It should be made clear at the outset of this chapter that the basis for the term manufacturing science lies more in the scientific and technological culture of the U.S. than in that of Japan. In the U.S., as will be explained later, manufacturing science is taken to be distinct from product development. However, the boundaries between the two are not as distinct in Japan. In fact, it may be stated that both are subsets of an overall science (if that term may be used at all), the overall product management process, which includes all aspects of what we may term basic research, development, and productization. In that vein, readers are cautioned that the subject matter of this chapter should be read in congruence with that of the next -- the differentiation between manufacturing science and product development is being made here more from the author's U.S. symbolism than from a Japanese perspective. Together, however, the two chapters provide an insight into the development of composites manufacturing from an integrated process and product viewpoint.
This document will (1) define key terms as they are used in the U.S. and Japan, placing special emphasis on the difference in perspective, (2) give examples of the basic and applied research seen by the team in the area of polymer-matrix composites manufacturing and related areas, and (3) discuss the development of manufacturing technology. Technology policy and the structure of basic research in Japan, as well as a glimpse of what the future may hold in these areas, are discussed in the next chapter. The reader should note that this document should be viewed not as a policy document but as a source of information. It is by no means comprehensive but does serve as an initial documentation of the differences in approach and status in composites manufacturing between the two countries.