On Tuesday, May 20, Chad Henige, Edward Tilley, and Gregory Cleaver from General Motors Baltimore Operations visited Red Pump Elementary School in Bel Air, MD to talk to students about manufacturing electric motors and supply chain logistics. They discussed how the principles of magnetism apply to electric motors, how the motors are built, and the logistics involved in shipping the electric drive units to Korea. [Read more...]
At its heart, Maryland Thermoform’s business is all about heating a sheet of plastic, draping it over a mold and allowing it to cool for various customer design needs. But it’s much more than that. Technologically, it gets more complicated than molding plastic sheeting.
“Thermoforming is a very creative process. It’s kind of like a black art,” said Scott Macdonald, CEO of Maryland Thermoform.
The process can be very symmetrical or very artsy.
“You can develop products with your hands or machinery. It can look as if you made it by hand, and to me that’s very cool,” Macdonald said.
Leading Maryland Manufacturers Publicly Endorse RMI Energy Efficiency Approach
Companies in RMI program project annual savings of $597,000
Over 250 manufacturing stakeholders came together at RMI’s Energy Forum in Timonium to learn about RMI’s new energy efficiency program, which was launched last fall, and heard directly from the first two groups of companies who are participating.
The twelve represented companies were: Northrop Grumman, U.S. Gypsum, Chesapeake Specialty Products, Green Bay Packaging, Medifast, Sun Automation, Maryland Applied Physics Corporation, Zentech, Ellicott Dredges, Maryland Thermoform, Danko Arlington and General Motors Baltimore Operations.
The event was hosted by the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) in partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and featured an address by Governor O’Malley, an address by MEA Director Abigail Hopper, an executive panel discussion, a town hall meeting and networking opportunities.
Two University of Maryland graduates have designed The Micro, a consumer-friendly, sub-$300 3D printer, and are quickly staging one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all-time to produce it, hauling in $3.3 million with more than 10,000 backers.
The Micro raced past its $50,000 goal in just 11 minutes and hit the $1 million mark in 25 hours, faster than the Pebble watch, which took 28 hours.
Now, with less than 24 hours to go in a 30-day campaign, this is the last chance to order from the first batch of The Micro 3D printers on Kickstarter, a Web-based funding platform for creative projects.
3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a computer-generated digital model.
“A 3D printer is a magical box that creates things,” said Michael Armani (B.S., mechanical engineering, 2005 and Ph.D., bioengineering, 2010), co-founder of M3D, the company he launched with David Jones (B.S., computer science, 2006). “It’s that simple. There is nothing on your desk one second, and the next you have it.”
Weighing just two pounds, medium watermelon-sized and box-shaped, The Micro can be used to create anything from custom jewellery, cookie cutters, everyday objects around the house, and even real engineering and artistic prototypes, according to the company. Much like a paper printer, The Micro attaches to a computer, through which users download or create models using M3D’s software, which company officials say is as interactive and enjoyable as playing a game. Once a model is selected, users hit print and the object is made.
“Starting with a seamless design, we created the Micro by preserving the best features of existing printers and redesigning everything else,” said Jones. “What’s more, we kept the cost of The Micro low by ensuring that it’s both space and power efficient, using as much power as a tablet would use. We are excited to be a part of the 3D printing revolution, and hope that The Micro will play its part in changing the way people build, innovate and create.”
Not only did Armani, Jones and the M3D team, which includes four others with UMD affiliations, create the most affordable 3D printer, they also claim 15 additional innovations over current models:
- Most space-efficient 3D printer ever made
- Lightweight, portable design fits nicely on a desk
- Micro motion chip provides completely automatic leveling and calibration
- Most quiet 3D printer ever made
- Lowest power consumption 3D printer ever made
- Carbon fiber rods: light, sturdy, self-lubricating and long-lasting
- Ceramic heater for rapid heat-up, power efficiency, reliability and safety
- Available in bold colors: silver, black, blue, red, orange and green
- New filament materials like Chameleon PLA.
- Inspirational Micro filament spools
- Modernized touch-capable software
- Replaceable print beds for alternative materials
- Replaceable nozzles for experimenters
- Designed for fast assembly in the U.S. for quality control
- An ABS-based print bed allows you to print larger ABS parts.
The Micro is powered by what the company collectively calls Micro Motion Technology™, a series of next generation innovations that together create precision at a fraction of the cost.
M3D plans to assemble its printers in the U.S. and is seeking manufacturing space in Montgomery County, Md. The company is based in Bethesda. Armani and Jones met at UMD in 2002 while auditing a biology class that neither of them needed to graduate. Their friendship has grown ever since.
