News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

T. Manufacturing Science and Technology

1. Scope

The manufacturing science and technology (MS&T) area focuses on technologies that will enable the industrial base to produce reliable and affordable materiel for the soldier, with enhanced performance parameters, and in a reduced cycle time. The technologies in MS&T include processing and fabrication, manufacturing engineering, production management, design engineering, enterprise integration, IPPD, and flexible manufacturing systems capable of addressing both high and low volume dual–use production. The interrelationships among all these technologies are illustrated in Figure IV–20. MS&T addresses the needs of the soldier by deriving requirements from three thrusts: acquisition and sustainment driven needs, pervasive industrial base needs, and S&T needs and opportunities. Potential projects based on these needs are prioritized according to their relevance to TRADOC FOCs and their significance to the successful attainment of ATD and Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) objectives.

Figure IV-20. Relationships Among Integrated Product/Process Design Tools and Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Figure IV-20. Relationships Among Integrated Product/Process Design Tools
and Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Click on the image to view enlarged version

The MS&T program’s three subareas are:

Advanced processing of metals, composites, and electronics with emphasis on the development and validation of new manufacturing processes for defense–essential materials, components, and systems. Project technologies include validated process models, embedded sensors and adaptive control systems for composites and electronics manufacturing, improved composites airframe manufacturing for advanced helicopters, improved manufacturing and testing for advanced cooled and uncooled FLIR sensors, computer automated manufacturing for precision optics, manufacturing of advanced battery technology, flexible manufacturing for MMW transceivers, flexible manufacturing of missile seekers and assemblies, flexible manufacturing of munitions and munition components such as propellants, explosives, sensors, fuzing, and agile production control.

Manufacturing engineering support tools that encompass manufacturing technologies such as CAD, CAE, and computer–aided manufacturing (CAM); AI tools for a broad range of manufacturing processes; design and analysis tools for assessing product producibility and manufacturability; rapid prototyping; control and interface research for component modeling, and system integration and information infrastructure; industrial base modeling and production allocation for management of coordinated supply chain and surge production. This subarea focuses on developing tools for early involvement of the manufacturing discipline in the requirements and design process of new technologies.

Advanced manufacturing demonstrations for the application of worldclass best manufacturing practices and procedures in a factory environment. These demonstrations are usually large scale, include the pertinent aspects of the enterprise, have specific goals, and are performed over a 2– to 4–year time period.

2. Rationale

Defense acquisition strategies reflect a significant reduction in weapon system development and production programs. The emphasis within DoD and the Army continues to be on upgrading and modifying existing systems while continuing to support the underlying doctrine of developing technologically superior weapon systems. This environment requires new processing and fabrication technologies and new manufacturing attributes (flexible, lean, agile) in order to economically produce a wide variety of products in lower volumes. Army MS&T must develop and adapt the technologies required to make weapon systems affordable both during materiel production and over the system life cycle.

3. Technology Subareas

a. Advanced Processing

Goals and Timeframes

The advanced processing subarea focuses on processing S&T that will lead to the production of affordable components with consistent and reliable properties. Emphasis is on process maturation and the development of technologies that can be implemented to control manufacturing processes.

The Army is focusing on the following advanced processing technology efforts:

Develop manufacturing processes for second–generation IRFPAs/dewar/cooler assemblies (FY98) that provide technology capability for the Air/Land Enhanced Reconnaissance and Targeting (ALERT) ATD, Target Acquisition ATD, Hunter Sensor Suite ATD, and Rotorcraft Pilot’s Associate ATD.
Develop automated testing (FY98) and manufacturing processes for uncooled IR technologies (FY00) that have the potential technology for insertion into the Objective Individual Combat Weapon ATD and Force XXI Land Warrior program.
Develop optical manufacturing processes for spherical lenses (FY05) that support a variety of ATDs that use optical components.
Demonstrate an adaptive process controller for the resin transfer molding process for airframe structures (FY99).
Fabricate thick composite parts (FY99) and in–situ sensors (Smartweave) that will impact the Composite Armored Vehicle ATD (FY98).
Develop improved manufacturing technology to sustain the remanufacturing and repair of DoD rotary wing aircraft (FY01).

