Creating Solutions

ASTM Creates Smart Manufacturing Advisory Committee.

This issue of SN is devoted to smart manufacturing, a term that has come to describe highly automated, computer-driven production systems. It is a rapidly growing concept and reality that is impacting factories all over the world. Smart manufacturing will change the way things are made, from the production line to the way products are tested and packaged.

ASTM International is currently home to 10 technical committees, 50 subcommittees and 5,300 members from 65 countries who are engaged in standards initiatives for aspects of smart manufacturing.

Smart manufacturing, however, is an industrial movement in need of more than disparate standardized parts. It needs a smart approach to standardization, one that is strategic, collaborative and coordinated. Therefore, last year, ASTM launched a formalized structure with representation from relevant technical committees. We call it our Smart Manufacturing Advisory Committee. I am pleased to announce that we are broadening the focus and opening up the membership of this group. If you are interested in getting involved, you are welcome.

The advisory committee will act as a communications vehicle that will connect relevant technical committees and other ASTM programs such as credentialing, training and certification. It will identify external stakeholders and leverage ASTM's partnership with America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. It will develop liaisons between ASTM, the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Smart Manufacturing Programs.

In October, the Technology Exchange on Coordination of U.S. Standards Development for Additive Manufacturing took place in State College, Pennsylvania. This event was supported by a powerful and effective coalition - ASTM, ASME, SAE International, Penn State, America Makes and others. Participants included representatives from NASA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boeing and the U.S. Department of Defense. Our own Katharine Morgan, executive vice president, provided introductory remarks and facilitated a round table discussion with students.

While workshops, training and white papers set the stage for new standards initiatives, our staff will promote awareness of the program and create an online collaboration area for the SMAC to utilize, and a portal on the ASTM website to aggregate information on smart manufacturing.

This is an undertaking unlike any in the history of this organization. It is an exciting new frontier, an exercise in vision. It is ASTM International, creating solutions.

James A. Thomas


ASTM International

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