A serial entrepreneur, Armani won $5,000 in Mtech’s UMD $75K Business Plan Competition in 2010 for CloudSolar, a company he launched to develop solar energy technologies.
Additional UMD-affiliated M3D team members include: Danny Lee (B.S., 1989), Su Lee (economics, 2011), Aliaksandr Mamonau (electrical and computer engineering and computer science, expected fall 2015), and Syed Rahman (mechanical engineering, expected 2015).
source University of Maryland, MTECH http://www.mtech.umd.edu/news/press_releases/the_micro.html
Thanks to a $3 million grant, we have had the opportunity with target energy efficiency opportunities with Maryland manufacturers in the BGE service territory, in partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA).
On Thursday, March 27, nearly 200 people gathered at the National Electronics Museum for RMI’s “Women in NextGen Manufacturing & Engineering” event to hear experts talk about the industry.
Attendees were given time to network with many top females in the field before hearing from Laura Neuman, Anne Arundel County Executive. She inspired the crowd by sharing her own personal story of overcoming challenges and adversity.
“No matter what the obstacles are, there’s always opportunity out there,” she said.
Northrop Grumman not only hosted the event, but its corporate vice president and vice president Gloria A. Flach served as the event’s keynote speaker. With years of experience in the industry, Flach was able to tell the crowd about how manufacturing and engineering are always changing.
The speech led into an informative discussion moderated by Northrop Grumman’s own Silvia Bouchard, who also offered advice to the audience on work-life balance, leadership and more.
In addition, the audience asked panel members questions about the field, ranging from “How can we educate the future generation?” to “How can I deal with setbacks on the job?”
“The panel discussion of top women manufacturer executives was inspiring,” said Kathy Synder, CEE, President and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. “Each of them emphasized the values of planning ahead, being ready to take risks and finding good mentors, something that is critically important for all young professionals.”
Overall, the event gave the more than 180 attendees a lot of information that they can implement in their own work and lives. See more pictures of the event here.
What attendees had to say when asked.
” What did you like most about the event?”. (from our post event survey)
This was my first RMI event. I was impressed with the knowledge and commitment to bolstering manufacturing in MD. Also, thought the camaraderie between attendees was great.
The extremely talented and inspiring speakers and panelists were most impressive. It was a very nice venue and well attended.
The number of attendees and enthusiasm about manufacturing in Maryland. Great speakers!
The caliber of speakers and content.
The women on the panel were fabulous. They spoke from experience and the heart. Many wonderful take-away actions received.
Having the different aspects from manufacturing (CEOs, VPs, HR) to bring different insight to the panel.
I was impressed by the wide range of expertise demonstrated by the panelists. They were well-versed and candid about sharing their personal experiences with the audience.
The panel of women as guest speakers.
The diversity and depth of the panelists. I left the event and several days later still reflected on the “nuggets” of information and experiences the speakers shared. They provided genuine, real life words of wisdom and encouragement for personal and professional development that “stuck” with me as I progress and improve.
Openness to audience for questions
The sharing of life experiences of the women in the panel
I was most impressed by the eloquent speaking of the panel and keynote speaker, they were very engaging and relevant. I felt as though I learned some keen advice.
Synergies between speaker and panelists…
The guests–especially the woman who introduced the program–(Laura Neuman, Anne Arundel County Executive)
The organization was well done as well.
The women on the panel. The difference in leadership styles between men and women is enormous in my opinion. We men follow sports, and war, as proper leadership models. Women focus on nurturing and consensus based on what I heard from the panel.
Great chemistry and open conversation and audience interaction
All the bad ass ladies.
I was most impressed with the quality of the panelists and their willingness to share their experiences with the audience. I especially appreciated the focus on the importance of mentoring younger women entering manufacturing and mastering higher-level skills for NextGen Manufacturing.
Kay Rand of Mission Assurance serving as panelist for RMI’s “Women in NextGen Manufacturing & Engineering” event
When developing a panel of experienced women for our “Women in NextGen Manufacturing & Engineering” forum, we knew that Kay Rand was more than qualified. Rand serves as the Sector Vice President of Mission Assurance for the Electronics System (ES) sector. She will bring a wealth of knowledge through her extensive education and work experience to the March 27 event.
On Thursday, February 26, RMI met with a group of Carroll County manufacturers – including Northrop Grumman, Land Sea and Air Manufacturing and LAI International – at Carroll Community College in Westminster to discuss RMI’s new energy efficiency initiative targeted at reducing energy at manufacturing plants in the Baltimore region.
The meeting was hosted by Denise Beaver, director of Carroll County’s Office of Economic Development. Firms heard from RMI’s project management team and from Neill Christopher, Vice President of Acadia Windows and Doors, a past participant of an energy efficiency program similar to RMI’s.