Several research sites are willing to help you improve your manufacturing processes.

It is often useful to get feedback while working on a project. And when a project is completed, it can be helpful to see what other companies are doing before embarking on the next project. Either way, the research invested in looking for the right feedback or the best way to do a project can take hours, if not days. Quality Online tries to make your job easier by providing you with two sites to make the task a bit easier. The Best Manufacturing Practices Web site is an industry and government cooperative technology transfer effort that strives to improve the global competitiveness of the U.S. industrial base. The primary objective of the site is to identify and validate best practices, document them and then encourage industry, government and academia to share information about them. One way to accomplish this goal is through in-depth, onsite voluntary surveys-the core of the program. The surveys are not audits, but vehicles for organizations to share their best practices and have them evaluated by a team of experts. The Best Practice Surveys section provides more details as to how a company can host a survey.

The Program Manager's Workstation Software (PMWS) link accesses an electronic suite of tools. The Technical Risk and Mitigation System (TRMS) measures technical risk management rather than cost and schedule. The program helps identify areas of risk, tracks program goals and responsibilities, and generates reports.

KnowHow is an electronic library of technical reference books, guidelines and acquisition publications that cover a variety of engineering topics.

The BMP database contains more than 2,500 best practices that have been verified and documented by a team of independent experts during BMP surveys. The database grows as new surveys are completed, and experts review the database on an annual basis to ensure that information remains current. The Manufacturing Research Center (MARC) at Georgia Institute of Technology supports multidisciplinary research and education in manufacturing technologies, and partners with industry to formulate and expand upon research agendas. MARC organizes company coalitions to support major manufacturing initiatives, markets and leverages technical and academic expertise to companies, and develops mechanisms for conducting manufacturing research.

The site allows visitors to browse the various research centers and laboratories with which MARC has affiliations. Some of the research centers provide access to virtual libraries and tutorials, while some of the laboratories provide virtual tours and update visitors on current projects.

MARC actively collaborates with those in industry. From providing input on defining research agendas critical to the future of manufacturing technology, to contributing funds, materials, services or equipment, MARC's industry partners play a major role in driving the program to produce results that are readily integrated into the manufacturing process. MARC works with companies of all sizes on short-term (three to six month) and long-term (two to three year) projects. The Industry Partnership link also outlines the benefits of being affiliated with MARC.

The site provides a Photo Gallery of some of MARC's research programs and laboratory facilities, including the Precision Machining Research Consortium and the Rapid Protoyping & Manufacturing Institute.