In celebration of Manufacturing Day, two Manufacturing USA institutes, LIFT- Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow and IACMI-The Composites Institute, announced today a combined investment of nearly $50 million in their shared manufacturing scale-up facility in Detroit.
The investment will be made over the next 24 months and will include the acquisition and installation of new manufacturing equipment to increase the capabilities of the institute, as well as construction and infrastructure upgrades for the facility to support the new equipment.
As a part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation initiative, now called Manufacturing USA, these investments will allow institute members, partners and others in the industry to conduct research and development projects, in both lightweight metals and advanced composites, at the innovative Corktown facility. It will also provide education space for students and adult learners focused on the composites and lightweight materials industries.
The nearly $50 million investment will be comprised of LIFT’s $20.5 million and IACMI’s $18 million towards equipment with the rest supporting facility updates and upgrades. Some of the equipment slated for installation includes: hydroforming and extrusion presses; a flexible-robot joining cell; and a linear friction welder for LIFT, and, for IACMI, compression and injection molding presses; prepreg equipment; induction processing; and an RTM/Liquid Compression Molding machine.
As a part of Manufacturing Day, the two institutes will also host over 100 students and chaperones from Palmer Park Middle School, of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, to educate and inspire them to become the next generation of manufacturers. Students will participate in a mobile rally, supported by Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Focus: HOPE and TechShop Detroit, play a virtual-reality assembly line game, and learn more about manufacturing in a Q&A session with both LIFT and IACMI engineers. Brown and Blue will also provide an overview of what institutes do and the important role manufacturing plays in 2016.
“Our co-investment and collaboration with LIFT strengthens our manufacturing ecosystem of automotive partners in Michigan–and helps to redefine Detroit as a prospering region for vehicle advancement,” said Craig Blue, IACMI-The Composites Institute CEO.
“The goal of this new investment is to make a positive impact in and beyond automotive in areas such as aerospace, defense, shipbuilding and other manufacturing sectors,” said Lawrence E. Brown, executive director, LIFT. “Moreover, we need to continue to invest in educating and training our next generation of manufacturers. These added resources will allow us to do just that.”
“Being home to two Manufacturing USA institutes continues to position Michigan as the leader in advanced manufacturing in the region and the country,” said Eric Shreffler, managing director, automotive office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are proud to support both LIFT and IACMI as they help move Detroit and advanced manufacturing forward for the world.”
Michigan is unmatched in the combination of auto-related research and development and advanced manufacturing. According to MEDC data, Michigan produces more vehicles and has a higher concentration of electrical, mechanical and industrial engineers than anywhere else in the country. The state is home to 23 auto assembly plants, which leads the U.S., and 640 tool and die shops, which employ 17,000 people.
About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.
About IACMI-The Composites Institute:
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS), is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments working together to benefit the nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced composites. CCS is a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The national institute is part of the Manufacturing USA network and is supported by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and over $180 million committed from IACMI’s partners. Find out more at IACMI.org.