Other pervasive efforts include:

Demonstrate integrated workcells for missile and munition seeker assemblies with associated process control systems (FY99).
High–deposition welding of low–cost titanium for tank turrets (FY99).
Develop laser–based optical prototyping system for titanium parts (FY98).
Develop a casting process for beryllium aluminum (FY00).
Develop MEMSs (FY98).
Develop processes associated with flexible continuous processing of propellants and explosives using a twin screw mixer/extruder (FY98).
Demonstrate advanced processing of solid thermoplastic elastomer gun propellants using in–process rheology control (FY98).
Develop improved machining, grinding, and inspection processes for precision gears (FY01).
Develop processes to improve manufacturing of fiber–optic cables.
Develop coating systems for engine components.
Develop advanced nonmetallic rechargeable battery with current application on SINCGARS radio, chemical mask sight, AN–PRC–104, KY–57, SAWELMILES II, Land Warrior, and potential applications to over 50 different Army end items (FY98).

Major Technical Challenges

The major technical challenges for improving processing and manufacturing technologies include increasing performance while decreasing size, weight, and life–cycle cost.

Specific challenges include:

Implement in–process controls and improved manufacturing techniques that will reduce dependence on highly skilled labor, increase yields, and increase throughput for tri–service, second–generation, standard advanced IRFPAs/dewars/coolers assemblies.
Improve testing and manufacturing techniques to reduce costs and increase throughput associated with large FPAs.
Develop an embedded sensor system to monitor the resin flow through a composite preform during the RTM process.
Eliminate costly dies and molds for fabrication of prototype titanium components and reduce costs associated with precision machining of beryllium aluminum components and precision gears.
Develop and implement reconfigurable workcells, multimissile tooling and test stations, material handling control, and process control techniques.
Miniaturize electromechanical systems to reduce power requirements and weight of soldier portable systems.
Control of the manufacturing process to facilitate real–time correction and reduce or eliminate post–process inspection.
Reverse engineering of legacy electronic systems to provide form, fit, and function for older weapon systems with today’s production technologies.
Develop safe, cost–effective, high quality equipment and processes for manufacture of energetic materials—propellants/explosives/pyrotechnics.
Develop flexible manufacturing capability for prismatic cell packaging and bi–cells from commercial spinoffs that will allow low cost manufacturing of a variety of nonmetallic rechargeable battery configurations.
Develop coating techniques for turbine blades and shrouds to improve performance and reduce life–cycle cost of turbine engines.

b. Manufacturing Engineering Support Tools

Goals and Timeframes

Manufacturing engineering support tools are essential to improve design, process analysis, prototyping, and inspection processes for manufacturing components and systems. Current Army efforts include developing production engineering tools that will assess product producibility and manufacturability based upon analysis of CAD drawings (FY99), integrating a rapid prototyping system with production engineering tools to reduce product development time (FY00), and developing advanced integrated manufacturing for missile seekers and munitions (far term).

Major Technical Challenges

Challenges for developing manufacturing engineering support tools include the development of design and analysis tools for assessing product producibility and manufacturability; developing rapid prototyping tools, and advancing manufacturing technologies such as CAD/CAM/CAE and inspection. Some specific challenges are:

Software environments capable of automatically transferring CAD drawings to machine shops and controlling the required equipment to produce a desired part.
Cost estimator tools that provide economic analysis of fabricating a part based upon the output of a design analysis tool.
Optimization of design versus fabrication process to minimize cost and cycle time via the development of a virtual factory capable of modeling factory floor processes.
Quality assessment and control through computer vision inspection.
Order release mechanism for electronic assembly systems.

c. Advanced Manufacturing Demonstrations

Goals and Timeframes

The advanced manufacturing demonstrations incorporate best manufacturing practices and integrated product and process development to merge innovative concepts and manufacturing technology into a system–level approach to integrated manufacturing. Army MS&T is currently conducting an industrial base pilot demonstration using the Longbow Apache fire–control–mast–mounted assembly as the demonstration article (FY98). A demonstration is planned using a missile IPPD to develop processing technology and producibility strategies during the earliest stages of production development (FY99). This latter activity is supportive of the EFOGM ATD, and the PGMM, Rapid Force Projection Initiative (RFPI), and Precision/Rapid Counter–Multiple Rocket Launcher (MRL) ACTDs. A planned demonstration pilot for MMW missile seekers (FY99) will provide for affordable/flexible manufacturing and design of these missile components.

Major Technical Challenges

The results and observations of industrial pilots indicate that implementation of enhanced business practices combined with technology insertion can significantly reduce cost, increase product quality, and ultimately develop the capability to produce a product in a lot size of one. The major challenges associated with advanced industrial practices include identifying, adapting, and implementing best manufacturing practices; identifying and implementing the appropriate tools for IPPD, and incorporating the changes into an enterprise’s culture.

4. Roadmap of Technology Objectives

The roadmap of technology objectives for Manufacturing Science and Technology is shown in Table IV–40.

