By: Buffalo Manufacturing Works Team | October 2nd, 2015


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Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Manufacturing Works announced today that its Additive Manufacturing Learning Lab is open. The Lab was made possible by Founders Council member Praxair through its Global Giving Program donation to EWI, a registered 501(c)3 organization. Buffalo Manufacturing Works, a world-class center for advanced manufacturing, is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative.

Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing through highly flexible designs and material combinations that are not currently feasible. As this technology develops, it will open new career pathways to the next generation of manufacturing talent. The Lab will use 3-D printing technologies to ignite student engagement and improve STEM literacy while cultivating creative thinking through a fun, hands-on learning environment.

The first group of local high school students is already enrolled. Classes will be held at Buffalo Manufacturing Works’ start-of-the-art facility located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The lab is equipped with individual workstations featuring laptops and LulzBot Mini 3-D printers for each student. Classes are held every other week and class sessions are structured as a combination of lectures and lab time. Students will also be able to experience how companies are integrating this technology into their manufacturing processes.

praxair_bmw“We are inspired by Praxair’s commitment to educating our future workforce by giving them the opportunity to see first hand how transformative a high-tech career in manufacturing can be,” said Michael Ulbrich, president of Buffalo Manufacturing Works. “These students will not only become the problem-solvers industry needs but an invaluable asset to our manufacturing community and regional economy.”

“At Praxair, Making our Planet more Productive is more than just a tagline. It is our mission and describes a key element in our ongoing effort to be the best-performing industrial gases company in the world,” said Eduardo Galvan, vice president, Global Operations Excellence. “We are committed to building a diverse and highly-skilled pipeline of engineers, scientists, technicians and tradespeople worldwide and to supporting the communities in which we operate. We believe strongly that programs like this will help develop the talent Praxair and the rest of the world will need for a successful and productive future.”

Praxair is serving the growing market of additive manufacturing with its decades-long expertise in argon and nitrogen gas delivery systems for atmospheric control of material processing. A recent expansion added titanium powders to the company’s line of additive manufacturing powders to serve the metal printing needs of the aerospace, automotive, industrial and medical markets.

The announcement was made in collaboration with partner Insyte Consulting on National Manufacturing Day, a national celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and WNY Stem Hub were also involved in the planning.

“National Manufacturing Day gives us an opportunity to recognize and honor the important economic role that manufacturing plays in our nation, our state and our region, “said Benjamin Rand, president of Insyte Consulting. “We’re excited to be able to celebrate this year at Buffalo Manufacturing Works, a technology-driven organization that helps manufacturers grow and compete by helping them apply cutting edge technologies to make their products better, faster and cheaper.”

“Buffalo Manufacturing Works is the ideal location to celebrate National Manufacturing Day,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “As one of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion projects, BMW is working to position Western New York as a leader in high-tech advanced manufacturing and innovation by solving manufacturing and production issues, which will ultimately improve product performance, quality, reliability, and cost competitiveness.”

“Western New York has a rich history as a leader in the manufacturing industry and through collaborative projects like this we position the community to evolve and meet the demands of today’s manufacturing needs,” said Congressman Brian Higgins, a member of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus.   “This investment by Praxair is more than an investment in a lab, it is an investment in our young students, one that builds confidence, excitement and eager curiosity in the next generation of manufacturing workers and innovators.”

“As Buffalo experiences significant growth, including over $5 billion in new economic development activity that’s creating over 12,000 new jobs, it’s critical we continue to work together to prepare our youth for the jobs of the future, particularly in the field of advanced manufacturing,” said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “These are good paying jobs that will lead to successful careers for our young people, spurring additional investment and job growth in our city and region.”

“We need to bring all the key stakeholders together in Western New York to train students and ensure they are ready to enter the manufacturing world, “ said Jerry Sheldon, executive director of the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance. “By working together with local educators, both in grade school and colleges, we can motivate and educate our future workforce effectively and efficiently.”

Manufacturing is the number three private sector employer in WNY.

“Recognizing that manufacturing is one of the most important industries in WNY, we must continue to change perceptions about careers in manufacturing, “ said Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “We need to expose our students to all the possibilities available to them from the cutting-edge technologies they will work on to the great job benefits so we can fill job openings with qualified workers for our local manufacturers.”

“We are pleased to welcome Buffalo Manufacturing Works to our region. We applaud the much-needed services to be offered for our local advanced manufacturing sector and in preparing for those manufacturers the next generation of an innovative STEM workforce,” said Michelle Kavanaugh, President, WNY STEM. “This Manufacturing Day event reminds us that the legacy of ingenuity and productivity in our manufacturing sector continues to hold great promise for the future of Western New York.”

As we celebrate National Manufacturing Day, it’s exciting to share with the community how all of these partners are working together in an innovative way to engage students and show them the importance of cutting-edge skill sets so they are prepared to become the next generation of manufacturing talent.

For more information, visit www.wnymanufacturingday.com.

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 About EWI

EWI is the leading engineering and technology organization in North America dedicated to developing, testing, and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies for industry. Since 1984, EWI has offered applied research, manufacturing support, and strategic services to leaders in the aerospace, automotive, consumer electronic, medical, energy, government and defense, and heavy manufacturing sectors. By matching our expertise to the needs of forward-thinking manufacturers, our technology team serves as a valuable extension of our clients’ innovation and R&D teams to provide premium, game-changing solutions that deliver a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. To learn more, visit www.ewi.org, email info@ewi.org, or call 614.688.5000.

About Buffalo Manufacturing Works

Buffalo Manufacturing Works, operated by EWI, helps innovation-driven organizations across North America excel by partnering with their internal manufacturing, engineering and R&D teams to deliver better products, grow, and compete. Located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo, the facility houses state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate applied R&D projects with members, as well as a team specializing in four primary technology focus areas: Flexible Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, Machining & Finishing, and Materials & Testing. For more information, visit www.buffalomanufacturingworks.com.

 About the Buffalo Billion

With Governor Cuomo’s commitment to invest $1 billion in the Buffalo area economy, which is designed to spur significantly greater private investment and create thousands of new, sustainable jobs, New York State is helping the Buffalo area to realize immediate economic growth to put “generation now” back to work while setting the foundation for sustainable economic opportunity for future generations. The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council – a top economic development plan award winner – will play a key role in how the funding is used to support the expansion of local companies and how to target the attraction of new businesses across the country and around the globe to come to Buffalo. To learn more about the Buffalo Billion, visit www.buffalobillion.ny.gov.

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