Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition

Current Projects & Activities

SM Portfolio


Current Projects & Activities

National Institute of Standards and Technology - SBIR "Workflow of Apps" 2015

Nimbis Services Inc. (Nimbis), Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have partnered to research a solution for an open Workflow of APPs under a Phase I grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. The workflow environment will support the sequential execution of hybrid workflows of APPs, engineering analysis, and manufacturing processes comprised of commercial, open source, and academic applications.

The project was conceived from SMLC efforts over the past several years and the results of High Performance Computing (HPC) activities sponsored by the Council on Competitiveness (COC). In the COC report, Innovate America: Thriving in a World of Challenge and Change, America’s leaders note that innovation gives the United States a competitive advantage. Investing in HPC results in stimulated innovation, a strengthened U.S. military, and a boost in national competitiveness.

This project addresses inadequate adoption of HPC and modeling and simulation technologies in manufacturing, lack of knowledge and skills in HPC technologies, and the ability to apply modeling and simulation tools to address specific challenges. By offering tailored workflows comprised of multiple APPs, engineering applications, and visualization tools, HPC and manufacturing workflows are available to a broader user base, thus stimulating innovation and growing adoption of HPC from large entities to the small and medium-sized manufacturers.

National Institute of Standards and Technology - SBIR "Workflow Engine for Smart Manufacturing" 2013

Nimbis recently won a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program “Workflow Engine for Smart Manufacturing” 2013 award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Nimbis has partnered with UCLA and the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) to provide an open workflow environment that supports the sequential execution of third-party APPS using net-worked information based modeling and data analytic technologies to integrate manufacturing intelligence across an entire manufacturing ecosystem. The “Smart Manufacturing Workflow Engine (SMWE)” leverages Nimbis’ commercial cloud technical analysis marketplace and APP hosting infrastructure.  The SMWE will extend the Nimbis marketplace and hosting infrastructure’s capabilities to support multi-dimensional smart manufacturing modeling and real-time data driven process workflows. These workflows orchestrate the use of third-party supplied APPS and ISV application software providing management alternatives in the right context, at the right time, to the right user for plant operation optimization. 

The SMLC identified that by lowering the implementation barriers around cost, complexity, ease-of-use, measurement and computing availability, the U.S. manufacturing industry could deploy foundational infrastructure for vertically and horizontally oriented manufacturing intelligence to collectively strengthen capability.  Creating an open manufacturing APP workflow environment hosted on a smart manufacturing platform will not only transform manufacturing but will also stimulate entrepreneurs to develop and license their IP in the form of models that can be plugged into the platform.

Department of Energy (DOE) - Clean Manufacturing Award via Project SM

Develop a prototype Smart Manufacturing (SM) Platform that validates how sensor-driven modeling, measurement, and simulation technologies, and energy management dashboards can be customized for individual manufacturer requirements with a variety of manufacturing metrics and be rapidly deployed at 50% of the cost of current methods for deploying modeling and simulation applications and their integration with control systems. Develop plans to commercialize, sustain, and grow Project SM technology through promotion of the SM Platform, its transitions into an Apps store, service and support market place, and outreach to small, medium, and large manufacturers by working with industry partners involved in Project SM.

The overall objectives of Project SM are to design and demonstrate a common platform that enables data, modeling, and simulation technologies for active, real-time decisions to manage energy use in conjunction with production performance metrics, and to use the platform to establish how optimization of energy productivity as a key driver in business decisions can be applied across many U.S. manufacturing companies.  Using two energy-intensive plants as test beds (steam methane reforming and heat treatment / forging) will validate the approach proposed in this project. Achieving the objective of Project SM requires development of an SM system using the Smart Manufacturing Application and Data Platform (“SM Platform”).  The SM Platform is an innovative approach that allows manufacturing organizations to assemble new management systems at much lower cost of deployment than is required today and extract new levels of intelligence from their operation to optimize energy productivity.  A broad-based energy productivity metric and application toolkit in the SM Platform will allow manufacturers to select the key variables, weighting factors, and ranges of measurement best suited to a particular process or production operation.  The energy productivity metric will be integrated with real-time information collected across all process steps and used to provide comparisons of energy productivity against theoretical potential, practical capability, and actual performance. Results from the project will be disseminated to other large energy consumers with similar processes and also to small and medium manufacturers.

National Science Foundation (NSF) - Bridging Campus Resources via GENI Project

GENI is a suite of infrastructure that creates a virtual laboratory for experimenting future internets at scale in order to advance innovation and understanding of global networks and their interactions with society. 

The NSF funded project will test two concepts within the GENI infrastructure: (1) an Open Flow (OF) architecture allowing customized management of information flows without impacting the performance of existing networks, and (2) flexible support of mobile users.  OF is an open interface for remotely controlling the forwarding tables in network switches, routers, and access points that can allow researchers and network service providers to evaluate new network solutions in commercial networks with minimal impact on existing traffic flow.  This project establishes a live OpenFlow (OF) test bed on the UCLA campus, which researchers in different disciplines will use to run experiments requiring high volume data exchange, intense processing, and/or seamless mobility as a production level service on the campus network.  The project involves several application demonstrations of the OF test bed, including simulation of OF networking in a typical Smart Manufacturing (SM) scenario with real-time exchanges of data in SM systems.  OF will assist in isolating SM system data flows, dispatching them to the intended servers, and handling them with the proper quality of service and priority.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - 2012 Measurement Science and Engineering (MSE) Research Grant Program

The SMLC/NIST study is a three year project that progressively addresses definition, qualification, and validation of common functional drivers for a workflow based application code deployment architecture that simultaneously underpins the shared SM Platform and how it interoperates with a manufacturing facility.  The SMLC vision is to establish an initial SM Platform of sufficient capability to support near term development and application of SM systems with well-defined performance metrics and use of existing technologies and models.  The overarching objectives of this study are to (1) map architectural drivers for SM Systems to architectural requirements and (2) use progressively developed maps to define barriers and opportunities for building common application code deployment architectures based on composable real-time sensor measurement driven workflows.  These maps will form a vehicle for communicating key architectural drivers that will support the design and specification of the SM Platform and the operational deployment of SM systems.