Rockefeller Introduces Advanced Manufacturing Bill

Sen. Jay Rockefeller is the latest Washington politician to push “advanced manufacturing” as a national priority. The West Virginia Democrat introduced a bill in Senate July 8 to train workers in new and emerging manufacturing fields… Several universities will be involved in the program, including MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. It also will involve industrial partners, including Caterpillar Inc., Allegheny Technologies and Dow Chemical Co.

http://www.industryweek.com/articles/rockefeller_introduces_advanced_manufacturing_bill_25055.aspx?SectionID=3

Made in Georgia, Again

lexander Hamilton said that “Not only the wealth, but the independence and security of a country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufacturers.”

That statement is perhaps even more relevant today than it was 200 years ago. How do we get back to “made in America?” The answer is that the same spirit of innovation and collaboration that once gave us pre-eminence in manufacturing can help us regain our competitiveness, thereby creating jobs, increasing exports and serving as a catalyst for a healthy economy.

In today’s global environment, “made in America” is not enough. We need “invented in America” or, better yet, “invented and manufactured in Georgia.”

Each year, the National Science Board produces a report on Science and Engineering Indicators. The latest report clearly indicates that many countries are making science, engineering and technology a national priority. These fields address important issues, ensure global competitiveness and create new jobs. They also drive world-class innovation, research and development. This requires that we prepare students with the necessary background at all levels: elementary, secondary and post-secondary.

Georgia Tech partners with k-12 schools in a wide variety of programs, ranging from teacher preparation to summer camps for students.

Another key to America’s competitiveness is our ability to move new ideas and innovations quickly from the lab to the manufacturing floor. We can do that through increased cooperation between universities and the public and private sectors.

President Barack Obama recently outlined an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to do just that. In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal, through the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, has acted to ensure that the business community and state government develop a long-term economic strategy. Tech will host one of the regional meetings this month.

Georgia Tech is committed to partnering with business, industry and government in Georgia, as well as nationally, to strengthen our economy. We offer a comprehensive array of economic development programs with representatives in 25 locations around the state. We are a national leader among research universities in collaborative research with industry.

Georgia Tech’s support in manufacturing technology spans research, education, and outreach.

A central focus is provided through the Manufacturing Research Center (MARC), an interdisciplinary research center targeting specific industry needs. Research, outreach and transition activities are also supported by the College of Engineering, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). In many ways, our economic independence is up to us.

Our greatest challenges can be solved through innovation and fostering an entrepreneurial environment, as well as collaboration between industry, education, and government to create a healthy economic environment and an educated workforce.

 

G. P. “Bud” Peterson is president of Georgia Institute of Technology. He was just named to the newly created Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee.

 

 

Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute Wins National Manufacturing Awards

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) – a unit of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) – recently won two awards for making significant impacts on U.S. manufacturing. The awards were presented May 17 at the national MEP annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

The Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) Group won the Innovator of the Year Award at the national MEP annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Pictured from left to right are: Mike Simpson, NIST MEP; Eric Esoda, Awards Committee Chair; EI2’s Chris Downing, Bob Hitch and Bill Meffert, and Roger Kilmer, MEP director.

The Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) Group won the Innovator of the Year Award at the national MEP annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Pictured from left to right are: Mike Simpson, NIST MEP; Eric Esoda, Awards Committee Chair; EI2’s Chris Downing, Bob Hitch and Bill Meffert, and Roger Kilmer, MEP director.

EI2’s Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) Group won the Innovator of the Year Award, which recognizes a team that developed modern practices to help reinvent America’s industrial base and to further the MEP system. The ESS group was instrumental in the development of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategic Energy Performance program and in leading the development of the new ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management. The team included Bill Meffert, Matt Soderlund, Robert Hitch, Ed Hardison, Holly Grell-Lawe, Randy Green, Deann Desai, Mike Brown and Jessica Brown.

