Archives For Corporate Blog

Weld Kit swatchesThe EWI Titanium Weld Color Inspection Kit – now considered the standard for visual inspection of titanium welds across all industries – has been upgraded to include new high definition color inspection cards.

The redesigned card set was created using a new photographic technique which renders a more realistic, “truer” color image than that of the original cards. The result is a significantly improved tool to help you in your weld inspections.

For more information contact Randy Dull at 614.688.5095 or rdull@ewi.org or Nick Kapustka at 614.688.5175 or nkapustka@ewi.org. To order the EWI Titanium Weld Color Inspection Kit, click here.

kelly shawnEWI associate Shawn Kelly recently contributed an article for Welding & Gas Today Online: “3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.”.

Shawn Kelly, Ph.D., is a senior engineer and leads EWI’s additive manufacturing activities and is director of the Additive Manufacturing Consortium.

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Congratulations to EWI associates Evgueni Todorov and Roger Spencer on their recently published article in Materials Evaluation. “Methodologies for Automated Ultrasonic Testing Performance Quantification” reports on a large study sponsored by the US Government and pipeline industry to develop a methodology for quantifying AUT systems

The full article is online in the June 2014 issue of Materials Evaluation. EWI members may request a copy of the article by contacting the EWI Library.

Congratulations to EWI associate Yu-Ping Yang on his published article in ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES (APRIL 2014). “ICME Helps Develop Friction Stir Welding Process for Steels” points to developing a process model to improve understanding of thermal, mechanical, and microstructural effects during the FSW of steels as essential in order to implement Integrated Computational Materials Engineering.

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Author: Yu-Ping Yang, Principal Engineer, EWI

You can view the article at AM&P magazine. EWI Members may request a copy of the article by contacting the EWI Library.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out Ed Herderick’s blog on Integrated Computational Materials Engineering — October 25, 2012.

FabrisonicOn July 23, EWI affiliate Fabrisonic hosted its first-ever meeting for users of ultrasonic additive manufacturing at EWI’s Columbus, OH, headquarters. UAM is groundbreaking technology that uses sound waves to merge layers of metal — in other words, really cool 3D printing for the manufacturing industry.

To read more about the event or learn about Fabrisonic, click here.

Print

Officials from the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) and the city of Detroit have announced that the new $148 million lightweight metals manufacturing institute, announced in February by President Obama will locate in the Detroit neighborhood of Corktown.

ALMMII is a public-private partnership led by Ohio-based manufacturing technology nonprofit EWI, the University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University. The initiative is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and is being led by the Department of Defense.

The institute, opening this fall, is charged with establishing a regional manufacturing ecosystem to move cutting-edge lightweight metals out of the research lab and into tomorrow’s cars, trucks, airplanes and ships for both the commercial and military sectors.

Mayor Mike Duggan said locating this new high tech hub in Detroit shows the city can compete for and win major manufacturing investments. “To win a competitive process for a project of national significance is a major win for the city,” he said. “Detroiters should expect to see us win a lot more in the future.”

The ALMMII facility will be located at 1400 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit. The last tenant of the 107,000 square-foot property was Mexican Industries, which made plastic moldings for the auto industry until filing for bankruptcy in 2001.

Job Impact & Workforce Training
Mayor Duggan also said having the institute located in the city will provide significant opportunity to Detroiters, who will be able to receive training through Focus: Hope and other regional partners for the high tech manufacturing jobs that will come as a result of getting these lightweight metals into production.

Operations at ALMMII will commence with an initial staff of ten. Eventually, two dozen employees will be based in the Detroit facility. The building will house offices, meeting rooms, training space and laboratories for developing and testing technologies for manufacturing.

With 75 member organizations including companies, universities, research institutions, and education and workforce leaders as partners, the institute is expected to contribute to economic development and positive job impact in Detroit and stretching to the five-state region of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky over the next five years. Most of these jobs will be in the metal stamping, metalworking, machining and casting industries that are dominant in the Midwest region.

Beyond its R&D efforts, the institute aims to help educate the next generation of manufacturing’s technical workforce. ALMMII will engage workforce partners from across the region to strengthen education and training pathways to high quality jobs in all transportation manufacturing sectors, including the automobile, aircraft, heavy truck, ship, rail and defense industries. The White House has referred to the institute as a “teaching factory.”

“Detroit’s renewed energy and revitalization efforts mesh perfectly with the goals of ALMMII, making the city an ideal spot for its headquarters. This is an exciting next step in the university’s longstanding relationship with Detroit, at a time of great importance,” said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel. “I look forward to seeing the innovations that will come out of the institute that will transform American manufacturing.”

“ALMMII represents the first of what I hope are many innovative regional collaborations among Ohio State, Michigan, EWI, and other key regional assets,” concurred OSU’s College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams. “When it comes to advanced manufacturing, workforce development, and U.S. competitiveness, we are all on the same team.”

Location, Location, Location
ALMMII’s Detroit location puts it close to key workforce partners such as Focus: HOPE, Macomb Community College, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, and Wayne State Community College District, and Wayne State University. These entities will work closely with the institute’s workforce program on new manufacturing methods. The institute, in turn, will engage students in internships and technical work on its research projects.

The institute is one of four pilot centers of the NNMI, a Presidential initiative to boost the nation’s competitiveness. The new initiative, funded through the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) program, was selected through a competitive process led by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The institute will receive $70 million in federal funding over five years, matched by another $78 million from the consortium partners themselves. The funding includes $10 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and an additional $10 million from the state of Ohio. The New Economy Initiative, a Detroit-based non-profit, has committed $1 million over two years for capital expenses at the headquarters.

