The Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) will install a trademarked GERBERcutter and laser ply layup system from Gerber Technology (Tolland, Conn.) and its subsidiary, Virtek Vision International (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), in its new Composite Prototyping Center (CPC). The systems will be available to manufacturers to develop prototype products containing composite materials. The CPC, scheduled to open in April, will serve as a resource for manufacturers seeking entry into the growing composites market by offering prototype manufacturing and test capabilities. The center also will offer educational courses to support workforce training and retraining of displaced workers who seek high-tech careers. Nationally recognized research universities are expected to access CPC’s state-of-the-art facility to complement their engineering students’ composites education. LIFT also is collaborating with local community colleges to develop a certificate course for composite technicians. The not-for-profit CPC will house a GERBERcutter DCS 2500 computer-controlled, static cutting system that ensures composite plies are always cut precisely, and a Virtek LaserEdge system which projects a laser template onto molds and parts to guide operators through the ply layup process without using templates. LIFT is applying a capital grant from the state of New York to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and renovate a facility located in Plainview N.Y., just off Interstate 495.
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