RE: SOTI Report at SME

Date: Wed Apr 28 1999 - 15:26:54 EEST


How can we all work together to find better methods of measurement when the
original methods have never been disclosed. By the way, it's not that I
don't like the message it's that I'm not sure of its validity!


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Lightman, Allan J []
        Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 10:49 PM
        To: 'rp-ml'
        Subject: SOTI Report at SME

        I have found it somewhat painful to read the rather acrimonious
        of Terry Wohlers' State of the Industry report at the recent RP
meeting in
        Chicago. Particularly distressing is that the participants are all
        champions of the RP arena and, I think, fervently work for the
success of
        this technology. Terry has been a champion in every sense: through
        publications in a variety of journals, initiating the foundation of
        societies (RPA/SME) and organizations (GARPA), and interfacing with
        government sponsors to aid with RP technology development.
        statistical data on the state of the industry is perilous, at best.
        sources view this information as 'Competition Sensitive.' And while
        everyone wants to know how the industry is faring, few want everyone
to know
        how they are doing in particular. For the past years, while
expansion was
        in progress, nobody questioned the veracity of Terry's figures or
        sources. Now, when he reports a concern about stagnation, he is
        (Somewhat of a double standard.)

        I have assisted Terry collecting data on government sponsorship of
        related activities. Every year this information becomes more
difficult to
        assess as the focus of research shifts from technology development
        applications and the RP effort gets integrated into a larger scope.
In a
        similar way, as RP systems become integrated into mainline
        proportioning the 'RP business' becomes ever more difficult.
Evaluating the
        health of the industry and its future potential is more tenuous, but
        for potential new entrants. (To misquote Yogi Bera: It is very
difficult to
        make predictions, especially about the future.)

        The issue is serious. But when you don't like the message, it does
        improve the situation to attack the messenger. I encourage all
those who
        want more accurate statistical data to work together to develop a
        method of measurement. Terry has shown exemplary integrity and he
        considers the impact of every statement he makes in his report.

> ------------------------------
> Allan J. Lightman, Ph.D.
> Senior Research Scientist
> University of Dayton Research Institute
> 300 College Park
> Dayton, OH 45469-0150, USA
> Voice: +1-937-229-3966
> FAX: +1-937-229-3433
> E-mail:
> WWW:

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