Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) has announced that applications for the 2015 Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) are being accepted through December 31, 2014. Manufacturing companies with less than 100 employees, including startups, are invited to submit project proposals for solving manufacturing process problems or to support the ability to offer new services or begin the manufacture of new products.
“The Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program provides an opportunity for small and mid-sized companies, in good standing with the state, to take advantage of the cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and staff expertise of CCAT’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC),” says Elliot Ginsberg, CCAT President and CEO.
“At the AMC, our current focus is on optimization of computer numerical control (CNC) programs, additive manufacturing (both plastics and metals), and precision machining. We collaborate with academia and a network of technology partners to offer custom solutions for enhancing manufacturing operations and productivity,” he states.
Under this state legislature financed program, through assistance from the University of Connecticut, CCAT receives funding to support company projects based on the specific needs of each organization. In reviewing applications, particular emphasis is placed on how a company’s project enhances manufacturing operations in Connecticut, including growth, retention of jobs or increasing company revenue. While firms from any industry sector may apply, the proposal must relate to manufacturing operations. Proposed projects must start by February 2015 and be substantially completed within six months.
“CCAT’s program is designed to aid companies with the application of advanced technologies for existing process improvement and manufacturing process development. CCAT will also provide on-site support for technology transition when it applies,” says Bob Torrani, Director, AMC.
According to Torrani, CCAT expects to fund multiple proposals, with award potential up to a maximum of $75,000 per project. Specific project areas include: machining process improvements; optimized tool paths for simultaneous 5-axis and Swiss-type (7-axis) machining; inspection process improvements; reverse engineering a solid model; prototype development; and additive manufacturing applications using 3D printing with plastics and metals.
In 2014, the second year of the program, CCAT awarded grants to start-up Connecticut companies, providing no-cost access to the AMC’s broad variety of advanced technology and manufacturing expertise.
MTAP 2014 grant recipients included SolVilla Energy Inc., to develop tooling and 3D printed plastic components necessary to produce a solar energy roofing shingle system, and LambdaVision Inc., developer of a revolutionary protein-based retinal implant for development of plastic components of a prototype surgical tool.
CCAT’s ultra-high resolution 3D multi-material printer technology system – the first installation of its kind worldwide – was used to create the plastic parts for SolVilla and the custom surgical tool for LambdaVision.
“The Manufacturing Technology Assistance Program offers significant value to Connecticut companies by providing funding to enhance their manufacturing operations and productivity,” states Ginsberg. “At CCAT, we are pleased to be part of the program and use the resources of the AMC to help manufacturers statewide compete and grow in today’s global market.”