Producers, Universities Pool Research on Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Systems

Siemens, Sandvik Coromant, Chromalloy among several to join Virginia R&D center

Government and university officials in Virginia broke ground recently for a new collaborative research center they indicated will “transfer laboratory innovations to manufacturing production lines where they can improve efficiencies, products and profits.” The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) will be a 50,000-sq.ft. operation where manufacturers will collaborate with faculty and students from Virginia research and teaching institutions to conduct advanced manufacturing research on surface engineering and manufacturing systems.

The developers contended that CCAM is the only collaboration of its kind in North America. The costs and results, allowing them to capitalize on the developments that emerge there.

No budget for the project has been reported. The Center will be completed in 2011 and will house computational and large-scale production labs, as well as open production space for heavy equipment and surface coating processes, including a thermal spraying machine, a directed vapor deposition machine, integrated data acquisition systems, and a thermal conductivity measurements system.

The companies joining the consortium are Canon Virginia Inc., Chromalloy Corp., Newport News Shipbuilding , Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, and Siemens. The universities are the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia State University. Officials of the companies and universities will serve on CCAM's board of directors to oversee the facility's development, its research priorities, and its outreach to additional prospective member companies.

Recruitment efforts are underway to enlist more member companies, including Aerojet, a manufacturer of rocket propulsion systems.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the state is “preparing a new foundation for manufacturing in the Commonwealth and in the nation."

"Global dynamics will always influence where products are made,” McDonnell continued, “and CCAM's collaborative, creative approach to advanced manufacturing techniques gives the Commonwealth a leadership role in determining how the world's most advanced products are made."

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