The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), Detroit, has cut the ribbon to officially open its new innovation acceleration center. The 100,000 sq.-ft. facility in Detroit is part of a national network of research institutions and industrial companies geared toward advancing America’s leadership in manufacturing technology. The center’s focus is to accelerate the transfer of new manufacturing technology from the research lab to the production floor for products using lightweight metals including aluminum, magnesium, titanium and advanced high-strength steel alloys. An equally important mission of the center is to facilitate the training of the workers who will be using these new processes in factories and maintenance facilitates around the country.
ALMMII is funded by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, with support from industry partners and academic research institutions including the American Foundry Society. It will be led by industry with input from the government. The lead partners in founding ALMMII are the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and EWI, an independent research and development organization based in Columbus, Ohio. ALMMII has established its headquarters in Detroit because it is the epicenter of the largest concentration of automotive research and development centers in the world. The location also places the center along I-75, an industrial corridor that connects states in which nearly half of America’s manufacturing workforce is located. ALMMII will directly serve a five-state region, although its work is national in scope.
Reducing the weight of materials used in vehicles is imperative to save energy costs. ALMMII will connect private companies to laboratories to develop the specific tools and skills to make research breakthroughs practical for production of parts primarily for vehicles, airplanes and other forms of transportation.