The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Prince George County

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing has won a $250,000 grant that will help the center in Prince George County further its research in manufacturing technology.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, will fund a three-year project, the Intelligent Flexible Manufacturing Cell.

The research involves using digital technology to help manufacturers make their production systems more flexible and to enable distributed manufacturing, in which production can be coordinated across multiple locations.

“This gives us a lot of opportunities to work with our members and local companies to develop, deploy and test new technologies,” said Tim Bakker, CCAM’s intelligent factory research manager.

CCAM, which opened in 2013, operates as a partnership among numerous private companies, government agencies and public universities in Virginia. The center conducts research in such areas as surface technologies, automation and additive manufacturing.

The new project includes support from some large industrial firms in Virginia such as Newport News Shipbuilding, Amsted Rail and Simplimatic Automation.

The Intelligent Flexible Manufacturing Cell is one of four grant-based research programs that CCAM started this summer. Others include additive manufacturing of metal alloys for 3-D medical devices and using advanced analytics for automated defect detection in manufacturing.

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