The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, a $148-million partnership announced earlier this year, will set up operations in Detroit, backers announced recently. The ALMMII is a public-private venture initiated at the federal level and uniting EWI, the Columbus-based manufacturing technology center; the University of Michigan; and The Ohio State University.
ALMMII will receive $70 million in federal funding over five years, matched by another $78 million from the consortium partners.
More than 50 other companies, universities, non-profit research institutions, and workforce development agencies are included in the partnership. Other small, midsized, and large companies may yet be added to the consortium.
Among the metalcasters listed as ALMMII partners are Alcoa, Grede Holdings LLC, Honda, Materion, Nemak, and Timet, and large OEM casting buyers like Boeing, General Electric, Lockheed, among others.
ALMMII was established in February under the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) initiative, issued by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. Its mission is to develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and establish education and training programs to prepare workers to use them.
Its strategy is to establish a “regional manufacturing ecosystem” that will transfer lightweight materials from research programs into manufacturing supply chains for commercial and military automobiles, trucks, planes, and ships.
Backers indicated the new institute would open this fall, with an initial staff of ten. Up to two dozen employees will be based in the Detroit headquarters, where ALMMII will have offices, meeting and training space, and laboratories for developing and testing technologies for manufacturing. However, the partnership and its activities will be spread over Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee over the next five years, in operations that include metalcasting, stamping, metalworking, and machining.