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ALMMII is coordinated by EWI the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University with over 50 other companied including several metalcasters The partnership was developed under the US Dept of Defensersquos Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation LM3I initiative

Detroit Chosen as Center for Lightweight Metals Research

July 28, 2014
Launched with federal funds, ALMMII will seek to transfer research methods into production Five-year mission starts this fall R&D centers, manufacturers as partners A “regional manufacturing ecosystem”

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.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)