By Marlon Walker, Ph.D.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Small or mid-sized manufacturers in Missouri face many challenges in their daily operations. Some of these challenges are technical in nature, involving processes crucial to product design, development, and manufacture. Often, there aren’t readily available resources to help small and mid-sized manufacturers solve these issues – until now. NIST MEP is piloting the MEP-Assisted Technology and Technical Resource (MATTR) program to better connect SMMs with the resources of the NIST laboratories.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a premier scientific institution, serving as the National Measurement Institute for the United States. The NIST mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness. Two of the ways in which NIST carries out this mission are through the NIST laboratories and the MEP program. Research occurring at the NIST labs covers many areas in current and future manufacturing technologies important in the United States, including the aerospace and automotive industries, biosciences, cybersecurity, energy generation and control, material sciences, and smart manufacturing.
The MATTR program provides a mechanism for U.S. manufacturers with specific needs or questions concerning products or processes to be connected through the MEP centers to the technical expertise, laboratory facilities, and other resources of the NIST Laboratories. MATTR can help U.S. manufacturers do things like enhance and adopt technologies, access measurement and calibration services, apply new technology-based manufacturing approaches, access technology available to be licensed, and implement best practices.
Do you, as a small or mid-sized manufacturer, need assistance with a technical challenge involving a product or process? If so, consider working through Missouri Enterprise to submit a MATTR request to NIST by visiting our site. Not every problem has a solution at NIST, but NIST has already been able to help dozens of small U.S. manufacturers in areas such as nanotechnology, collaborative robotics, thin film metrology, special measurements, accreditation standards, and additive manufacturing.