AMTech Project Brief: Award Number 70NANB14H056, Lead: Northwestern University
NIST Project Brief
Sheet metal forming is responsible for more than 7% of US GDP, critical to manufacturing of automobiles, planes, appliances, food and beverage, electronic and medical products and more. It plays an essential role in enabling global market competitiveness and manufacturing by how it impacts cost, development cycle and energy use; and has been identified as one of the eleven technology areas in the 2012 President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report to the President.
The goal is to accelerate development and coordinated implementation of advanced technologies and strategies in sheet metal forming overcoming obstacles such as high capital cost and long development cycles.
Northwestern will lead a team to engage firms and associations in diverse industries in an integrated technology roadmapping effort. This activity will focus on cross-cutting challenges, and it will stimulate linkages between company and university researchers. The roadmapping effort will monitor emerging new technologies impacting materials, lubrication, coatings, equipment, automation, sensors, data analytics, numerical simulations, and related skills training - in both large mass production firms and in small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Team: A strong team has been assembled that can launch, support and bring the Consortium into sustainability. The team combines academic and practice experts with deep knowledge and demonstrated competence in both forming (Cao-PI and Santner) and roadmapping (Radnor and Strauss), further supported by industry consultants with many years of experience in relevant firms. The project team will also have collaborations from the NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting (NCAL), the North American Deep Drawing Research Group (NADDRG), Ohio Manufacturing Institute (OMI) and the forming groups at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Texas A&M and the Oregon State University, as well as jumpstarting participation support from material suppliers such as ALCOA and ArcelorMittal, small-medium firms such as Deringer-Ney (DNI specialized in precision metal components), a large manufacturing firm such as Ford, and community colleges such as College of Lake County (CLC) and its connection to other community colleges for their key role in addressing workforce training. The team will outreach to the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium and two newly established manufacturing institutes, the Digital Lab (DMDI) based in Chicago and the Lightweight Metal (ALMMII) based in Detroit, to maximize the efforts and the impacts.