DBusiness Daily Update: LIFT Launches Next Phase of Hypersonic Materials Development Work, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Lift missile rendering
Understanding the materials required to survive at hypersonic speeds is critical to further developing those vehicles. // Photo courtesy of LIFT

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

LIFT Launches Next Phase of Hypersonic Materials Development Work

LIFT, the Detroit-based Department of Defense (DoD) national manufacturing innovation institute, along with its ecosystem partners, has kicked off the next phase of its Hypersonics Thermal Management and Hypersonics Material Acceleration programs.

The new program phases follow on LIFT original work on those two topics, both of which were launched in 2021 and are expected to wrap up this year. Operating at speeds of Mach 5 or higher, hypersonics and counter-hypersonic vehicles are among the DoD’s top priorities, and understanding the materials required to survive these speeds is critical to further developing those vehicles.

“Understanding materials characteristics is at the core of everything as we look to manufacture the components of the future, particularly those which need to travel in excess of 4,000 miles per hour,” says Nigel Francis, CEO and executive director of LIFT. “We are proud to be leading the effort in developing the materials and processes which will lead to transformational change in U.S. manufacturing, enabling us to leap ahead of our global competitors.”

The first phase of LIFT’s material acceleration program focused on advancing metallic and ceramic materials and manufacturing processes involved in developing components for high-temperature and hypersonic applications.

That work, with partners including Friedman Research Corp. (FRC), Michigan Technological University (MTU), University of Central Florida (UCF), University of Arizona (UofA), Alfred University, the University at Buffalo, Spectrum Engineering, and Hexagon, included development of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) material digital twins, material property assessment, alloy development for hypersonic applications, and dissimilar material joining.

For the second phase of material acceleration work, LIFT will continue partnering with FRC and UCF while adding partnerships with Exothermics and Materials Research & Design (MR&D) to extend the advancement of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) produced via reactive melt infiltration, as well as metallics produced via large deformation processing, for use in hypersonic applications.

The first phase of LIFT’s thermal management program advanced metallic materials and manufacturing processes used in high-temperature thermal applications including those produced by powder-based additive manufacturing techniques. ICME material digital twins were produced and validated against metal alloys to drive alloy development for the hypersonic environment. LIFT partners in phase one included FRC, UCF, U-A, and MTU.

In the second phase of the thermal management program, LIFT will work with FRC and UCF to advance the prediction of hypersonic material performance to hypersonic-relevant materials which benefit from functionally graded optimization and are manufactured by Direct Current Sintering (DCS).

LIFT’s work in hypersonics inaugurated earlier in 2021 with the $3 million “Hypersonics Challenge” for the U.S. manufacturing industrial sector. The challenge invited industry to provide solutions in materials and manufacturing of hypersonic vehicle systems. Those answering the challenge call:

  • ATC Materials Inc.: Demonstrating the repeatable and reliable production of RIPS molded radio frequency (RF) material.
  • Boeing: Focusing on powder metallurgy refractory metal matrix composites and in-situ monitoring development.
  • Lockheed Martin: Improving cost competitiveness and quality of high-temperature capable hypersonics components.
  • Raytheon Technologies: Developing models to predict the thermomechanical properties of high-temperature Carbon/Carbon (C/C) composite materials.

Michigan FY24 Budget Highlights the Importance of Investing in Infrastructure

Michigan’s FY24 budget, which passed Thursday, allocates hundreds of millions of dollars toward enhancing Michigan’s infrastructure, accelerating renewable energy initiatives, and fostering high-tech opportunities that will bolster the state’s global competitiveness, according to the Michigan Infrastructure Office (MIO).

The projects funded by taxes include:

  • $337 million for the Make it in Michigan Competitiveness Fund to maximize the deployment of federal infrastructure, climate, and advanced manufacturing dollars here in Michigan.
  • $5 million for a battery recycling research hub to ensure that the road to sustainable EV batteries runs through Michigan.
  • $70 million for capital investments to improve regional rapid transit to catalyze economic growth and support the Healthy Climate goal of increasing transit use to decarbonize the transportation sector.
  • $3 million for MI Contracting Opportunity to improve small business access to federal infrastructure contracts, working to ensure that opportunities to build wealth through successful infrastructure projects are distributed equitably.
  • $80 million for a local bridge bundling program to help local governments fix more than 20 bridges, reconnecting parts of communities across the state.
  • $6.6 million to speed up the permitting process, help build infrastructure projects faster and power economic development.
  • Nearly $600 million for water infrastructure across Michigan, helping replace thousands of lead service lines, rebuild sewers and much more.
  • $43 million for grid resiliency to reduce power outages during extreme weather events.
  • More than $1.5 billion (fourth highest in the nation) through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program to expand high-speed internet access to over 200,000 Michiganders in unserved and underserved areas across the state.

Lume Cannabis Co. Opens Dispensaries in Southfield and Berkley

Troy-based Lume Cannabis Co. has opened will adult-use cannabis dispensaries in Southfield and Berkley.

The Southfield store (26760 Lahser Road) previously was a Lume store that sold to medical patients before closing in July 2022.

Lume opened a new location in Berkley (1949 W. 12 Mile Road, Ste 200). That location will offer delivery to the surrounding community, including areas near the Southfield store. The new Lume store in Southfield will not offer delivery services.

The Oakland County stores are two of seven retail locations Lume plans to open this year, says Doug Hellyar, president and COO of Lume.

“Our many loyal customers in Berkley and Southfield have been encouraging us to launch these latest Lume retail locations,” Hellyar says. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer our high-quality cannabis products in these communities and we’re excited about opportunities for continued growth and expansion across Michigan.”

The weekend grand opening celebrations for each store will feature a variety of deals.

