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Two Institutes Invest In Detroit, Michigan, Shared Manufacturing Scale-Up Facility

10/07/2016
Two manufacturing institutes, LIFT- Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow and IACMI-The Composites Institute, will investment of nearly $50 million in their shared manufacturing scale-up facility in Detroit, Michigan.

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.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation , managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation, a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation, is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments. 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.

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.

According to IACMI-The Composites Institute officials, 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.

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, officials added.

"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."

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