US manufacturing has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. In an effort to reduce costs, many companies dismantled their vertically integrated supply chains and outsourced production. As they shed their manufacturing expertise, they often lost their capacity to develop new manufacturing technologies and transition them into production.
To help organizations remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace, the advanced manufacturing program focuses on research that needs to move from the lab environment into production – quickly. Utilizing production-relevant equipment and staffed by a with significant industrial experience, ARI draws on its core competencies to address the manufacturing challenges associated with:
New Process Development
ARI and its collaborators are developing a chemical-free atmospheric plasma process to clean and pre-treat metal components to impart corrosion protection and increasing bonding and coating adhesion.
ARI researchers are developing a technique for creating multi-functional composites using epoxy-based nanoparticle inks. Together with the direct ink writing process they have adopted, and subsequent heat treatments they perform, they are able to impart long-range order and impart a variety of functionalities including optical, electrical, and photonic properties.
Industry 4.0 – Agile Supply Chain Configuration
ARI and its partners are developing an Operating System for Cyberphysical Manufacturing (OSCM) for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). OSCM serves as a cloud-based application that links small and medium businesses, as well as large manufacturers, to customers, thereby creating a cyber-physical marketplace that allows manufacturers to expose the spare capacity of their machines, which increases revenue.
ARI and its collaborators have created Capability Modeling for Digital Factories (CaMDiF), a platform that enables rapid deployment and customization of agile supply chains. Using CaMDiF, SMEs can build digital twins of their factories, providing real-time, dynamic insight into their technological capabilities.
To reduce rail surface damage and enhance rolling contact fatigue resistance, ARI researchers applied selective laser shock peening (LSP) to railheads. Subsequent field tests indicated more uniform wear patterns for the LSP-treated parts. LSP was also applied to newly developed cast manganese flange bearing crossings.
With 25 years of experience developing and deploying powder-fed (laser cladding) and powder-bed (DMLS) processes into production across the aerospace and gas turbine industry, ARI staff are able to address issues across a range of nickel, cobalt, and titanium alloys.