New York Manufacturing Gets SMARTT with CGAM

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The Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing (CGAM) is building laboratories to provide New York manufacturers with access to state-of-the-art technologies that cost more than many small companies can afford. Known as SMARTT labs, these SUNY Manufacturing Alliance for Research and Technology Transfer (SMARTT) facilities offer access to advanced equipment such as 3D printers and a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Manufacturers pay for utilities and materials, but can use SMARTT equipment free-of-charge.
Strengthening Manufacturing Innovation
CGAM is an industry-led, public-private partnership that encourages manufacturing innovation and engages academic institutions. By offering access to technology, training, and business support services, this not-for-profit organization is a resource for the nearly 2500 manufacturing firms in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. CGAM was started by the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center (HVTDC) in conjunction with the Solar Energy Consortium and the Council of Industry.
According to CGAM’s Vincent Cozzolino, three SMARTT labs are already in operation. Seven more are planned, including a $1-million facility in Newburgh that will open in September 2014. SMARTT labs are funded mainly by grants from New York State Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), New York’s chief economic development agency. Although all of the currently-operational facilities are located in the Hudson Valley, there are plans for SMARTT labs in the Mohawk Valley region, too.
From 3D Printing to LED Lighting
Each SMARTT lab has a “deep, but narrow focus,” Cozzolino explains, and will be located typically in a “dedicated room” at or near a college or university. For example, SUNY Rockland Community College’s (RCC) Haverstraw Center is home to a 3D Printing and Design  facility, where manufacturers can create proof-of-concept parts.  The Haverstraw lab opened in the fall of 2013 and is equipped with several refrigerator-sized 3D printers and scanners.  “There is also a team of students there,” Cozzolino says, “who can help you realize and optimize your mechanical designs”.
Another SMARTT lab, an Equipment Characterization facility, is located not far from SUNY New Paltz in a space leased from Gateway Industries. The laboratory’s equipment includes a goniophotometer for measuring the intensity of reflected light. For New York manufacturers of LED lighting, accessing this Hudson Valley SMARTT lab can help save money, especially when there are design iterations. “Before”, Cozzolino explains, “New York companies had to send their lights to a lab in Georgia. Now you can design and test lighting right here in New York.”
Lighting the Way for Additional SMARTT Labs
As CGAM prepares to break ground on additional SMARTT labs, New York manufacturers of sensors and controllers can also benefit from cost-effective access to advanced equipment. At Sullivan Community College, for example, a SMARTT lab offers access to controller platforms that cost approximately $40K. “A small company could not afford to buy one,” Cozzolino says, “and if they could, they’re lucky”. With New York’s SMARTT lab system, however, manufacturers can do what they do best – innovate – without making the type of capital expenditures that many smaller companies cannot afford.


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