Connecting Industry with UofL Research Centers

The  Kentucky Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) connects manufacturers with research and technology they need to prepare for the future of manufacturing. As advocates for Kentucky’s thousands of manufacturers, their staff leverages resources in both the public and private sectors to help identify areas of improvement, streamline processes, and ultimately increase competitiveness. The KY-MEP works with several UofL manufacturing services centers, developing and implementing solutions with additive manufacturing, robotics and automation, energy efficiency, logistics, smart manufacturing and sustainability.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) describes the technology that creates 3D objects by adding layers of material. It encompasses many applications including 3D printing, digital direct manufacturing, and additive fabrication. Most AM technologies involve the use of a computer, 3D modeling software, machine equipment, and layering material. Layering materials can include plastic, metal, and concrete.

Some of the most current applications include medical and dental implants, automobiles, and airplanes. Potential applications for AM technology seem endless. From its inception, the technology has been focused not only on current applications, but also on future possibilities. Some of these include industrial tooling, small parts production, and, maybe one day, the production of human organs. AM is most definitely on the cutting edge of efficient, effective, and innovative manufacturing. If your manufacturing organization is ready to take the first step in learning about if AM technology could be a cost-effective development for your business, please contact us for more information.

Advanced robotics is the use of devices that either automate or augment human activity. The demand for advanced robotics in manufacturing is growing, specifically among companies that produce physical goods or have complex supply chains. While there has been some conversation surrounding job loss with the implementation of advanced robotics, today robots and people in the manufacturing sector work alongside each other in a complimentary and safe fashion.

The application of advanced robotics in manufacturing has already increased efficiency and productivity of employees and supply chains in many industries. Going forward, the opportunity to expand innovation and growth, as well as safety, are key benefits to adopting this technology. Additionally, depending on the software implemented, the potential to improve upon accuracy and execution of production is possible as cognitive intelligence approaches are applied to robotics.

The KY-MEP, in partnership with LARRI and the UofL Speed School of Engineering, are primed to assist manufacturing companies with education, training, and implementation of advanced robotics technologies. Together these organizations provide important information on best practices and help manufacturers navigate this technology, both now and in the future. Advanced robotics technology has the potential to revolutionize many parts of the manufacturing industry. It is important to know the best ways to create an environment where robotics technology complements the human workforce.

The Conn Center, a leader in the development of renewable energy solutions that are cleaner, cheaper and more reliable.

The Industrial Assessment Center Provides no-cost energy assessment and support to regional small and medium size manufacturers while educating engineers in energy and water resource conservation.

The multi-disciplinary Logistics and Distribution Institute (LoDI) is dedicated to innovating new delivery processes for organizations shipping goods, services, and personnel around the globe. We produce impactful efficiencies research and prepare students to be leaders in their fields.

A new Center for Organizational Readiness toward Enterprise (CORE) 4.0 has been launched at Speed School of Engineering, focused on helping companies prepare for smart and connected technology such as automation, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.