• A new policy approved by the secretary of the Army requires the use of advanced manufacturing techniques, which included 3D printing, for new and existing systems. Credit: Pixabay/mebner1
     A new policy approved by the secretary of the Army requires the use of advanced manufacturing techniques, which included 3D printing, for new and existing systems. Credit: Pixabay/mebner1

Army Approves Advanced Manufacturing Policy

October 4, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
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The policy requires using advanced manufacturing for new and fielded systems.


Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy has approved a new policy on advanced manufacturing designed to 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, Army officials explained in a public announcement. The new policy requires incorporating advanced manufacturing into both new and fielded systems. In doing so, it drives the entire acquisition system toward advanced methods and materials that will result in modernized weapons systems and enhanced readiness.

"Advanced manufacturing will fundamentally change the way the Army designs, delivers, produces and sustains materiel capabilities," McCarthy wrote in the policy memorandum.

The new policy aims to deliver on two of the Army's top priorities: readiness and modernization, the announcement says. It adds that advanced manufacturing decreases design limitations imposed by traditional manufacturing methods, allowing for the production of complex parts.

Optimized designs, coupled with lighter and stronger advanced materials, can result in improved system performance. Advanced manufacturing also will allow the Army to innovate with “unparalleled speed,” according to the announcement. “It enables the rapid production of prototypes and transition to production, leading to shorter development times. Advanced manufacturing can also be used to address the readiness challenges posed by parts obsolescence, diminishing sources of supply and sustained operations in austere environments.”

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