RCBI chosen as part of innovative team
August 22, 2012 ·
The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing has been chosen to take part in the Nation’s first Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
RCBI will join an initiative that
includes institutions in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Schools like
Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of
Akron, Youngstown State University and Kent State University will take part in
The new initiative will receive $30 million in federal funds. The Associate Director of Public Information
at RCBI James Casto said additive manufacturing is a complex way of making
“Additive manufacturing is radically
different, it uses the addition of layer upon layer of material to literally
build a 3-D object, that material looks like grains of sand and can be plastic
or metal or some other substance,” Casto said.
RCBI will work with other West Virginia
companies in the partnership that include FMW Composite Systems Inc, Touchstone
Research Laboratory in Tridelphia, and the National Energy Technology Lab in
Morgantown. They will all work together in the hope of developing a process
that efficiently produces flexible manufacturing technology for commercial use.
Casto said after the product is produced as a 3-D design on the computer, the
printer makes the piece of machinery.
“Once the design is produced a 3-D
printer reads the digital data from it and lays down successive layers of
material to fabricate an actual object that is identical to the object envisioned
in the design,” Casto said.
Casto said RCBI takes its inclusion in
the innovation institute as a vote of confidence.
“We’ve been in business for 21 years now
and in that time we’ve aided thousands of manufacturers, we believe that we’ve
compiled a considerable record of service and obviously the U.S. Department of
Commerce found that that record recommended us for inclusion,” Casto said.
Casto said the manufacturing techniques
could be revolutionary. He hopes the process helps produce more jobs in the
state and the country.
“The goal is new jobs and not just any
jobs, but good well-paying jobs by putting additive manufacturing to work we
hope to help existing manufacturers to expand, aid entrepreneurs in starting
new businesses and help lure new industries to West Virginia,” Casto said.
Casto said there isn’t a time table of
when new work under the agreement will begin.