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Mission: To help manufacturers successfully implement digital transformation technologies resulting in streamlined operations, improved product affordability, and increased competitiveness.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is here! According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the industry is diverse and geographically dispersed across the state with over 5,900 manufacturing firms, more than 120,000 employees, and $16.3 billion in annual economic output.
To help Colorado’s manufacturers adopt advanced manufacturing technologies, the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute at Metropolitan State University of Denver, the University of Colorado Denver, and the Community College of Denver have partnered to create the Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence at Auraria.
The Center helps manufacturers identify opportunities to modernize their manufacturing capabilities through the implementation of advanced training using augmented reality and serving as a demonstration sand box for equipment that can be brought in-house.
How the Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence at Auraria addresses Colorado’s workforce training needs:
We have seen first-hand how the use of advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D Printing, connected devices, and AR/VR are being used to modernize US manufacturing. Inevitably, during conversations with early adopter companies, we hear the same thing over and over – “Hey, this technology is great and can help solve our problems, but who can I actually hire to run this equipment.” According to a recent survey of manufacturers, more than 86% of respondents believe that smart factory initiatives will be the main driver of manufacturing competitiveness in the next five years. However, only 51% of these companies have made or are making these investments.
Additionally, when we speak with local students, we constantly hear about the lack of job opportunities across some of the city’s underserved areas. In almost every case it’s not an unwillingness to work hard, in fact people had no idea that some jobs such as those in the advanced manufacturing space even existed.
The Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence at Auraria addresses two of the fundamental issues limiting growth in the state. The first of these is the ability for existing manufacturers to de-risk the purchase and integration of advanced manufacturing tools. The Center can alleviate that pain by serving as a demonstration site where companies will ‘try before you buy’ and understand the business case implications for pursuing such ventures. The second issue is the ability for future workers to be adequately trained, informed, and prepared for jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector. This will occur naturally through the existing educational foundation of the partner institutions, as well as through targeted and thoughtful programming that will fit the current needs of manufacturers in the region.
Interested in learning more? Contact [email protected]