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Tag Archives: additive manufacturing

5 on Friday: Fuel for Thought December 15, 2017

by Steve Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber


Remember: 5 on Friday is a two-way street: please send me recommendations on books, reports, articles, blogs, videos, or anything you’re reading or watching that impacts business and the economy.

ONE: HowFactory.com – Manufacturer’s New Bestie

As a new part of 5 on Friday, I’m going to highlight a Cedar Valley product or firm from time to time. There’s no better place to start than HowFactory.

HowFactory should be the best friend of any process dependent enterprise. The brainchild of IT guru Trace Steffen, How Factory is blossoming into one of the Cedar Valley’s top new and scaling products. You may remember the HowFactory’s team won a 2016 Howard Brock Innovation Award from the Alliance & Chamber.

Trace and his team of knowledge documentation warriors describe HowFactory’s capabilities this way: HowFactory is the simple platform that allows users to manage the knowledge critical to your team’s success and growth. The company’s tagline: “We’re not your father’s How-To Manual.” I encourage you to take the HowFactory suggestion and sign up for a 14-day test drive of the platform at www.HowFactory.com. Give Trace and his team a call to get a better idea how to align your firm’s knowledge base with an exciting, visual way of communicating and monitoring. #CedarValleyMade

Start your 14 day free trial

TWO: What’s Next for 3D in Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing – 3D printing – is a big deal in the Cedar Valley. If you have not yet seen the Additive Manufacturing and Design Lab on the first floor of TechWorks Tech 1, you need to! We made a big deal in 2013 out of the first big sand casting machine that was delivered, but several more production scale printers and scanners have been delivered since then. The design lab is in Tech 1, too. This asset has brought business and attention to the Cedar Valley. What’s next for this technology? This article charts a probable course for industrial applications of 3D printing.

New frontier: Here’s where 3D printing is headed next in industrial manufacturing, Christine LaFave Grace, Plant Services (Putman Media), December 7, 2017

THREE: Pass-through Entities and the Tax Bill

This is an informative, brief piece on the potential impacts of the Fed Tax Reform on the important pass-through structure for business.

Pass-Through Rate In Focus As Congress Gears Up For Tax Vote, Patrick Gorman, Chief Executive, December 14, 2017

FOUR: Sales Growth Hacks

It’s all about knowing your customer.

10 Growth Hacking Strategies to Triple Your Sales, R.L. Adams, Entrepreneur, December 5, 2017

FIVE: George Friedman Forecasts 2018

There are many forecasts for 2018 from many different directions. Here’s one you need to read, from George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures. He’s one of the best informed, objective observers out there.

[PDF] 2018: A Year of Tenuous Stability, Geopolitical Futures, 2017

High-Capacity Broadband from Mediacom Business Powering University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

 The following information was released by Mediacom Business

 New additive manufacturing and design facility utilizes bandwidth intensive applications to train and prepare manufacturers and students

Waterloo, IA – June 28, 2016Furthering its commitment to drive economic growth in the Cedar Valley corridor, Mediacom Business, a division of Mediacom Communications Corporation, today announced the installation of a high-capacity broadband connection at the new University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Metal Casting Center on the TechWorks Campus in downtown Waterloo.

Randy Pilkington, Director of Business and Community Services for UNI, said manufacturers and students alike will learn necessary design software skills at the UNI Metal Casting Center to develop products and prepare CAD documents in conjunction with Hawkeye Community College for 3D printing. The facility houses the largest sand mold 3D design printer in the country, and is installing three new 3D printers over the next several months using a variety of media.

“Our goal is make the facility at the UNI Metal Casting Center the go to place in Iowa, if not the Midwest, to expand additive manufacturing training of this kind. This is a huge initiative for Iowa. We feel confident that by partnering with Mediacom Business, we’ll receive the high-capacity broadband necessary to make this happen,” Mr. Pilkington said.

Dan Templin, Senior Vice President for Mediacom Business, said his company’s partnership with UNI exemplifies how critical it is to have a high-capacity broadband connection to power advanced technology platforms. “The design software needed to fuel expertise in sand mold printing used by companies like John Deere or Rockwell Collins requires high speed data. Without it, you simply can’t conduct the training needed. We’re especially glad to play such an important role in bringing business and education together via our proprietary fiber-optic network.”

Cary Darrah, TechWorks Vice President and General Manager, said Mediacom Business powered a TechWorks Campus StartUp event last November with 5 Gigabits of fiber connectivity. “Fast broadband was a necessity for the event – the first time StartUp Weekend was held on the Campus. Mediacom Business delivered the fastest connection to data that we’d used. Mediacom Business came through for TechWorks Campus and StartUp Weekend Cedar Valley participants. I believe that gave the Metal Casting Center a clear indication that Mediacom Business was a good solution at this location.”

About the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

The University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center was established in 1990 with a grant from the Iowa Lottery to serve foundries and foundry suppliers in Iowa. The UNI MCC has been a leader in foundry innovations and added 3D sand mold printing capabilities in 2014. Since then, the UNI MCC has worked with more than 100 small and medium enterprises across Iowa and the Midwest as well as with all branches of the US military.

About the TechWorks Campus

TechWorks Campus is a 30-acre advanced manufacturing, research & development, innovation, education, commercial, and manufacturing center located in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. The campus is comprised of 20 acres of development sites, and 300,000 square feet of flex space for innovation and development.

About Mediacom Communications

Mediacom Communications Corporation is the fifth largest cable operator in the U.S. serving about 1.3 million customers in smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Mediacom Broadband LLC and Mediacom LLC. Mediacom offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services to households and businesses, including video, high-speed data, phone, and home security and automation. Through Mediacom Business, the company provides innovative broadband solutions to commercial and public sector customers of all sizes, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcc.com.

Tom Larsen
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Relations
Phone: 845-443-2754 | Email: info@mediacomcc.com

Annual AMC Engineering Conference Kicks Off at TechWorks

Cedar Valley of Iowa – The 2015 AMC Engineering Conference will be held May 5-7 at the Ramada Inn and Five Sullivan’s Convention Center in Waterloo. This is the 30th anniversary of the Annual AMC Engineering Conference which is an educational conference and tradeshow for agricultural and off-highway equipment design engineers.

AMC (formerly Agricultural Machinery Conference) is a forum for engineers, managers and other professionals in the field of agricultural equipment design to gather with the purpose of exchanging ideas, see the latest component technology, and learn new design practices, techniques and methods of importance to the industry.

Waterloo was selected because of its position in the heart of U.S. agriculture and agricultural machinery industry.

The event will include informational and technical sessions on the most important areas of equipment design and development and attendees will have the opportunity to listen in on any of nearly 50 presentations in fields as varied as engines, ergonomics and economics.

The Alliance & Chamber will co-sponsor a booth with TechWorks Campus and UNI Metal Castings Center at the Conference to showcase the cooperation between TechWorks and UNI’s Metal Casting Center’s expertise in Additive Manufacturing (3-D printing), and the resulting partnerships with industry, both within the state and beyond. TechWorks will also play host to the Conference opening ceremonies on Tuesday with a social hour, dinner & keynote presentation, and Campus tour.

“This is an excellent opportunity to show a key technology-based business audience firsthand the advanced technologies available and planned at TechWorks and share the vision for where it is headed with the startup of the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub,” says Wes James, TechWorks Facilities Manager & Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center Operations Director, “They will leave with the message that the Cedar Valley is a great place to develop product ideas and processes.”

More information about the conference and registration can be found here: http://www.amc-online.org/About.html

To learn more about TechWorks Campus and additive manufacturing, contact Wes James at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com or by calling 319-287-8149.


Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees