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Iowa’s Governor Officially Launches ‘Year of Manufacturing’ Initiative

 Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and a host of other Iowa governmental and business leaders have unveiled a plan to boost Iowa factories during a “Year of Manufacturing.”

The Year of Manufacturing initiative, which was announced in January during Branstad’s Condition of the State address, is designed to be a 12-month, concentrated focus on improving Iowa’s manufacturing Gross Domestic Product. Led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) and CIRAS, business leaders plan to fan out across the state to visit with companies and make certain that each firm is aware of the resources available to help them improve.

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CIRAS Helps Frog Legs Make Smooth Transition to Carbon Fiber Wheelchair Wheels

An Iowa manufacturer of wheelchair wheels and caster forks has begun selling stronger and lighter versions of those products—thanks partly to CIRAS’ help in testing and refining what the company describes as “the world’s first carbon fiber wheel set.”

Ottumwa-based Frog Legs Inc., which has sold aluminum wheelchair wheels and suspensions since 1997, began selling a new carbon fiber version of its products earlier this year.

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PyroGraphics Resets Its Future with a Little CIRAS Assistance

Everything seemed to be going great, Dan Svec recalls, until the first hints of a recession appeared and began to expose the weaknesses at PyroGraphics.

In 2008, the West Des Moines printing company, which specializes in business promotional items and souvenirs, was starting to struggle in a declining economy in which most promotion had stopped. By 2012, when the company discovered CIRAS, the end was very much in sight.

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Report-Out: CIRAS’ first Future of Manufacturing event shows the Future is Near

On January 24th, we at CIRAS hosted our first Future of Manufacturing event, focused on how Augmented and Virtual Reality are changing manufacturing. Experts from Mechdyne, ISU Mechanical Engineering, Newport News Shipbuilding, and Daqri gave an update on current and next generation technologies that are beginning to change manufacturing around the globe. 

Here are our four key takeaways from that event:

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CIRAS SERVICE HIGHLIGHT: Digital Manufacturing

It’s here.

We’ve heard the terms thrown around for years: Industry 4.0, Connected Machines, Internet of Things, Industrial Internet. Very quietly, this has all become real – your best customers, competitors, and suppliers have built digital capabilities that change the way they do business. At CIRAS, we group all this effort under the term Digital Manufacturing, defined as the ability to connect different parts of the manufacturing life cycle through data, and to utilize that information to make smarter, more efficient business decisions (source: DMDII). 

For those of you that are asking “Does this apply to me?”, the answer is simple: Yes.

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