Lawrence BrownLarry Brown, ALMMII Executive Director said, “From this very central location on the I-75 corridor, and particularly in the heart of Detroit, the institute is poised for success in serving our nation in setting the standard for world-class lightweight metals manufacturing.”

 

About ALMMII
The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) is a public-private partnership founded by EWI, University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University. It was established to develop and deploy advanced lightweight metals manufacturing technologies, and implement education and training programs to prepare the workforce. ALMMII is one of the founding institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to create regional hubs to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. It was selected through a competitive process led by the US Department of Defense under the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) solicitation issued by the U.S. Navys Office of Naval Research. For more information, contact 614.688.5180 or info@almmii.org.

3Founders

Marc on bike

If you are following EWI Associate Marc Purslow’s cross-country, solo bike trek to raise money for ASAS (After-School All Stars), you’ll know that he’s relentless in achieving his goal. Since he embarked on his journey from Maine on July 3rd, he has left New England, crossed New York State, and made his way through Ohio. For news about his adventures and challenges, be sure to follow his blog. To find out where Marc is at this very moment. click here.

Ride on, Marc — we’re proud of you!

Fabrisonic President Mark Norfolk is interviewed by MEM's Sarah Webster at RAPID 2014

Fabrisonic President Mark Norfolk is interviewed by MEM’s Sarah Webster at RAPID 2014

EWI affiliate Fabrisonic LLC attracted the attention of the media last month at the SME’s RAPID conference in Detroit. The company was profiled in a feature by Manufacturing Engineering Media to introduce an additive manufacturing method that is unique in the 3D printing world. To see the interview with Fabrisonic President Mark Norfolk, click here.


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RAPID 2014

 

 

One of the great things about being an engineer at EWI is having the opportunity to touch so many different technologies and applications. The first application I have had the opportunity to learn about is pipeline construction from our experienced team. When oil and gas pipelines are constructed, a major concern is the quality of the weld being made to connect two pieces of pipe together. The cost of a bad weld can be substantial, both monetarily and environmentally. This has been in the national news recently regarding the Keystone Pipeline and the potential environmental impact if the pipeline were to leak. This proposed pipeline is under much scrutiny by environmental groups because of the potential devastation it could cause on the environment.

Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques are currently used to scan pipe welds to make sure there are no flaws. One such NDE technique is ultrasonic inspection. Ultrasonic inspection can be used on either the outside or inside of the pipe, and can give results quickly. The technique is somewhat sensitive to operator interpretation, and there can be a high false-positive rate which can cause issues. Each false positive can be costly and take up valuable time. EWI has worked with companies in the oil and gas industry to come up with supplementary methods of testing pipelines.

Pig Picture

One method is using laser topography to scan the internal weld of the pipe using a pigging system. A pigging system involves inserting a small tubular device called a “pig” which carries the electrical system used to inspect the weld. Over the past 15 years, EWI has developed and modified many laser inspection pigs for use in pipelines, both onshore and offshore. For offshore applications, EWI has partnered with a member company that specializes in pipelines to work in conjunction with their Internal Lineup Clamp (ILUC)such that the inspection occurs immediately after welding without having to insert a separate piece of inspection equipment. After a piece of pipe is welded together, EWI’s system lines up over the weld to perform an internal circumference inspection.

The current prototype uses a laser scanner, three motorized axes, and a video camera. The laser scanner is used to read the topography of the weld to identify features such as alignment mismatch, bead height and several other surface features. The three-axis system allows the operator to manipulate the video camera and laser to a specific point in the pipe. It also allows the operator to rotate the video camera freely to review a certain part of the weld if necessary. During inspection, the operator can view live video of the weld as it rotates.

The software program allows the operator to view any imperfections and add comments. Once finished, the weld data and video can be cataloged and saved for future reference. The entire process of lining up the pig, scanning, and analyzing the results can be completed in a few minutes.

This inspection system is a great example of how the different technology groups at EWI work together. EWI’s welding experts, NDE experts, design experts, and controls experts all collaborated on this technology to make it a success.

If you would like more information about laser-based weld inspection, please contact Patrick Hanlon at phanlon@ewi.org.

 

Today’s edition of Device Talk, from Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry, describes some of the challenges facing device manufacturers contemplating the production of implantables through additive manufacturing processes.  The questions raised in the article are appropriate, as no one would condone use of an additive manufactured implant if the manufacturer could not validate that the processes used resulted in material properties that enable useful life and performance of the device.

We at EWI are focused on helping manufacturers in the medical device industry characterize and define the parameters required to produce the desired material properties, and, of course, the resulting device performance.  Unfortunately, many potential users of additive processes are enamored with the concept of “3-D Printing.”  We wish it were as simple and straightforward as downloading a CAD file, pushing a button, and extracting the desired component.  There are a lot of factors to consider when producing “3-D printed” components – factors that are critical to understand if you wish to manufacture parts that actually work as planned!

EWI’s Dr. Shawn Kelly leads our efforts to help manufacturers better define these important materials issues.  His approach is shown below:

EWI's Holistic View of Additive Manufacturing

If you are contemplating an additive manufacturing process and would like to make sure the process you specify can produce the parts you need, we would be happy to help you develop and define that process.  You may start by contacting Dale Robinson by phone at 614.688.5232 or e-mail at DRobinson@ewi.org.