The Practitioner of the Year award was presented to the Georgia MEP Lean Consortium Team. The Consortium – a forum for organizations to advance their knowledge and effective use of lean principles – leverages the collective knowledge and experience of its members and drives innovation. Lean Consortium staff members included Larry Alford, David Apple, Alan Barfoot, Tara Barrett, Sam Darwin, Danny Duggar, Art Ford, Tim Israel, Bill Nusbaum, Elliot Price, Bill Ritsch, Tom Sammon, Paul Todd and Derek Woodham.

The Georgia MEP Lean Consortium Team won the Practitioner of the Year award at the national MEP conference. Pictured from left to right are: Mike Simpson; Eric Esoda; EI2’s Larry Alford, Derek Woodham, Bill Nusbaum, and Chris Downing; and Roger Kilmer, MEP director.

The Georgia MEP Lean Consortium Team won the Practitioner of the Year award at the national MEP conference. Pictured from left to right are: Mike Simpson; Eric Esoda; EI2’s Larry Alford, Derek Woodham, Bill Nusbaum, and Chris Downing; and Roger Kilmer, MEP director.

“We are very honored to be recognized by the Department of Commerce and NIST for our work with manufacturers throughout the state and nationally,” said Chris Downing, P.E., director of Georgia MEP. “These awards reflect the positive impact our Georgia Tech outreach engineers have on the manufacturing sector in Georgia and beyond.”

In addition, EI2 client Power Partners, an Athens-based manufacturer of overhead distribution transformers, was awarded MEP’s Excellence in Sustainability award. That recognition celebrates manufacturers whose outstanding development and implementation of green and sustainable practices has contributed significantly to their business excellence, workplace and their community. Power Partners expanded its product line to manufacture solar water heater systems, which capture energy from the sun to heat water and can provide up to 85 percent of the energy needed to produce domestic hot water.

MEP – part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology – is a national network of 59 not-for-profit centers that helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally by strengthening supply chains and increasing productivity. With a team of more than 30 engineers and other professionals, Georgia MEP provides technical assistance and continuing education to improve industrial competitiveness in areas such as lean process improvement, quality and international standards, energy efficiency and management, environmental improvement and management, sustainable strategy deployment and growth services.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

 

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

 

Media Relations Contact: E-mail: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

 

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

 

Dalton Manufacturing Summit Draws National Attention

The manufacturing summit that will be held in Dalton Thursday has attracted not only some of the nation’s top business leaders but some of the top political leaders from Georgia and Tennessee. . . .T. Boone Pickens, a Texas billionaire known for his expertise on energy affairs, will discuss the state of manufacturing in the United States.  . . .Education will have a prominent place on the summit’s agenda as well. Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson will discuss the importance of education in manufacturing.

http://daltondailycitizen.com/local/x616690437/Dalton-manufacturing-summit-draws-national-attention

Central Georgia Companies and Organizations Partner to Implement Lean Projects

Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) has launched an initiative in central Georgia to help smaller manufacturers implement lean principles, a set of tools widely used in manufacturing to help identify and steadily eliminate waste from an organization’s operations. So far, four manufacturers, a hospital and a non-profit charitable organization are enrolled in the Group Lean Implementation Project, also known as GLIP.

“GLIP is a good way for smaller organizations to pool their resources and learn from each other,” said Paul Todd, a lean specialist with EI2. “Manufacturers and non-manufacturers alike can learn how to eliminate non-value added activities and at the same time find out what works for them in their continuous improvement process.”

The following organizations are participating in GLIP:

  • Advanced Metal Components in Swainsboro,
  • Duramatic in Glennville,
  • Easter Seals of Middle Georgia in Dublin,
  • Hollingsworth & Vose in Hawkinsville,
  • Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia and
  • SP Newsprint in Dublin.

As part of the new initiative, EI2 lean specialists Todd and Danny Duggar have led lean overviews, assessed where each organization is in its lean journey, and developed value stream maps, which are diagrams used to analyze the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to a consumer.

