operation of an institute, the Government describes below one conceptual institute model. Examples of these concepts are:
The Institute - the quote mark brick and mortar quote mark physical location of a manufacturing institute. High performance computing design and analysis center; NexGen enterprise site to act as industry test-bed and training facility.
The Gateway - a partnership intermediary that acts as the entry point for advanced designs to be built in the NexGen enterprise. The Gateway is co-located with the institute.
The Virtual Factory - the network of demonstration facilities and equipment (Intelligent Machines) that is connected by the Gateway. These machines exist at government and industry facilities and are accessible via open protocols.
Smart Products Lab - co-located with Institute. The lab develops sensors and feedback algorithms from parts in service to design and performance.
This RFI seeks concepts related to, but not limited to this proposed model, or combination of models. Interaction with other institutes/centers is encouraged.
5 Submission Guidelines
Responses to this RFI are limited to 10 single-sided pages, using standard letter-size 8 quote mark x 11 quote mark paper. The font for text should be Times New Roman or Arial 12-point or larger. Submissions must be unclassified. Extraneous materials (brochures, manuals, etc.) will not be considered. Submissions shall also include the following:
(a) Entity name and address;
(b) Point of contact name, phone number and email address
6 Questions or Requests for Clarification
Only electronically submitted written questions and requests for clarification regarding this posting will be accepted. No telephone calls will be accepted. Questions and written requests for clarification shall be submitted to the following email address:
In order to facilitate a timely response, it is preferred that any questions or requests for clarification be received by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time, May 16, 2013.
7. Submission Deadline
Responses to this RFI are due to the contracting office identified below by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time, June, 06, 2013. Responses shall be submitted to the following email address:
Responses shall be in Microsoft Word format or PDF format. If a late submittal is received, acceptance of such will be at the discretion of the Government.
ACC-RSA - (Missile), ATTN: CCAM, Building 5303, Martin Road, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898-5280
ACC-RSA - (Missile)
May 9, 2013
Automatic, on specified date
September 3, 2013
Original Set Aside:
A -- Research & Development