Anark Wins OSD ManTech Contract to Modernize Organic Industrial Base

Boulder, CO. Anark has won the Organic Industrial Base Modernization Challenge. Anark's solution for A Closed-loop Technical Data Exchange That Meets the OIB Where They Work was selected as a winning proposal. 

The OSD Manufacturing Technology Program hosted representatives from five Department of Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institutes and their member companies for an Organic Industrial Base Modernization Challenge pitch event at the MxD MII facility in Chicago on February 7, 2023. Following an October workshop to identify crucial technological needs, OSD ManTech initiated the OIB Modernization project call through the MIIs set to offer up to $2.5 million in OSD-sponsored government funding to five MII-member winners. This resulted in 104 proposal submissions from member companies. Nine projects delivered their proposals to a panel of OIB experts, industry leadership and the OSD ManTech Director, Tracy Frost based on their projected positive impact across the 47 DoD-owned OIB sites. 

OSD ManTech announced Anark as one of the selected winners of the challenge: 

OSD ManTech OIB Modernization Challenge Award

Figure 1: OSD ManTech Selects Anark as a Winner of the OIB Modernization Challenge 

Close-loop Technical Data Exchange

A guiding principle of DoD Data Strategy, and many other global manufacturers, is that data is considered a strategic asset to be leveraged in a way that brings immediate and lasting military advantage. This project will increase that advantage by delivering a closed-loop technical data exchange that streamlines operations, improves workforce productivity and satisfaction, connects heterogeneous data silos into a collaborative digital thread, and meets a diverse OIB where it works.

There are CDRL DID acquisition modernization efforts occurring within the DoD, where program offices are utilizing modern standards such as MIL-STD-31000 to acquire product-level TDPs that include 3D CAD with model-based definition (MBD) and other types of sophisticated digital product data. However, the OIB operates with significant site-to-site limitations in computer equipment, network infrastructure, and knowledge-worker skillsets needed to utilize the data being acquired by program offices. This “last mile” challenge leaves a significant data-access-and-collaboration gap that existing solutions cannot cover.

The solution proposed within will meet the U.S. Army’s 23 depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants where they are today, and provide a scalable path forward to digital modernization. With applicability to the OIB, DIB, Joint Forces, and commercial manufacturers alike, this enterprise-grade solution will showcase how the modern manufacturer will gain and sustain advantages by empowering people with the data they need. In partnership with MxD and sites like Picatinny Arsenal and Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, this project will contribute to the broader mission of sustaining the artisan workforce, maintaining pace with Army modernization, and enabling surge capacity.

A Manufacturing Collaboration Problem Worth Solving

There are 3 main factors preventing successful technical data modernization efforts:

Silos of Information and Collaboration Break the Digital Thread: Most downstream technical data consumers spend little to no time in PLM where authoritative data is managed. This makes it difficult to share critical technical product data seamlessly across departments, so organizations resort to primitive file sharing and communication tools. This breaks the digital thread, hindering decision-making, slowing the production process, and results in unforeseen costs and schedule delays due to errors, scrap, and rework.

Diverse OIB Technology Infrastructure and Personnel Prevent Scalable Solutions: The disparity between program office data modernization and OIB data deployment reality creates risk for the DoD. Data utilization problems in the OIB stem broadly from deficiencies in data readiness. Barriers such as insufficient computer or mobile device availability, hazardous environments that preclude digital access, personnel unfamiliar with PLM and modern technical data, and the inability to leverage digital access for collaboration processes, all yield an on-the-ground reality that prevents technical data modernization.

Organizational Barriers Remain Between Program Offices and OIB Sites: Manufacturing organizations and their suppliers have deeply ingrained cultures, structures (and infrastructures) that resist change. This resistance results in a gap that starts with phrases like, “I don’t have credentials to access that system”, or “It is a requirement to have a paper print for the work I’m about to do.” Breaking down this barrier requires a “people centric” approach that meets people where they work. Technical data sharing and collaboration solutions that take people out of their daily routine/systems/tools are doomed to fail.

These challenges are seen across the OIB and into the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and commercial manufacturing sector. Small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) are particularly vulnerable to these challenges in much the same ways as listed above, working with a toolset that doesn’t match the technology that many of the larger manufacturing counterparts use. This leaves a significant communication and collaboration gap that results in the problems found in Lifecycle Insights Research – The State of Technical Content Collaboration, including scrap, rework, poor performance, and problems discovered too late to correct.

Learn More About Anark Solutions

Watch the webinar, A Guide for Digital Engineering and DoD Instruction 5000.97, to learn how Anark is bridging the Digital Engineering gaps in this project and others.

DOD Instruction 5000-97 Digital Thread

Figure 2: DoD Instruction 5000.97 Meets Anark's Digital Thread Solutions 

Read the full press release from OSD ManTech's OIB Modernization Challenge to learn more about the project. 



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