Development of Roadmap and Consortium for Innovation in Sheet Metal Forming

Project: Research project

Project Details


Widely used in industries, sheet metal forming plays an essential role in enabling global market competitiveness and manufacturing by how it impacts cost, development cycle and energy use. The Vision of this proposal is to accelerate and support the development and coordinated implementation of advanced technologies and strategies overcoming implicit impediments. These range from a disconnected and diverse industry that spans such application sectors as: food and beverages; medical and electronic products; automobiles; aircraft; and much more – to the high capital cost usually associated with sheet metal forming. The comprehensiveness of forming has made it one of the eleven (11) technology areas identified in the 2012 PCAST report to the President. Sheet metal forming is under great pressure to attain focused innovation in a common search for transformation. To best achieve the Vision, a coalesced community Consortium will be required that can work across the disparate industry silos to continually assess and prioritize needs, provide guidance in research directions, map gaps, risks and common challenges across varying scenarios, and stimulate linkage between university and corporate researchers and users. The project introduces roadmapping as the needed living and cross-cutting process to enable the Consortium to evolve and achieve its mission. To pursue the project a strong team has been assembled that can help launch, support and bring into sustainability the Consortium. The team combines academic and practice experts with deep knowledge and demonstrated competence in both forming (Cao and Santner) and roadmapping (Radnor and Strauss), further supported by industry consultants with many years of experience in relevant firms (Grossman, GM and McMillan, Rockwell Automation) plus project team collaboration from NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting, the North American Deep Drawing Research Group and Ohio Manufacturing Institute (OMI), as well as jumpstarting participation support from material suppliers such as AcelorMittal and ALCOA, small-medium manufacturing firms such as Deringer-Ney specialized in precision metal components, and end users such as Ford. The project will focus its efforts in the Midwest but build potential for national expansion. The cumulative series of project elements begins with: two workshops in Year 1 (in Chicago and Detroit) preceded by preparatory agenda-setting and high-level participant identification planning roundtables. The workshops will be built around group breakouts covering: 1. Research/Technology Opportunities and Barriers; 2. Industry Changes/Transitions; and 3. Consortium Design, Implementation and Sustaining Issues. The goal of these workshops is to stimulate and trigger the formation of action taskforces that can drive initial roadmapping and be instrumental in the Consortium formation and funding. There will be a final Year 2 summarizing conference supporting the Consortium launch, development of a roadmapping framework and dissemination of the foundational achievements and learning. Success measures will be applied to program elements. A Gantt chart details the inter-related tasks. The output of this project will be the establishment of the Consortium with the foundation of a coalesced community and an initial overall roadmap for sheet metal forming, to include an on-going iterative process to bring out the varying segment-level implications and roadmaps. This roadmap set can be used by the newly to-be-established lightweight and modern metals manufacturing innovation in
Effective start/end date6/1/145/31/18


  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (70NANB14H056)


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