The development of digital technologies for manufacturing has been challenged by the difficulty of navigating the breadth of new technologies available to industry. This difficulty is compounded by technologies developed without a good understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the manufacturing environment, especially within small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). This paper describes industrial case studies conducted to identify the needs, priorities, and constraints of manufacturing SMEs in the areas of performance measurement, condition monitoring, diagnosis, and prognosis. These case studies focused on contract and original equipment manufacturers with less than 500 employees from several industrial sectors. Solution and equipment providers and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers were also included. Each case study involved discussions with key shop-floor personnel as well as site visits with some participants. The case studies highlight SME’s strong need for access to appropriate data to better understand and plan manufacturing operations. They also help define industrially-relevant use cases in several areas of manufacturing operations, including scheduling support, maintenance planning, resource budgeting, and workforce augmentation.

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