New Army Policy Directive on Advanced Manufacturing
According to an October 4, 2019 US Army Public Affairs announcement entitled “Secretary of the Army approves new advanced manufacturing policy”, “Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy has approved a new policy on advanced manufacturing that will help the Army secure a competitive edge against near-peer adversaries. Advanced manufacturing refers to new ways of making existing products and the production of new products using advances in technology. It includes robotics, artificial intelligence, composite materials and additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing. "Advanced manufacturing will fundamentally change the way the Army designs, delivers, produces and sustains materiel capabilities," McCarthy wrote in the policy memorandum.”
According to a separate October 4 Army “Stand-To” announcement entitled “Army Advanced Manufacturing Initiative”, “the policy has three key principles:
- Strategic Investment: The Army must develop a holistic, threat-based strategy for the investment in and use of advanced methods and materials. Executing the strategy will require partnership from the private sector. As such, the policy allows for incentives designed to promote industry investment in advanced technologies.
- Systemic Adoption: The Army will incorporate advanced manufacturing upfront and throughout a system's lifecycle.
- Deliberate and Thoughtful Use: When using advanced manufacturing, be mindful of things like: intellectual property implications and return on investment.
Advanced manufacturing will enable the Army to:
- Increase system performance through lighter and stronger materials.
- Decrease design limitations imposed by traditional methods -- design for performance, not manufacturability.
- Produce complex components as one piece, reducing failure points and increasing reliability.
- Reduce development time by rapidly producing prototypes and quickly transitioning them to production.
- Reduce risk of obsolete parts and diminishing sources of supply.
- Fabricate closer to the point-of-need, when needed.”