In addition to discounts, both Lume stores will offer double loyalty points through early next week.

For more information on the Southfield store, visit here. For more information on the Berkley location, visit here.

SpartanNash Rallies for Local Communities Through Helping Hands Day

Food solutions company SpartanNash in Grand Rapids continued its tradition of giving back to local communities during its annual Helping Hands Day corporate volunteer event and a foundation in-store fundraiser this month.

On June 23, SpartanNash Associates in Grand Rapids and Minneapolis volunteered at 14 area nonprofits, including Junior Achievement, Kids’ Food Basket, Michigan Vets Home, Special Olympics Minnesota, and more. Approximately 575 volunteers helped with landscaping, cleaning, painting, sorting donations, cooking, packing meals, and other tasks. The company has a third Helping Hands Day event planned for its Norfolk, Va. team later this summer.

In addition, this month SpartanNash raised $300,000 to salute and support military and disaster relief heroes through its annual SpartanNash Foundation in-store fundraiser. This year’s fundraiser benefited Honor and Remember, Operation Homefront, and Convoy of Hope.

“Being People First means committing time and resources toward helping communities thrive. By focusing our efforts on our giving pillars of Hunger, Heroes and Hope, SpartanNash strives to find meaningful opportunities to partner with our local community in fundraising and engagement efforts,” says Tony Sarsam, CEO of SpartanNash. “I’m proud that our associates share that vision, whether they promote our in-store fundraising campaigns or spend their workday serving others and having fun.”

For more information, visit here.

Gale in Farmington Hills Named Ongoing Education Solution Provider of the Year

Farmington Hills-based Gale’s online learning platform, Gale Presents: Udemy, has been selected as winner of the Ongoing Education Solution Provider of the Year award in the fifth annual EdTech Breakthrough Awards.

The awards program recognizes technologies and companies that drive innovation and exemplify the best in educational technology solutions across the globe.

Gale Presents: Udemy provides public library cardholders access to more than 20,000 continuously updated, on-demand video courses across a variety of categories such as business, technology, design, and personal enrichment.

Courses are taught by highly regarded instructors and offer a customized educational experience for those who are looking to learn new technologies and skills to stay relevant in an ever-changing workforce. Additionally, nearly half of the course collection is taught by subject matter experts in their native language, enabling patrons to learn and upskill in their preferred language.

Holly’s Rislone DPF Clean Restores Diesel Power, Performance, Clears Clogged DPFs

Rislone, a manufacturer of car engine treatment and fuel additive products in Holly, has launched DPF Clean Diesel DPF, and exhaust and emissions system cleaner.

The product cleans the fuel, exhaust, and emissions systems of diesel vehicles to restore power and performance, reduce regeneration cycles, extend diesel particulate filter (DPF) life, save fuel, and turn off check engine lights.

It unclogs blocked DPFs and reduces the need for frequent highway driving to accelerate regeneration, making it an ideal solution for diesel cars, SUVs, and trucks that are driven regularly at low speeds for short durations, according to the company.

Rislone’s formula features high-performing detergents and heavy-duty cleaning solvents to scrub away contaminants, soot, carbon build-up, and oily residue from the fuel injectors, combustion chambers, turbo, EGR, diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), and other components. Plus, its Diesel Regen Medic+ is an active DPF regeneration accelerator and cleaning fuel catalyst that is guaranteed to clear a blocked DPF.

“Because repairing an obstructed DPF or damaged emissions system costs thousands of dollars, customers have been asking us for an affordable solution,” says Clay Parks, vice president of development for Rislone. “DPF Clean is the most potent diesel product we’ve ever developed. Not only will it clear clogged DPFs, but regular use will also prevent excessive exhaust regeneration and help maintain optimal power, performance, and efficiency.”

For more information, visit here.

July Golf Outing to Raise Funds for Alzheimer’s Care, Support, Research

The Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter is hosting the 26th annual David E. Rutledge Charity Golf Outing, presented by Republic Services and Absopure on July 10 at Eastern Michigan University’s Eagle Crest Golf Club (1201 S. Huron St.) in Ypsilanti.

Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and a continental breakfast will be served. The tournament begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Participants will get lunch on the course, a helicopter ball drop, and other games and prizes. An awards dinner will begin at 3 p.m.

Chairing the event since its inception is former State Rep. David Rutledge, who began the event to honor his mother who died from Alzheimer’s and to help find a cure.

Individuals can play for $250 and team tickets also are available for purchase. Those who can’t attend and would like to support the event can donate via the event website. Sponsorship opportunities also are available.

Lawrence Tech Team Wins Engineering Education Award

A student team from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has won a $10,000 grand prize in the annual Engineering Education Award competition conducted by the National Council of Examiners in Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

The students won the prize for their design of a reconstruction of a 4,500-foot-long stretch of I-475 in Flint that would include the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Dort Highway and Stewart Avenue just east of a freeway exit. In their presentations, students noted that the intersection now is the site of numerous accidents, which would be reduced by the roundabout. A new community park also would be added near the intersection, and updated crosswalks would be installed.

The winning entry was the capstone senior design project in LTU’s Bachelor of Science in civil engineering program. Members of Team Civil Express were team captain Nathan Staple of Vassar, and Jessica Bettley of Milford, Blane Johnston of Grayling, and Pedro Lorenzo Garcia Orellana of Tres Cantos, Spain.

The project included construction cost estimates, schedules, and project management plans, along with traffic safety and efficiency studies, bridge load studies, stormwater management planning, and minimizing environmental impact by using recycled materials wherever possible.

The project was supervised by LTU faculty members and licensed engineering professionals. It included presentations, reports, and display board submittals.

Staple, Johnston, and Orellana graduated from LTU in May and now have engineering jobs.