Defense Collaborations

Defense Collaborations

About Defense Collaborations

The U.S. Department of Defense is MxD’s founding partner. Together, the two advance digital manufacturing technology and co-invest in a large research and development portfolio, now totaling more than $90 million across more than 60 projects.
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What Are Defense Collaborations?

MxD has forged relationships across the U.S. military to understand which technology advancements will best equip the warfighter and provide for an innovative U.S. industrial base to ensure technological dominance into the future. The institute has aligned its research and development grants, workforce development, and cybersecurity priorities to meet those needs. Our aim is to promote global competitiveness in U.S. manufacturing, which aids the department in its own defense modernization efforts.

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What Does MxD Do?

A strengthened U.S. industrial base will increase supply chain resiliency in support of the American warfighter. At MxD, this takes shape in our collaborations with our DoD partners, as in these two examples.

At the Rock Island Arsenal, the nation’s largest government-owned weapons manufacturer, MxD and its partners are creating a library of machine models and tools; introducing 3-D models to the shop floor to eliminate misinterpretations of 2-D models; and implementing a simulation tool to reduce the amount of rework needed because of trial and error.

In 2017, the Department of Defense and MxD sponsored a study to assess how small and medium-sized American manufacturers in its supply chain were dealing with the department’s new cybersecurity compliance requirements. The study found that compliance was low and identified ways to fix the problem. MxD presented these findings to the Department of Defense, which awarded $1 million in additional funding to kick-start the development of training and tools tailored to the needs of manufacturers of all sizes.

Testimonials

“The warfighter doesn’t necessarily care where their technology came from, they just care that the United States is helping increase their capabilities, their safety, their ability to do their jobs. We’ve asked them to protect this country, and we need to provide them with the best capabilities we can.”

Tracy Frost
Tracy Frost

Director, DOD Manufacturing Institutes

“The project team assembled to modernize the Arsenal’s design-to-manufacture capabilities has extensive military and corporate experience. New avenues for the Department of Defense to access small businesses like ours will lead to the creative and flexible solutions it needs to operate effectively.”

Roy Whittenburg
Roy Whittenburg

President and Owner, MBD360

“This project has been an important step toward digitizing and streamlining the process of getting equipment and materiel from the factory to the foxhole.”

Col. Kenneth Letcher
Col. Kenneth Letcher

Former Commanding Officer, Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center

“We are working together [with MxD] to develop cutting-edge digital technology and investing in a robust research and development infrastructure to promote global competitiveness on the part of U.S. manufacturers.”

Robert Gold
Robert Gold

Director, Technology & Manufacturing Industrial Base

Facts & Figures

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Facts & Figures

How many jobs support security and national defense?

Facts & Figures

About 1.6 million workers have jobs that, at least in part, support national defense. This accounts for approximately 1.3% of private sector employment.

Facts & Figures

Is the number of DoD contractors increasing or decreasing?

Facts & Figures

Decreasing. The sector has high barriers to entry, including technical experience and security compliance. DoD wants to reverse this trend to ensure a competitive market and to keep America innovating.

Facts & Figures

The United States is the world’s largest defense spender. Who’s second?

Facts & Figures

In 2019, the U.S. spent $716 billion on defense. China is second, and doubled its spending from $100 billion in 2007 to $228 billion in 2017.

Facts & Figures

What are our largest defense exports?

Facts & Figures

Patriot missile defense systems and combat aircraft, especially the F-35, sold to American allies and partners.

More Success Stories

1.

Rock Island Arsenal Project Replaces 2D Drawings

When the leadership at U.S. Army’s Rock Island Arsenal, the nation’s largest government-owned weapons manufacturer, decided it needed a comprehensive assessment of how to better use 3D models in its design and manufacturing process, it turned to MxD to access the right experts quickly.

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2.

Supply Chain Risk Alert

Dow, Microsoft, ITAMCO, and two universities teamed up to develop a system that 1) scours the landscape for events that could disrupt supply chains, 2) assesses the risks, and 3) suggests solutions.

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3.

Parts Designers Can Predict Performance With Click of a Button

This project led by Iowa State University created a software package (“ANA”) that allows designers to virtually test their products before spending money creating prototypes.

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4.

Digitizing Legacy Machines

Replacing or modifying legacy machines sometimes is too expensive or would disrupt production or void a warranty. So MxD funded the development of a sensor retrofit kit that communicates data through an industry standard MTConnect interface to a cloud dashboard.

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