As part of GLIP, group members rotate hosting events at their facilities, working on specific projects and discussing challenges and successes to date. Already, the team has conducted projects in single-minute exchange of die (SMED) techniques, which shorten the changeover time to reduce production lot sizes and improve flow. The team also applied 5S – a method for organizing the workplace – that stands for sorting, straightening, shining, standardizing and sustaining.

Not only do participating companies benefit from the lean implementations, but they can also take advantage of the Georgia Retraining Tax Credit, in which a company’s direct investment in training can be claimed as a tax credit. Training programs must be approved by the Technical College System of Georgia, and the tax credit can be used to offset up to 50 percent of a company’s state corporate income tax liability. To be eligible, the retraining program must be for quality and productivity enhancements or certain software technologies.

“By utilizing Georgia Tech assistance, we get ideas from professionals who are very well trained and adept in what they’re doing. The other group members bring fresh ideas from organizations with different cultures, backgrounds and types of work that we can take and apply to our companies,” said Daniel Smith, industrial engineering manager for Duramatic Products. “It gives all of us a chance to get out of our comfort zones and see how other companies manufacture so we can use it as a benchmark to improve what we do.”

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

 

Research News & Publications Office

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

 

Media Relations Contact: E-mail: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

 

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

 

 

Lean Leadership Event Hosted in Augusta

Augusta, GA — Local business leaders and educators from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Hull College of Business at Augusta State will came together Wednesday, May 11, to discuss Creating a Culture of Excellence.

The Georgia Lean Consortium Recognition program began at 9 a.m. with a presentation titled “Managers Need to Re-examine Their Processes and Think Beyond the Surface” by Craig Cochran, north metro regional manager for the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²) at Georgia Institute of Technology. Cochran has served in a number of management roles in the textile, glass manufacture, semiconductor, and telecommunications industries over his 20-year career. He is a Certified Quality Manager, Certified Quality Engineer, and Certified Quality Auditor through the American Society for Quality. He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Georgia Tech and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee.

A panel of local business leaders, David Johnson, Boral Bricks, Lisa Bazzell, Club Car, Kevin Duckworth, E-Z-GO, Paul Todd, GT EI², and Michael Hicks, Thermo King, addressed the topic at 9:45 a.m.

At 11 a.m., Bill Waddell, author of Simple Excellence and Rebirth of American Industry, made a presentation. A global supply chain expert and one of the original Lean Accounting ‘thought leaders,’ Waddell has served as a technical chairman for various manufacturing quality forums and is regarded as a leading expert in lean manufacturing. He has published numerous articles and is the most widely read manufacturing blogger on the Internet.

http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2011/may/10/augusta-state-university-host-lean-leadership-even-ar-1826285/

Innovation Increases Profitability in Georgia

These days, just about every manufacturer is facing some kind of economic challenge. From cancelled products to reduced spending to legislative changes that will affect their bottom line, Georgia businesses are working hard to retain their market share.  Not surprising, the manufacturing industry is one of the sectors hit hardest by the recession. So how are manufacturers that have operations in Georgia fairing in light of the recession? Relatively speaking, the manufacturing economy in Georgia is doing as well the rest of the nation and in some cases better than comparable states. To gauge the recessionary activity of the state’s manufacturers, the recent 2010 Georgia Manufacturing Survey looked at how manufacturers in the state are responding to the economic downturn. Conducted by Georgia Tech, KSU, and the accounting firm, Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, the survey included almost 500 regional, national and global manufacturers that have operations in Georgia.

http://www.industryweek.com/articles/innovation_increases_profitability_in_georgia_24175.aspx?SectionID=22

Columbus Entrepreneur Utilizes State Resources to Launch New Business

Eight-month-old Justin, born five weeks premature, plays with the tulip rattle developed by Maddie's World.

Born weighing less than two pounds, little Maddie Lefcourt remained in the hospital for 105 days before her mother Donna could finally bring her home. But the homecoming marked the start of another struggle.

