AM Workshop ReCap

In an ongoing effort to facilitate additive manufacturing (AM) technology transition into the Department of Defense (DoD) maintenance and sustainment arena, over 200 representatives from the government, industry, academia and non-profits attended the AM Workshop, 18-19, June 2019 held at Lockheed Martin’s Global Vision Center in Crystal City, VA. This workshop was a follow-up to the Business Model Workshop held at the same location on 30-31 May 2018.

The purpose of the 2019 AM Workshop was to address five foundational aspects of AM, along with sub-working groups necessary for DoD’s wide adoption of this game-changing capability.

  1. Data Standards and Data/Model Sharing

(led by Dennis Butcher and LCDR Pat Veith)

JAMMEX (America Makes Project) – Reviewed the status of the Joint Additive Manufacturing Model Exchange (JAMMEX) project, a first phase 3D model sharing platform for the DoD and look “Beyond JAMMEX”. The objective was to look at industry best practices and identify needs within the DoD and industry for data and information sharing that support and expand on the concept that JAMMEX represents.

TDP Standard Project – DoD activities have done significant work in the development of Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for AM items. MIL-STD-31000 has been revised and TDP standard procedures have been developed to create a model base TDP in a neutral format addressing many of the challenges AM presents in the TDP process. This working group evaluated the different TDP procedures/formats, addressing the pro and cons of each to try to establish a more universal approach to TDP development for AM items in the DoD.

Cybersecurity Challenges and Solutions – Focused on changing the technological landscape required to address the cybersecurity challenges and solutions for AM required to support the warfighter and tomorrow’s soldier on the battlefield. As one specific objective, this group evaluated an AM Blockchain supply chain process in producing an AM part. A range of better tools and solutions were addressed to protect data from hackers, prevent potential fraud and decrease the chance of data being stolen or compromised during data transfer, as well as security of hardware and quality assurance systems.

  1. Qualifications and Certification

(led by Jennifer Wolk/Jeff Gaddes)

Database & Common Language – Furthered the development of a common data format and data dictionary for materials and process data for AM. Defining common terms and definitions for AM data elements and fields is foundational to being able to share and/or connect AM materials and processing data sets that may have different schemas. The working group looked at existing data architectures/schemas and provided a forum for the community to discuss a common understanding of data definitions and the materials data related to supporting the implementation of AM.

Standards – Addressed the gap QC4 “Process Approval for DoD-procured Parts” from the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) Standardization Roadmap for AM. This group discussed the issues that affect the DoD for Qualification and Certification, such as determining which standardization gaps the DoD should prioritize, what standards are mature enough for the DoD to adopt, and how to have a centralized DoD response to questions related to non-government standards for AM.

Quality Assurance – Looked at how Quality Assurance processes need to be modified to incorporate AM specific data and requirements to certify parts and qualify vendors. The working group is targeted to be an opportunity for interaction between the AM technical community and the QA and acquisition communities to identify gaps in documents or procedures that need to be updated with AM specific content and information. What documents, processes, and procedures need to have AM specific content incorporated in order to certify parts and qualify vendors?

  1. Business Practices

(led by Greg Kilchenstein and Marilyn Gaska)

AM Contracting Guide – Used the draft version of the Navy’s AM Contract Guidebook as a springboard to develop ideas for a robust version 2.0, which will be used as a reference for the entire DoD enterprise.

AM Integration into Supply Chain – Identified the key steps needed to integrate AM into the DoD supply chain. A Directive-Type Memorandum issued by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment identified to the Military Services and the Defense Logistics Agency the responsibilities necessary to ensure safe and effective use of AM in the DoD Sustainment Enterprise. Participants utilized Use Cases to explore how AM items could be cataloged in the supply chain, what technical data is needed to define a procurable and qualified AM part and the impact on demand signals across the supply chain. Outcomes will feed into policy and operational changes that are still being finalized, such as DoD cataloging, digital data exchanges, data protection, and demand planning models.

IP Management – Took a deeper look at a “Netflix,” or “pay as you go” data rights licensing effort that was initiated at the DoD Business Model Wargame II in May 2017. The workshop included a mock licensing negotiation exercise utilizing a factual scenario with two competing defense contractor teams and a government team trying to negotiate access and rights to OEM data to support DoD AM.

  1. Workforce Development

(led by Michael Britt-Crane and Jim Davis)

Discussed and developed short and long-term strategies for the development of the DoD workforce in the application of AM technology as it applies to their respective field. The objective was to identify gaps and prioritize needs within different stakeholder groups within the DoD workforce.

Three distinct sub-groups focused on the particular needs and challenges within these communities and the groups they engage (e.g. what information do leadership, peers, and others need to know?). Sub-working group outputs from the workshop included a list of stakeholders and opportunities/roadblocks identified for their sub-working group as they apply to short and long-term strategies.

  1. AM Technician Training and Certification for the Conventional Supply Chain & Forward Deployed and Tactical Applications
  2. DoD Engineering Education and Training Requirements (Conventional Supply Chain Focus)
  3. DoD Acquisition of Professional Education and Training Requirements
  1. DoD AM Policy Development

(led by Greg Kilchenstein and Steve Linder)

The DoD needs strategic alignment, collaboration, and enterprise-level guidance to focus and streamline AM implementation across the Military Services and DoD Components, maximize the value of AM investments, and ensure interoperability of AM capabilities in support of sustainment. On 12 March 2019, Ms. Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment signed a Directive-type Memorandum (DTM) that provides “Interim Policy and Guidance for the Use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in Support of Materiel Sustainment”. The DTM expires in 12 months. This working group reviewed current policy, to include the AM DTM, and develop new, long-term AM policy, guidance and implementation strategies to holistically integrate AM across DoD acquisition, technology development and application, engineering, and logistics.

“Because of the disruptive capabilities of AM, it is important that we keep a forward-looking posture into the business aspects around this technology,” says Debbie Lilu, director, CTMA Program, NCMS. “We had leading subject matter experts at this workshop, and I feel confident that the critical issues we tackled were thoughtfully discussed and will help inform policy and procedures in the near future.”

The workshop was sponsored by DoD’s Joint Additive Manufacturing Working Group, America Makes Additive Manufacturing for Maintenance and Sustainment Advisory Group and the Additive Manufacturing for Maintenance Operations (AMMO) Working Group. The teams consisted of key disciplines including Program Management, Legal, Engineering, Logistics (maintenance and supply), Enterprise IT, Cybersecurity, Training, Administration and Contracts.

This event presented a unique opportunity for AM leaders and functional stakeholders to collaborate on key issues that pertain to leveraging AM capabilities.