On April 22, 2016, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, operated by EWI, is proud to mark its first anniversary of being open for business in Western New York. In just one short year, our team has hit the ground running working to help innovation-driven manufacturers excel by partnering with their internal manufacturing, engineering, and R&D teams to deliver better products, grow and compete.
Since opening our doors in April 2015, we’ve had the opportunity to host thousands of business leaders, manufacturers and students in our facility, engage with more than 50 companies, and kick-off 35 projects.
To build out our three technical focus areas, Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Automation, and Materials & Testing, we have installed and commissioned nearly $7.5 million of capital equipment in our facility. As a critical complement to our suite of cutting-edge equipment, we have a built a world-class engineering team with diversity of experience and expertise from optimizing part design for additive manufacturing to collaborative robot integration and novel non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques.
One of our newest and most exciting pieces of technology supporting our work with manufacturers who are exploring additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is our Arcam A2X. The Arcam is a 3D printer that builds parts using metal powder built layer-by-layer using a process called electron beam powder bed fusion.
Our second technology focus area, advanced automation, allows us to simulate, develop, test, and validate agile automation and controls solutions for increased quality, increased processing speed, and reduced manufacturing cost. We now have nearly a dozen different robots as well as a variety of simulation tools, robotic gripping technologies, sensors and support equipment to deploy on client projects.
As standards for product quality and performance continue to increase, advanced materials engineering, characterization and testing is critical to understanding failures, finding solutions and ultimately, increasing the reliability of products. We’re building two unique labs in our facility – one dedicated to materials characterization and testing and another for precision measurement. In addition, we’re commissioning two computed tomography (CT) systems that will provide the ability to scan external features, as well as internal features, structures, and defects.
We have also opened our Additive Manufacturing Learning Lab, with support from Praxair, and 22 Buffalo Public Schools students have been taking classes on how to design and print objects using 3D printers. It’s been inspiring to see their perceptions of a career in manufacturing change as they use this leading-edge technology.
And, we’re not done yet! 2016 is shaping to be another exciting year. Stay tuned as we get to work in our second year assisting innovation-minded manufacturers to deliver better products, grow and compete.