NCMS Programs

Advanced Manufacturing Materials and Processes

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is proud to work with the Army Research Lab (ARL) and the Advanced Manufacturing Materials and Processes (AMMP) to advance and enable additive manufacturing to create next-generation manufacturing breakthroughs. AMMP will respond to requirements for affordable, complex parts that currently cannot be readily built.

Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities

The CTMA program has the ideal collaborative model for manufactures, academia and DoD.  We create relationships and opportunities, drive cutting edge R&D, and contract industry intelligence from a unique perspective.  Through partnerships, training, software, and business operations, CTMA can help achieve industry objectives while satisfying DoD needs through demonstration of new technologies prior to full deployment.

Environmental Protection Agency

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protects human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. We provide resources to help the domestic manufacturing industry stay compliant with new EPA standards and support the sustainable manufacturing community with resources and the creation of new design tools.

Focus on Technology

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences continually monitors and evolves our view of technology.  NCMS considers these technologies to be widely applicable and important to United States manufacturing.   With our members’ significant capability to build, develop, and deploy these technologies, NCMS is able to address and provide solutions to  public/ private sector needs.

Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing (industrial) and 3D printing technologies are applicable across many industry sectors for product development, data visualization, rapid prototyping, and specialized manufacturing. Their expansion into industrial production (job production, mass production, and distributed manufacturing) has been under development for decades but still has most of its growth potential in front of it.

According to a leading industry report, the Wohlers Report 2016, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, consisting of all AM products and services worldwide, grew 25.9% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) to $5.165 billion in 2015. The CAGR for the previous three years was 31.5%. Over the past 27 years, the CAGR for the industry is an impressive 26.2%.

Clearly this technology is a game-changer and while development is on-going, focusing on and providing leadership for the technology development, adoption and implementation is why NCMS considers this a key strategic initiative.

Additive manufacturing (AM) technology was originally opposite from subtractive technologies but in recent years, the two have begun to merge. AM adds material and integrates various processes to create a three dimensional object, prototype or product, subtractive manufacturing employs a wide variety of processes to eliminate material. The design properties required by each are significantly different and creates unique capabilities and applications for both. By allowing multiple materials with different build structures to co-mingle, we are seeing new opportunities and applications for the technologies and companies using them.

AM is an emerging technology with great potential applications for both industry and Government.
 Rapid iterations of prototyping, reducing time and money for design
 Reduction in wait time
 Enabling of just in time manufacturing on site at locations
 Support of immediate readiness
 Small, unique production runs

Connecting industry and government to determine the potential uses of AM serves, identify standards and protocols, validate and document design and production criteria and applications are all key deliverables for NCMS, its members and its partners.

Open to any NCMS Collaboration Member, the Additive Manufacturing Strategic Initiative enables cross-industry collaboration among organizations interested in developing and using the technology. For more information, contact Jon Riley.

Advanced Materials / Composites

Manufacturers increasingly require materials designed and developed for improvements in the manufactured product. Product designers incorporate advanced materials and composites in order to lightweight, strengthen, improve durability and protect the product and users.

Advanced modeling and simulation using high performance computers allows for streamlined development of entirely new materials, without compromising product performance, safety, and efficiency. Through this process, advanced materials are created which are lighter, stronger, safer, and more environmentally friendly than traditional materials. The application of new lightweight materials extends to ground vehicles, aviation, commercial transport, shipping, and many other sectors.

NCMS assembled an innovative suite of software tools and cross industry innovators to help component manufacturers create and realize the benefits of lightweight materials while lowering costs, minimizing risk, and speeding commercialization. Through the use of high performance modeling & simulation, manufacturers select optimal lightweight materials for their products during the design phase.

Ultimately this strategic initiative will improve manufacturability, lower costs, and greatly increase sustainability and fuel efficiency.

The Advanced Materials / Composites Strategic Initiative is open to any NCMS Collaboration member. For more information, contact Jon Riley.


Automation is the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services and benefits complex manufacturing in multiple sectors. Automation involves a very broad range of technologies including robotics and expert systems, telemetry and communications, electro-optics, Cybersecurity, process measurement and control, sensors, wireless applications, systems integration, test measurement, and many, many more.


It is estimated that by 2020 as many as 15 billion devices will be connected to the Internet—more than double the world’s population. Equipment interacts with each other and outside the company without intervention, and often without our knowledge. This creates a significant security challenge. Any node on a company’s network could be an attack vector for the entire production system.

Information security is a critical issue in manufacturing – every organization has valuable data which is at risk. In response to new and complex cybersecurity demands, NCMS has partnered with public agencies like Department of Homeland Security and NIST, as well as private sector stakeholders in cybersecurity, to help identify key issues, opportunities and mitigation solutions as these attacks threaten the production capabilities of every connected manufacturing firm. NCMS’ Cybersecurity Strategic Initiative helps manufacturers address cybersecurity issues and convenes technical experts in operational technology and cybersecurity to help companies identify, mitigate and close security and resilience gaps.

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing is the dramatically intensified application of manufacturing intelligence using advanced data analytics and modeling & simulation (M&S) to produce a fundamental transformation in how we make things. It identifies and solves design challenges, replacing and augmenting CAD/CAM solutions which simply aid the design process.

Digital manufacturing will drive enormous benefits for small and medium sized manufacturers in the so-called “Missing Middle” – the oft-ignored manufacturers who typically employ fewer than 500 people, but are nonetheless responsible for more than twice the global employment of larger organizations.

Digital manufacturing is a key innovation which will drive North American manufacturing competitiveness.

The Digital Manufacturing Strategic Initiative identified primary barriers which prevent Missing Middle manufacturers from maximizing digital manufacturing – these are awareness, perceived value and access to tools and human capital.

The perceived cost of digital manufacturing technologies has been a significant barrier to entry for smaller organizations. This sector needs access and mastery of the tools of tomorrow’s innovative manufacturers and product designers.

The Digital Manufacturing Strategic Initiative provides a single marketplace where hardware, software, and expertise are affordably accessible to Missing Middle manufacturers through secure, web-based portals. NCMS excels at bringing together the three drivers of success: talent, investment, and infrastructure. We break down barriers to entry and provide the tools manufacturers need to remain competitive in the increasingly digital and global economy.

For more information on the Digital Manufacturing Strategic Initiative, contact Jon Riley.

Robotics / Autonomous Vehicles

Robotics has the potential to increase manufacturing competitiveness in the global market and contribute to reshoring of advanced manufacturing to North America. Robotics can be applied in a wide variety of manufacturing environments through the adoption of critical enabling technologies such as human-robot/robot-robot collaboration; perception and sensing; robot control to include adaptation, learning, and repurposing; autonomy and mobility; and dexterous manipulation. The future of robots includes working collaboratively with humans on the assembly line and in material handling, increasing productivity and precision, freeing humans from low-value added activities. There has been and will continue to be massive amounts of research and development to realize the potential of this enabling technology.