More than 300 people and about 20 Indiana composite materials companies celebrated the opening of the $50 million Indiana Manufacturing Institute, based in the Purdue Research Park (West Lafayette, Indiana).
The institute will house the Center for Composites Manufacturing and Simulation where Purdue researchers and graduate students from the Purdue College of Engineering and Purdue Polytechnic Institute will conduct research and development on composite materials to increase energy efficiency for the vehicle production, wind, aerospace and other industries. Purdue’s Product Lifecycle Management Center and the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (INMaC) also will be located in the institute. The three centers will occupy 30,000-ft2 of the 62,000-ft2 institute.
The institute's remaining 32,000-ft2 will be used for public or private enterprises interested in collaborating on composite materials research with Purdue University.
"Purdue is a recognized international leader in composite materials research and the opportunity and demand for research partnerships between Purdue and industry is great," says Suresh Garimella, Purdue's executive vice president for research and partnerships and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "The opening of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute will enable us to increase these research collaborations and advance our composite materials research for even greater impact."
The Center for Composites Manufacturing and Simulation is part of a $250 million U.S. Department of Energy initiative to support President Barack Obama's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The DOE project, called the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), The Composites Institute, is a five-year publicprivate collaboration that includes a federal commitment of $70 million and more than $180 million pledged by industry, state economic development agencies and universities. The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) is the lead institution in the collaboration that includes public and private agencies in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado.
R. Byron Pipes, the John Leighton Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering, leads Purdue's Design, Modeling and Simulation Enabling Technology Area to be housed in the institute. “It is through closer exchanges of knowledge that both industrial and academic enterprises benefit from the assets of the other in order to accelerate the development of their competitive positions." Pipes says. "The Indiana Manufacturing Institute will provide an innovative venue for academic and industrial stakeholders to join together for rapid transfer of technology to societal prosperity. As a national manufacturing institute, IACMI links the Indiana composites manufacturing efforts with our five state partners in Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado and Ohio to build the next generation manufacturing technology for the vehicle, wind and compressed gas application areas.”
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.