A Look at LIFT’s Expanding Capabilities … From the Desk of Interim Executive Director Chris Conrardy

LIFT continues to expand the capabilities at our Detroit facility, and we are increasingly hosting diverse visitors to show off what we can do for them and listen to their feedback.

Last month LIFT had the opportunity to host a three-day meeting of the program managers from the eight Department of Defense Manufacturing USA institutes.  LIFT also hosted its semi-annual LIFT Technology Development Committee with representatives from industry, government, and academia.  We also had visits from companies in diverse sectors, such as automotive, aerospace, materials, automation, manufacturing equipment, and shipbuilding.  The American Welding Society held it’s Detroit section meeting here, and we’ve had visits from leaders of several professional societies. These visits were a tremendous opportunity to show off our facility and the innovative work already underway and what is yet to come.

LIFT has been adding technical staff and continues to bring new technical equipment on-line.  As part of the facility tours, we were able to show ongoing and planned work for each of the pieces of on-site equipment, including our extrusion and forming presses, hot isostatic press, plasma surface treating, flexible robotic cell, and CT X-ray.  We discussed our near-term plans to add state of the art five-axis machining, large scale linear friction welding, and incremental sheet-metal forming capabilities.  We were also able to show developing plans for the LIFT Learning Lab which will be a unique national asset providing education and training opportunities for students, teachers and incumbent workers – but more to come on that as those plans continue to take shape.

As I discussed in last months’ column, LIFT is at the forefront of the transition to the “next phase” of Manufacturing USA, where we will increasingly be putting these capabilities to work for our members and partners.  Last month we had the opportunity to share our growth plans with our Board of Directors as well as a committee of our members, made up of large corporations, small companies, non-profits, academia, and government.  We also completed a survey of our members who provided invaluable feedback as we look to grow our offerings and continue to expand future capabilities.

We look forward to your input as well.  If you have not recently visited our Detroit facility, I encourage you to do so to learn about our new capabilities and services.  We would also like to hear your suggestions for how we can best serve your needs in the future.  Please feel free to contact us by clicking here.  We look forward to hearing from you.