Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) and IACMI—The Composites Institute will make a combined investment of nearly $50 million in their shared manufacturing scale-up facility in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
As part of the investment, to be made over the next two years, LIFT will provide $20.5 million and IACMI will provide $18 million towards equipment. Additional funds from the organizations will go towards 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 compression and injection molding presses, pre-preg equipment, induction processing, and an RTM/Liquid Compression Molding machine for IACMI.
“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,” says Lawrence E. Brown, executive director at 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.”
As a part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation initiative, now called Manufacturing USA, which both LIFT And IACMI are involved with, the investment 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 facility. It will also provide education space for students and adult learners focused on the composites and lightweight materials industries.
Michigan produces more vehicles and has a higher concentration of electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineers than anywhere else in the country, says data from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. 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.