NATO - Additive manufacturing digital repository concept and framework

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Contract for the development of an additive manufacturing digital repository concept and framework.


Opportunity closing date
26 June 2022
Opportunity publication date
08 June 2022
Opportunity type
Enquiries received
Value of contract
to be confirmed
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Additive Manufacturing (AM), more popularly called 3D printing, is the process of creating a 3D solid object, layer by layer, from a digital model.

A recent NATO survey sought information on national defence ministry plans and activities concerning AM, as well as learning how Alliance nations are modifying their policies, concepts, and logistics chains to support adoption of the technology.

The survey also sought views on how and where NATO could add value in AM.

Based on the survey results, NATO’s science and technology community made recommendations for the future use of AM in logistics, including an in-field production capability for NATO operations. One recommendation is the establishment of a “NATO Digital Library” for 3D printed products. The library would, support secure storage and sharing of digital technical data packages for NATO and nations. It might also act as a repository or interchange service for equivalent technical data from original equipment manufacturers or parts producers.

This repository for manufactured products in digital environment (RAPiD-e (Repository for Additively manufactured Products in Digital environment)) needs to be described conceptually.

This Statement of Work (SoW) describes ACT’s request for the development of an “Additive Manufacturing Digital Repository Concept and Framework”.

The concept and framework should establish the basis for future activities to create a federation of AM digital repositories with NATO at its core.

In particular, it must provide:

- a summary and analysis of NATO and national requirements for a collective AM Digital Repository.
- a Statement of Work (SoW) has been issued with ACT’s request for the development of an “Additive Manufacturing Digital Repository Concept and Framework”.

The concept and framework should establish the basis for future activities to create a federation of AM digital repositories with NATO at its core. In particular, it must provide:

A summary and analysis of NATO and national requirements for a collective AM Digital Repository.

A proposal for the foundation and realisation of a NATO AM Digital Repository, including but not limited to:
- the organisation of a multinational system of repositories
- the structure of the main components of the NATO system
- the interrelationships among those components
- the principles that should guide development of the NATO capability and the wider evolution of the federated set of digital AM repositories.
- a feasibility assessment of the technical viability of implementing such a Repository, based on the requirements and the proposal, and giving a rough order estimate of a schedule to implement both an initial operating and full operating capability
- a set of recommendations for next steps to take forward development of the concept and framework

The contract will be for 4 months.

The Additive Manufacturing Digital Repository Concept and Framework project will assess the operational need for an Alliance-wide federation of digital repositories that supports the secure storage, search, access, and licensed and assured sharing of technical data associated with digital parts production, and propose a conceptual approach and architectural framework that supports the attainment of that goal.

The assessment must consider alternative solutions that provide for:
- the concept of a Digital Twin and a Digital Thread, linking the physical and digital realms in such a way as to allow for traceability and support of the management and control of an individual item across its life.
- the marking and ownership of a digitally manufactured item, to include the possibility of irrevocably marking such an item, so supporting provenance while simultaneously allowing for ownership transfer or leasing of that item.
- assurance to holders of Intellectual Property Rights as to the safeguarding of their technical data and the proper payment of licensing fees associated with parts production.
- identification of links and pathways between such repositories and other systems that support Product Lifecycle Management and order and demand management systems (i.e., in effect creating the potential for a digital warehouse with the 3D printing of parts on demand).

It must also:
- recognise the concept of technical data packages, as described in MIL-STD-31000B “Technical Data Packages” dated 31 Oct 2018, as the foundational basis for the digital artefacts to be addressed by a digital repository and the architectural framework that is to describe the means of federating such repositories. Modifications to that specification should be proposed, where appropriate.
- identify relevant current and emerging standards in the field of advanced manufacturing, including additive manufacturing, with respect to the scope of the project and propose an adoption or development pathway that the Alliance should consider in moving forward in a coherent manner.
- stratify different classes of equipment and supply according to the degree of security and control applicable to them,

You should propose items or classes for a subsequent proof of concept demonstrator, identifying any existing digital designs that nations offered during stakeholder engagement.

The assessment must:
- propose a glossary or lexicon of terms as a common basis for the discussion of an AM Digital Repository concept with nations
- confirm, delimit or reject ACT’s presumption of the viability of the business proposition for the creation and operation of an AM Digital Repository

In undertaking the tasks, you should take into account that:
- interoperability is fundamental to NATO. The concept and framework shall support this principle to the maximum extent possible.
- AM is a subset of the wider field of advanced manufacturing. The project should not be unduly constrained by such boundaries, but consider digital manufacturing as a guiding principle.
- digital manufacturing of parts and equipment touches on multiple fields, e.g., legal, regulatory and technical. The project should assume a multidisciplinary approach.
- any solution must recognise the limited connectivity, high latency communications that exist in an operational military logistic environment.

The development of this concept should follow the NATO ACT Concept Development & Experimentation (CD&E) process and lead to the development of a:
- concept plan and resource request (no later than 10 days following a kick off meeting)
- concept proposal (20 days from the meeting)
- initial concept (60 days from the meeting)
- draft concept, version 0.5 (90 days from the meeting)
- validated concept, version 0.9 (100 days from the meeting)
- final concept, version 1.0 (120 days from the meeting)

You bid must be received at HQ SACAT, Virginia, USA by 9am (local time) on 29 June 2022.

It must remain valid for 120 days from the closing date.

You should send your proposal as 2 separate single PDF documents, one with the technical and the other with the price (in US Dollars) via e-mail

The contract will be awarded to the company whose proposal offers the best value to NATO.

Opportunity closing date
26 June 2022
Value of contract
to be confirmed
The buyer is happy to talk to
manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, agents, consultants

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