NCMS Team Honored With Record Seventh Defense Award

Ultra Precise Calibration Process Will Save DOD Millions Annually

ANN ARBOR, MI – December 2, 2009.  The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) today announced that its Volumetric Accuracy for Large Machine Tools (VALMT) project has pioneered an innovative process in establishing a new methodology in volumetric error compensation for large machine tools.  The costs for current assembly practices of measuring and fitting are substantial; reducing the amount of reworking of machined parts during onsite vehicle assembly will save the Department of Defense (DOD) and the commercial aircraft industry millions of dollars.

“The innovative VALMT project will save the DOD millions while ensuring weapon systems are mission ready and available for our warfighters when they need them,” said NCMS Vice President Chuck Ryan.  “This technology will also pave the way for reducing the manufacturing costs of commercial ships and aircraft, benefiting both government and industry.”

The success of the VALMT project was recognized this week with a Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award presented by the National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT), the seventh award of its kind given to NCMS for its outstanding cooperative efforts on technology development between government, industry and academia.

“This groundbreaking process will dramatically reduce assembly and fitting costs which represent up to 1% of the total cost per aircraft,” said Sam Easley, Engineer/Scientist, Metallic Processes at The Boeing Company.  “On large programs like the F-18 or the 700 series, we could save $100 Million per year.”

“VALMT has the potential to save the U.S. Navy money and shave valuable time off of vessel construction costs, putting assets where they are most needed, with the warfighter.” said Faris Ibrahim, Mechanical Engineer of the Naval Foundry and Propeller Center.

The VALMT project teamed private industry (Automated Precision Inc., The Boeing Corporation, Siemens Energy and Automation and MAG Cincinnati Machine, LLC) and the DOD (U.S. Air Force Logistics Center, Naval Foundry and Propeller Center, U.S. Navy Fleet Readiness Center East, and the U.S. Army Anniston Depot) using the NCMS R&D collaborative process to quickly develop this groundbreaking technology.

“The success of the VALMT project rests heavily on the technical expertise and collaborative R&D experience of the NCMS and its partners,” stated Richard Curless, CTO at MAG Industrial, “The NCMS has been a leader in bringing government and industry together to create usable technologies for over 23 years and this project is just another of many feathers in their proverbial cap.”

About NCMS

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is the largest cross-industry collaborative research and development consortium in North America, and is the only consortia effort in the U.S. devoted exclusively to manufacturing technologies, processes and practices. NCMS has over 20 years of experience in the formation and management of complex, multi-partner collaborative R&D programs, and is backed by corporate members representing virtually every manufacturing sector.