RE: SOTI Report at SME

From: Jim Williams (
Date: Wed Apr 28 1999 - 21:20:34 EEST

Hello All...

Terry contacted me several weeks before RP&M in an effort to get
statistical data. For whatever my reasons (whether they were timing or
because I'm a privately held company) I chose not to comply with his
request. If others he contacted responded not unlike me, he had little
to go on. If I was typical Terry most certainly, in hindsight, could
have qualified his field of vision.

Jim Williams, President and CEO
Paramount Industries
Rapid Product Development & Manufacturing Specialists
2475 Big Oak Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
215.757.9611 voice x229
215.757.9784 fax
888.RPTOOLS toll free * watch for new page May '99 * request company sales information * digital data transfer

-----Original Message-----
From: Lightman, Allan J []
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 5:49 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
Chicago. Particularly distressing is that the participants are all
champions of the RP arena and, I think, fervently work for the success
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. Collecting
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
how they are doing in particular. For the past years, while expansion
in progress, nobody questioned the veracity of Terry's figures or his
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 RP
related activities. Every year this information becomes more difficult
assess as the focus of research shifts from technology development to
applications and the RP effort gets integrated into a larger scope. In
similar way, as RP systems become integrated into mainline
proportioning the 'RP business' becomes ever more difficult. Evaluating
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 not
improve the situation to attack the messenger. I encourage all those
want more accurate statistical data to work together to develop a better
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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