Beyond APPs- Workflows of APPs

Period of Performance: 02/17/2015 - 11/16/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nimbis Services Inc.
1616 Anderson Road
McLean, VA 22102
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Statement of Problem. A series of national innovation reports, surveys, case studies, and specifically results from recent small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) pilots have uncovered inadequate adoption of HPC and modeling and simulation technology in manufacturing. As a direct result, much emphasis is now being placed on the development of applications (APPs) for very specific domains and use cases to address this shortfall. APP developments represent a very important first step, but ultimately SMEs want a tailored workflow comprised of multiple APPs, engineering applications (e.g. Matlab), visualization tools, and possibly limited use of finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and process tools. The next logical step is Workflows of APPs. Approach. The Nimbis Services and UCLA proposed solution, in the context of the Smart Manufacturing Coalition (SMLC) community, is an open Workflow of APPs environment that supports the sequential execution of hybrid workflows of APPs, engineering analysis, and manufacturing processes comprised of third party commercial, open source, and academic applications. Based on our experience with Kepler and other cloud based business workflow tools, our technical approach is to tap into the very active OpenStack and OpenShift communities to develop an open WOA solution tailored for SMEs. The WOA primary hosting environment will be cloud platforms but will also support hybrid cloud//HPC platforms. WOA benefits from Nimbis Services commercial cloud technical computing marketplace, APP hosting infrastructure, and previous extensive multi-domain workflow requirements studies which will enable early prototyping during Phase I. Commercial Applications and Benefits. The SMLC identified that by lowering the implementation barriers around cost, complexity, ease-of-use, measurement and computing availability, the U.S. manufacturing industry could deploy foundational infrastructure for vertically and horizontally oriented manufacturing intelligence to collectively strengthen capability. By lowering the cost and effort to implement and support these technologies across the supply chain, small and medium sized companies are incentivized to adopt new manufacturing practices that improve their performance. Key Words. Smart manufacturing, supply chain optimization, process workflows, APPs, HPC modeling and simulation, data analytics, cloud computing, security, OpenStack. Congressional Summary. The WOA will transform manufacturing through the use of cloud based workflows of APPS using vertically integrated data driven analytics, HPC modeling and simulation techniques to provide real-time sophisticated manufacturing intelligence. The reduction of the implementation barriers around cost, complexity, ease-of-use, measurement and computing availability will assist small and medium sized companies.