advanced manufacturing

A novel way to create sheet metal could generate big energy savings in motorized machines.

Purdue University engineers are getting a $1.5 million federal grant to begin studying the new process and its applications this summer.

The three-year project will focus on adding larger amounts of silicon to the small steel parts that help power electric motors.

Silicon helps the steel waste less electricity, says Purdue materials engineer Kevin Trumble, but adding enough to make a difference isn’t easy.

President Donald Trump is touting a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers that shows record optimism among American factory owners – a rosier picture than a similar Indiana survey painted last fall.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana

 

Growth in Indiana's manufacturing industry is slowing down, thanks to over-regulation and a lack of skilled workers.

That's the message from businesses that weighed in for a big annual survey on the health of the Hoosier manufacturing sector.

It's prepared by Indianapolis accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, working with researchers at Indiana University, the Indiana Manufacturers' Association and Conexus Indiana.

 

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Srinivasan Chandrasekar / Purdue University

Researchers at Purdue University have found a way to fix a long-standing issue in manufacturing, where cutting a piece of metal can make its edges splinter or break apart.

They hope their solution will reap big savings in fuel and production costs.

The problem is called a shear-band. It's a deformity that occurs when a cutting machine pushes through metal, scrunching up its edges at a microscopic level.

LIFT

Today's manufacturers are using lighter materials -- and less of them -- to make products cheaper and more efficient. That's transforming many Indiana manufacturing jobs.

Now, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, or IMA, is teaming up with a federal group to train more workers in what's known as lightweighting.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana is seeing a boom in manufacturing job creation – outpacing most of the country. And even more jobs will open up as baby boomers retire.

Many businesses are working harder to fill those jobs with military veterans, like 57-year-old Tim Turner.

Right now, he shares a house on a quiet street northwest of downtown Indianapolis with two other formerly homeless veterans.

JD Gray/WTIU

North Central Indiana is hoping new state funds and collaborations will help attract workers and diversify local economies.

That's especially challenging in Elkhart, known as the recreational vehicle capital of the world -- and the city with the nation's highest unemployment rate during the recession.

Now, the RV industry is booming -- but that's created problems of its own.

Annie Ropeik

In the coming months, Subaru needs to add hundreds of workers at its huge Lafayette plant. But it hasn't been easy for the car-maker or other manufacturers to hire people with the right skills.

So they're teaming up, with trainings starting in April, to create a new workforce from scratch.

Lafayette's Subaru of Indiana Automotive, or SIA, is the only Subaru factory outside Japan. Inside, 5,000 people are turning chunks of steel into cars.

New Lafayette I-65 Industrial Sites Ready For Business

Dec 18, 2015
Chris Morisse Vizza

A new industrial park in Tippecanoe County is the first site in the state to meet stiffer development standards and earn the designation of Indiana Site Certified Gold.

That means the 164 acre site bounded on the south by Haggerty Lane and on the east by I-65 ranks high on the list of properties marketed to business and industry leaders.

courtesy GE

General Electric has announced plans to invest $10 million with Purdue, in hopes researchers on the West Lafayette campus can help improve the company’s advanced manufacturing technology.

GE Director of Global Research Mark Little envisions a day where each part made in a GE factory includes sensors which communicate how well the part works. But that day is far in the future, he says.