Table IV–40.  Technical Objectives for Manufacturing Science and Technology

Technology Subarea

Near Term FY98–99

Mid Term FY00–04

Far Term FY05–13

Advanced Processing Reduce the cost of tri–service second–generation standard IRFPA/dewar/cooler assembly by 30% and implement in Army and DoD systems

Reduce 20% manufacturing cost of precision gear by improving grinding, and deburring, inspection processes

Increase manufacturing process yield 50% for fiber–optic cables and harnesses

Reduce optical components cost u20% for spherical lenses

Use resin transfer molding for advanced airframe structures

Develop noncontact, nondestructive test method to permit 100% evaluation of detector elements in FPAs

Develop processes for 60% reduction in machining for beryllium aluminum components

Twin screw processing of energetic materials

Process scales up of CBD enzymes and antibodies

Reduce testing time 75% for flexible static blade balancing technique for helicopter main rotorblades

Demonstrate bidirectional through–wafer optical interconnects for advanced missile processors

Center for Electronic Manufacturing for supporting current and future changes in defense and commercial industrial base

Advanced nonmetallic rechargeable batteries

Smart microdevice for application on ultra–compact antenna technology and system integration for rotorcraft and helicopters

Safe, environmentally acceptable, agile manufacturing technologies for propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics that provide the flexibility to meet future production needs

Develop real–time controlled welding process to reduce weld time by 50% for complex engine components

Develop manufacturing processes for uncooled thermal imaging processors and advanced FPAs

Fabricate advanced optical components such as aspherical lenses at u20% cost reduction

Eliminate manual tooling fabrication for optics production

Reduce thick composites fabrication cost for armored vehicles by 30% and labor by 50% using integrated process development

Develop real–time processing tool to provide flow modeling database for highly reinforced composite materials

Reduce the cost of biological stimulants

Enhance manufacturing processes for photonics

Lower missile seeker manufacturing costs by u30%

Develop optimal machining and heat treat distortion processes for high performance gear materials

Increase blade life 5% by developing helicopter integrated manufacturing for applying abradable shroud and abrasive blade coating

Reduce cost of compressor impellers by 50% through improved tooling/processing for high rate compressor manufacturing

Reduce 50% cost of aircraft transmission capability to produce them from thermoplastic materials

Reduce the cost of propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics by at least 25%

Develop manufacturing processes for monolithic, multifunction, multispectral advanced FPA sensor systems, multispectral staring FPA sensor systems, and on–chip massive optical parallel processors

Develop advanced tooling for cylindrical and toroidal lenses

Demonstrate an image control/neural network system to facilitate automated inspection of electronic modules

Establish COE for biotechnology

Manufacturing Engineering Support Tools Improve producibility of early designs using quick–turnaround cell software Develop enterprise metadatabase that puts information in a global form available to local shells Develop advanced integrated manufacturing technologies (to include desktop tools and virtual factories) using integrated product development for the missile and munitions sector
Advanced Manufacturing Demonstrations Reduce costs with a 15% weight reduction using integrated composite manufacturing for advanced aircraft

Demonstration pilot for MMW seekers for 40% reduction in concept to hardware cycle time

Affordable manufacturing of rotorcraft systems through the use of turboshaft engine and rotorcraft airframe pilots Battlefield Manufacturing Center (BMC) demonstration is planned

5. Linkages to Future Operational Capabilities

The influence of this technology area on TRADOC FOCs is summarized in Table IV–41.

Table IV–41.  Manufacturing Science and Technology Linkages to Future Operational Capabilities

Technology Subarea

Integrated and Branch/Functional Unique Future Operational Capabilities

Advanced Processing TR 97–001 Command and Control
TR 97–007 Battlefield Information Passage
TR 97–010 Tactical Communications
TR 97–012 Information Systems
TR 97–020 Information Collection, Dissemination, and Analysis
TR 97–021 Real–Time Target Acquisition, Identification, and Dissemination
TR 97–022 Mobility—Combat Mounted
TR 97–023 Mobility—Combat Dismounted
TR 97–027 Navigation
TR 97–029 Sustainment
TR 97–037 Combat Vehicle Propulsion
TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
TR 97–043 Survivability—Materiel
TR 97–044 Survivability—Personnel
TR 97–057 Modeling and Simulation
Manufacturing Engineering Support Tools TR 97–016 Information Analysis
TR 97–022 Mobility—Combat Mounted
TR 97–037 Combat Vehicle Propulsion
TR 97–040 Firepower Lethality
TR 97–057 Modeling and Simulation
Advanced Manufacturing Demonstrations TR 97–021 Real–Time Target Acquisition, Identification, and Dissemination
TR 97–022 Mobility—Combat Mounted
TR 97–024 Combat Support/Combat Service Support Mobility

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