Utah: A leader in advanced manufacturing in the United States

And, a great place for IACMI members to vacation this summer

By Dr. Tulinda Larsen, Executive Director, UAMMI

Dr. Tulinda Larsen, Executive Director, UAMMI

We are excited to host the IACMI Summer 2022 Membership Meeting in Utah June 28-30 in Salt Lake City. As an active member of IACMI, the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative, or UAMMI, knows the value of bringing the composites community together face-to-face. Sure, we’re a little biased, but we can’t think of a better state than Utah to come together and connect with our peers in the composites industry and push ideas forward. Make sure you sign up to receive a special email alert to let you know when registration is open for the IACMI Summer 2022 Members Meeting.

Utah’s composite industry and manufacturing sector is booming. For more than 10 years, we’ve been ranked among the top three states for business. (Thanks, Forbes!) IACMI has been an important partner of UAMMI, fostering the growth of the composite manufacturing industry in our state.

Hercules missile circa 1950s.

Utah is considered the epicenter of carbon fiber and composite manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing and materials began in Utah during the space race of the 1950s when two Utah-based explosives companies, Hercules and Thiokol, developed expertise in improving fiberglass missiles. carbon. Orbital ATK, a merger of Hercules and Thiokol and now part of Northrop Grumman, along with Hexcel, continued the carbon fiber business. Today, many of the materials and processes used in the world’s advanced manufacturing were developed here in Utah.

Not only is Utah a great place to work, live, and do business, but it’s also a fantastic place to vacation with rich recreational opportunities. Sure, we might be known for our winter ski resorts and snow adventures, but the summers here are awesome too. As you plan to attend the Summer Members’ Meeting, I encourage you to arrive a few days early or stay a few days after the meeting to combine business with pleasure. The previous weekend was the Hill Air Force’s big flight demonstration. Bring your families!

Salt Lake City, as well as the entire state, offers fabulous mountain views and breathtaking red rock scenery. The area is ideal for road trips, hiking, golf and enjoying our long days in our beautiful nature. You’ll be a short drive from Park City, and if you’re up for longer drives, head south to some of Utah’s five incredible national parks, or north to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

A Closer Look at UAMMI and Utah’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry

UAMMI was established in 2015 as a public-private partnership, not-for-profit, and royalty-free organization to elevate Utah’s advanced materials and advanced manufacturing industries. This early start has grown to include more than 200 Utah companies ranging from startups to large enterprises developing advanced materials and using advanced manufacturing processes for a wide variety of aerospace components, medical devices, industrial products, hobbies and more.

F35 over Utah. Credit: US Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee

Additionally, Utah’s supply chain has diversified significantly to include manufacturing, materials suppliers, and service companies performing sophisticated designs and analysis. Through all of this, Utah has developed a global reputation as a leader in advanced materials, such as composites and carbon fiber, and advanced manufacturing, including digital engineering, 3D printing, and robotics.

In 2020, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity recognized the importance of advanced manufacturing and officially designated advanced manufacturing as one of five industries targeted for economic development. The other four targeted industries include aerospace and defense, financial services, health services and IT.

Research and Technology (R&T) Center of Excellence – UAMMI staff tour the possible site of an advanced manufacturing research lab with Emory County Commissioner Lynn Sitterud.

In 2021, Hexcel announced plans to build a Research and Technology (R&T) Center of Excellence, supporting next-generation developments in advanced composite technologies. When completed in late 2022, the 100,000 square foot building will house a state-of-the-art laboratory where the company’s scientists and researchers will collaborate with customers on the latest composite technology developments for aerospace, space and defense, and industry. apps. It will be the company’s largest innovation and product development center in North America and a showcase for the company’s advanced composite technology, providing space for future growth and expansion in the years to come. The company plans to add up to 150 jobs at the center over the next 12 years.

Hexcel lays the first stones of a new research center.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the Hill Air Force Base-based Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, which replaces the Minuteman III program. Northrop Grumman is developing a manufacturing campus for advanced materials and advanced manufacturing to support this $83 billion program. Over 6,000 jobs will be created to support GBSD.

The University of Utah provides fundamental research on the extrusion of carbon fiber from coal tar. Weber State University conducts market research on coal-based carbon fiber uses.

Utah is also leading the way by supporting innovative programs for recycling composites and carbon fiber. A recent UAMMI study found that more than 2 million pounds of carbon fiber and composites are dumped in Utah landfills each year. The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity recognized the need to attract a composite recycling company to Utah.

Once again, we are excited to host the IACMI Summer Members Meeting and share more about the exciting programs that will guide advanced manufacturing into the future.

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