ASME’s Five Strategic Technologies: Manufacturing

May 10, 2019

This is the first in a series of ASME News articles on the Society’s five strategic technology focus areas: robotics, bioengineering, clean energy, manufacturing and pressure technology. This article will focus on ASME’s activities related to the topic of manufacturing.

A few years ago, ASME volunteers and staff began an effort to identify strategic technologies that could impact future ASME products, programs and technical content. After an extensive process that included gathering market intelligence and input from subject matter experts from both inside and outside the Society, the Board of Governors approved five strategic technologies that would be the basis of ASME’s technology portfolio.

A $12 trillion industry, manufacturing was selected because of its significance as a key driver of the U.S. and world economies. A promising, emerging sector of the industry — additive manufacturing, or 3D printing — was identified as an entry point for ASME to begin to expand its presence in the manufacturing market, taking into account ASME’s many years of experience in product design and safety, additive manufacturing’s forecast of projected growth and its anticipated impact on the global supply chain.

Additive manufacturing was a suitable niche for ASME to begin to expand its role in manufacturing, particularly given the growing digitization of the industry and the dearth of knowledge and experience in design for additive manufacturing, according Raj Manchanda, ASME’s business development director for manufacturing.

One area that ASME could explore in additive manufacturing is the qualification of 3D-printed parts, Manchanda continued. “As a manufacturer, it is important to know that the part you have printed is exactly what you said it would be,” he said. “It is also critical to verify that the material properties are what they’re supposed to be. Qualifying that part, particularly if it’s going to be a production part, is extremely important. There could be an opportunity not only for ASME standards, but also for conformity assessment programs,” he said.

ASME Standards & Certification has undertaken a number of initiatives related to additive manufacturing over the past few years including the publishing of a draft standard for trial use, “Y14.46-2017, Product Definition for Additive Manufacturing,” which supplements the requirements of Y14.5 for additive manufacturing designs, and the recent introduction of a new standard, “Y14.47-2019, Model Organization Practices,” intended to be the foundation for design development efforts in a model-based enterprise (MBE) — a manufacturing strategy in which an annotated 3D digital model serves as the definitive information source for all stages of a product’s lifecycle.

In addition, several new Standards & Certification groups related to manufacturing were recently formed, including the V&V-50 Subcommittee on Verification and Validation of Computational Modeling for Advanced Manufacturing; the Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards/Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards (BPTCS/BNCS) Special Committee on the Use of Additive Manufacturing for Pressure Retaining Equipment; and a new Subcommittee on Monitoring, Diagnostic, and Prognostic Guidelines for Manufacturing Operations. Project teams are also currently working on a new B89 metrology standard concerning X-ray Computed Tomography and a supplement to the B46.1 surface texture standard that would address additive manufacturing.

On the conferences and events front, the ASME Gas Turbine Segment and the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) Division hosted a new event, the Advanced Manufacturing & Repair for Gas Turbines, this past March in Berlin, Germany. Following the success of the inaugural Additive Manufacturing Leadership Summit that ASME held at PTC LiveWorx last June, the Society entered into a collaboration with PTC LiveWorx in which ASME will sponsor four sessions, including one on additive manufacturing and the digital transformation of the production line, at LiveWorx 2019 in Boston this June. In addition, the Manufacturing Engineering Division continues to program its annual Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC), which will include a track on additive manufacturing. The conference will be held from June 10-14 at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, in Erie, Pa.

ASME Government Relations has hosted several congressional briefings on manufacturing during the past few years, including “Manufacturing USA: Securing U.S. Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing,” in partnership with NIST last October, and “Strengthening America’s Manufacturing Heartland” in partnership with AIChE in December 2017. More recently, ASME and the United Engineering Foundation sponsored two briefings that were hosted by the House Manufacturing Caucus: “Producing Parts with 3D Printing: How Innovations in Additive Manufacturing are Being Deployed Across the U.S. Supply Chain,” on March 27, and “Organs on Demand: What’s Stopping Us from Made-to-Order Tissues and Organs,” on April 10.

Other recent and upcoming manufacturing-related activities at ASME include the publication of Mechanical Engineering magazine’s Manufacturing Special Report last October and the magazine’s cover story, “The State of American Manufacturing 2019,” this month; the launch of the magazine’s annual Emerging Technologies Awards program honoring engineering achievements in each of the five strategic technology areas; and the publication of a special issue of the ASME Journal of Medical Devices on the 3D printing of medical devices this fall and a special issue of the ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering on machine learning applications in manufacturing next spring.

Although the bulk of the Society’s recent endeavors related to manufacturing have dealt with additive manufacturing, that specialty is just one of ASME’s entryways to a larger presence in the manufacturing arena, according to Manchanda, who pointed to smart manufacturing as another area of interest to ASME. In fact, the next meeting of the ASME Manufacturing Technology Advisory Panel — the group of thought leaders that provides market insights to ASME regarding its manufacturing endeavors — will focus on smart manufacturing and digital transformation. The experts participating in the daylong session, to be held May 30 at ASME’s headquarters in New York, will include representatives from IBM, Boeing, Stryker, Siemens PLM Software, Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Intel, HP, TechSolve, Infosys, the Southwest Research Institute and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining.

Other manufacturing-related products and programs are currently in the works at ASME as well. Stay tuned for further updates in future issues of ASME News.