Article by Bart Taylor May 15, 2017, 06:43 am MDT
Two regional developments promise to infuse much-needed expertise into the manufacturing supply chain. This week we report on the Mountain West Advanced Manufacturing Network. Next week, we’ll review Colorado State University’s National Science Foundation grant to study supply-chain dynamics in emerging clusters of small manufacturers.
For the first time, higher education and industry from Utah and Colorado will collaborate in support of a regional advanced manufacturing supply chain, with Department of Defense dollars making it happen.
The Mountain West Advanced Manufacturing Network (MWAMN) will bring together the University of Utah and its new manufacturing extension partnership (MEP) center with Colorado School of Mines, Manufacturer’s Edge (Colorado’s MEP), and ADAPT, the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies, created a year or so ago with an infrastructure grant from Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. ADAPT is located at the School of Mines.
It’s a $3 million award, divided equally between Utah and Colorado, that will expand on the additive manufacturing work already coming out of the ADAPT center, connect Utah’s fledgling MEP to the research and data, and expand on the offerings by developing cloud-based repositories of information resulting from the MWAMN’s ongoing work. The approach is to develop advanced capabilities, in part through defense-related contracts, then use the expertise and knowledge gained to upskill and retool manufacturers to better compete in commercial markets.
According to ADAPT Technical Director Aaron Stebner, “This program creates a new manufacturing platform to advance economic and workforce resilience in response to changes in defense spending.” He adds, “Enabling manufacturers to deploy additive manufacturing processes helps diversify their product offerings, expand into non-defense markets, and provide resilient employment and value to their communities and the economy independent of defense spending.”
Tom Bugnitz, CEO of Manufacturer’s Edge, views the grant as a means to empower the next wave of commercially viable, high-tech manufacturers. “As these companies are especially hurt by the up-and-down cycles in defense spending, this project will help these companies use additive manufacturing methods to change from defense products to commercial products and back again quickly and profitably,” he says.
Manufacturer’s Edge is pleased to welcome five new people to the team and to the larger Colorado manufacturing community. Not only are we lucky to have them join us, but we are honored that they would choose to work for Manufacturer’s Edge.
Our Client, Freenotes Harmony Park has done a video covering Adele’s song, “Set Fire to the Rain”. They are submitting it to the TV show America’s Got Talent. This was done using only Freenotes Harmony Park Outdoor Musical Instruments manufactured right here in Colorado!
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