Detroit conference to look at impact of ‘lightweighting’ on small manufacturers

DETROIT — The challenges and opportunities for smaller manufacturers of lightweighting – the effort to develop and use advanced lightweight materials in manufacturing – will be addressed in a Detroit conference Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The event will be held at the Detroit headquarters of Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), the federal government’s flagship manufacturing research institute for developing and deploying advanced, lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a public-private partnership organized to validate advanced manufacturing technologies.

The event runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the LIFT-IACMI center, 1400 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit. The event will include a tour of the center.

The session will feature representatives from both LIFT and IACMI. Topics will include adjustments required by lightweighting throughout the supply chain for alternative materials, and evaluation of trade-offs of weight savings vs. durability. Industry experts scheduled to speak include:

  • Gregg Peterson, Principal Materials Engineer, LIFT
  • Uday Vaidya, Chief Technology Officer, IACMI
  • Sandy Munro, CEO, Munro & Associates Inc.

The discussion will be moderated by Dan Radomski, chief strategy officer at Optimal Inc., a Plymouth-based supplier of staffing and engineering services to manufacturers.

Partners in the event also include Lawrence Technological University’s business accelerator, the LTU Collaboratory; Automation Alley; the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center; and Pure Michigan Business Connect.

“Automation Alley is proud to partner on this event that showcases our region’s expertise in advanced materials, a technology sector that is playing a leading role in the fourth industrial revolution,” said Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley. “It’s an exciting time to be discussing these topics, as lightweighting innovations are transforming the transportation ecosystem and changing the entire manufacturing landscape as we know it.”

To register, visit

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