“When Maddie came home, she was already three and half months behind,” recalled Lefcourt, who works as a billing specialist for an obstetrician-gynecologist in Columbus, Ga. “Because of her birth weight, she qualified for a state-funded program called Babies Can’t Wait that guarantees eligible children access to services that enhance their development. The physical therapist assigned to Maddie worked with her every other week based on her needs.”

During one such session, the therapist wanted to teach Maddie how to grasp a toy for fine motor skill development. Lefcourt noticed that every time she put the toy in her daughter’s hand, she would drop it, either because of the toy’s size or the weight. After exhausting all local and online retail sources for toys suitable for her daughter, Lefcourt was seized by the entrepreneurial spirit and decided to make her own line of specialty toys.

“I was lying in bed one night and I popped up and said, ‘I’ve got it. We’re going to have a company and make toys for premature babies.’ I even thought of the name while I was lying there – Little Hands for Preemies,” Lefcourt said.

Lefcourt began researching the market for toys for premature babies and learned from the March of Dimes that more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely every year in the United States. She also researched baby toy companies both nationally and internationally. While she was researching online, she stumbled upon an inventors’ workshop being offered by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) to expand educational and professional networking opportunities for Georgia’s inventor community.

In 2007, Georgia Tech launched the first statewide survey of independent inventors through a pilot program sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. More than 300 inventors responded to the survey, and that feedback led to creation of workshops designed to help independent inventors improve their product development and business efforts, while connecting them with resources in intellectual property protection and licensing – two of the key building blocks for commercialization.

“I thought the workshop would be something fun and I could learn something,” said Lefcourt. “I was very skeptical about talking to people and telling them my business idea, but I also realized that was the only way I could get some help.”

After the workshop, Lefcourt introduced herself to Ed Murphy, a project manager with the Georgia Entrepreneur and Small Business Outreach program, a partnership between EI2 and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center that delivers services to entrepreneurs and small businesses in rural Georgia. The program is funded by the OneGeorgia Authority.

Murphy assisted Lefcourt with researching manufacturers that could make her line of specialty baby toys and coached her on the kinds of questions she needed to ask. As a result, she selected Peliton Plastics, a plastic injection molding company in Valdosta, Ga., to make the first three toys – a rattle, a teether and dexterity/motor skill toy.

“I already had some prototypes that I shared with Peliton Plastics. The size and the weight are the biggest issues for preemie baby toys,” she said. “We needed to figure out how many toys we would go to market with because molds are very, very expensive. We decided to start with three different toys for three different functions.”

Lefcourt also hired a local marketing professional, Jason Bray, to help her design a company logo and revamp the name of the business. They settled on “Maddie’s World” – represented by a butterfly – with “Little Hands for Preemies” as a toy line. Murphy continued to assist Lefcourt with developing a business plan and her pricing structure.

“He was very encouraging and even the days I got down, he pushed me to press forward. Every time I’ve ever called him about anything, he’s been right there,” Lefcourt said.

In addition to utilizing EI2’s entrepreneur services, Lefcourt took advantage of FastTrac® NewVenture™, a 10-week program developed by the Kauffman Foundation and offered through the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) that helps startup entrepreneurs develop and evaluate their business model and develop a plan for success. Class participants learn how to write an actionable business plan, are given access to financial and business resources and are able to network with peers and professionals, lessons Lefcourt described as vital.

“In these difficult and challenging budget times, it is more important than ever for state agencies to work together to provide assistance to the citizens of Georgia,” said Lori Auten, SBDC Columbus area director. “Both Georgia Tech and UGA bring unique qualifications and areas of specialty to the table to assist Georgia businesses.”

Moving forward, Lefcort says she wants to also design toys for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and develop a clothing line for both premature infants and toddlers. A portion of Maddie’s World sales are currently donated to the local Children’s Miracle Network where the toys are purchased.

