HUNTSVILLE, AL—The University of Alabama in Huntsville's (UAH) Office for Operational Excellence (OOE) here will participate in a recently funded program to integrate additive manufacturing into the United States Army, and pilot an additive manufacturing-based supply chain.
UAH is a collaborator with the Pennsylvania-based National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and received a portion of the $3.7 million in funding used to launch NCDMM’s Additive Manufacturing NOW (AMNOW) program.
Some areas of focus in the program are evaluating the readiness of additive manufacturing suppliers to support the Army, evaluating the ability of processes within the Army to source additive manufacturing parts and putting in any missing pieces for a pilot.
Challenges include the need to securely and digitally transmit and process Dept. of Defense design data, obtaining complete design data to use to source parts, ensuring the ability to validate that the final part matches the exact design that was provided and standardization of material properties within the additive manufacturing sector.
UAH will focus on assessing additive manufacturing suppliers and evaluating the Army's sourcing processes for additive manufacturing, as well as supporting initiatives led by the other partners. er and undergraduate students.
The OOE brings to AMNOW its supply chain mapping and supplier assessments experience with the Army, its experience with additive manufacturing, its experience with cyber security and an unbiased perspective. The work will contribute to the Army adopting broad-based additive manufacturing practices.