“Donna exemplifies the successful entrepreneur; she has passion, energy and exhibits a willingness to learn,” said Murphy. “Without any illusions about the challenges she faced, she employed lessons learned and direction given and just went to work to systematically execute her plan.”

Photo caption: Eight-month-old Justin, born five weeks premature, plays with the tulip rattle developed by Maddie’s World.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Businesses That Scaled Back Supply Chain During Recession May Be Caught Off Guard

Businesses that scaled back on supply during the recession may find themselves or their suppliers suddenly unable to accommodate increased demand as the economy begins to recover, an economist and supply chain professionals warn. . . . Those costs can add up. A recent study by Vinod Singhal of Georgia Tech and Yossi Sheffi of MIT indicates that companies experiencing a supply chain disruption suffered between a 33 percent and 40 percent decline in stock price, compared with industry peers over a three year period.
http://reliableplant.com/Read/26665/Supply-chain-caught-off-guard

Containment Manufacturer Implements Quality System with Georgia Tech Assistance

Atlanta-based Precision Technik developed a patented mobile containment device that could safely handle a wide range of deteriorated, unstable and unknown containers.

Atlanta-based Precision Technik developed a patented mobile containment device that could safely handle a wide range of deteriorated, unstable and unknown containers.

Dealing with dangerous materials such as hazardous compounds and chemical or biological weapons requires high-quality containment systems. Jeffrey Gold, president and founder of Atlanta-based Precision Technik, was all too aware of this as he developed a patented mobile containment device that could safely handle a wide range of deteriorated, unstable and unknown containers. Today, Precision Technik’s equipment has been operated worldwide for nearly a decade.

“In 2003, we built a prototype for a mobile containment device because I thought we could do better than what was available then,” Gold recalled. “This is life and death. Semiconductor companies deal with gases that are incredibly toxic, so they have zero tolerance for a problem.”

Gold began considering the manufacturing process and the necessary quality control, and decided to call on Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), a comprehensive university-based industry assistance program, for help in implementing ISO 9001. Gold was already familiar with the work of EI2, because Precision Technik’s parent company, Integrated Environmental Services, was a graduate of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).

ISO 9001 is an international quality management system that certifies the application of formalized business processes. The standard takes a systematic approach to managing the organization’s processes and ensuring a consistent product that meets customer expectations.

Craig Cochran, a quality specialist with EI2, assisted Precision Technik in 2006 with its implementation of ISO 9001. He conducted a gap audit to identify areas of improvement, developed an implementation plan and trained the staff in quality issues and internal auditing. He returned in early 2010 to assist with the company’s re-certification.

“As soon as we got into ISO, we realized what a big deal it was, but we were committed to it because we knew we had to standardize the product,” said Gold. “For something of this nature that’s used in a critical situation, you’ve got to make sure the product is uniform and consistent.”

Evan Mass, product manager for Precision Technik, took over the ISO implementation and maintenance and said Cochran’s knowledge and experience was invaluable.

“I’m not an engineer, but the person in this position previously was. I didn’t even know what ISO was, so there was a huge learning curve,” she noted. “Craig came in about a month after I started and spent the day with me and brought me up to speed. Everything is smoother as a result and we’re able to anticipate what’s coming next.”

In addition to the initial certification and then the re-certification, Precision Technik has seen a number of benefits, including more effective execution in the field, a culture change with company personnel and an improvement in on-time delivery from 80 percent to 90 percent.

Today, Precision Technik is the only manufacturer in the world that makes these commercial units and has developed a family of related products covered by more than 30 patents.  Between 30 and 50 percent of their products are sold overseas in countries such as China, Israel, Singapore, Australia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Belgium, England and India.

“The true benefit of Georgia Tech’s program has been much larger in terms of our personnel – how they think and how they look at their work,” Gold said. “Craig lends a very practical but very comprehensive perspective. He can tell us what to focus on and that’s been extremely useful.”

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright