Project 7. Startup Work and Development of Fuse Impact Centers

FourFront Colorado consists of four Fuse Impact Centers strategically located across Colorado. Specifically, one in Grand Junction serving the Western Slope of Colorado; one in Northern Colorado serving Boulder to Fort Collins; one in Southern Colorado serving Castle Rock to Trinidad and out to the eastern plains including La Junta and Rocky Ford. Finally, there will be one Center serving the Metropolitan Denver area.

Funding from DoD contemplated building out only two of these centers. After researching best practices and technology advancements, manufacturers determined that for sustainability it was best to create 4 smaller centers that are digitally connected to each other and to application centers that contain the necessary R&D equipment. Therefore, the current project has changed to include these four smaller Fuse Impact Centers rather than two fully outfitted Fuse centers.

As time has progressed, we have come closer to having 4 fully established Fuse Impact Centers. One Fuse Impact Center is housed at the Catalyst Campus in downtown Colorado Springs. This center will focus on targeting Southern Colorado. Another Fuse Impact Center is housed at EWI Colorado in Loveland. EWI’s Fuse center will focus on Northern Colorado. There is also another Fuse center in Grand Junction and is housed in Factory in Grand Junction. Last but not least, the Fuse center in downtown Denver, is currently located in the Commons on Champa and will be relocating to Metropolitan State University.

These Fuse Impact Centers provide physical space including:

  • regional meeting rooms for manufacturers
  • a hub for networking and business-to-business development
  • future training programs targeted for manufacturers around the state
  • one-on-one consulting meetings with industry professional service providers access to state-of-the-art applied research from local application centers as well as national institutes

Each Center contains state-of-the-art digital communications providing connectivity between each center and the rest of the nation. These digital conference rooms bring together people, devices, design applications, training programs and more in a shared workspace resulting in faster learning, decision making and more effective collaboration. These four centers will soon be connected, allowing Colorado manufacturers to meet virtually face-to-face with potential partners or vendors and to begin developing the relationships that can’t be established with an e-mail.

Each of the four Fuse Impact Centers will focus on one of the four quadrants below:


The Fuse Impact Centers provide the setting for a CEO to take time away from day-to-day demands of business and spend time with their peers learning best practices not just in their region, but across the state. It is not just the CEO that suffers for lack of information. Not only do CEO’s benefit from these centers, but their Human Resources Managers, Operations Mangers, Chief Financial Officers and other C-Suite executives can gain useful information and utilize extra tools to become more successful.

In addition, CAMA is working with statewide stakeholders and partners to leverage existing manufacturing facilities and initiatives that initially will support an Application Center focused on cutting edge applied research. Manufacturing technology is evolving very rapidly, and most manufacturing companies do not have the resources to support a dedicated applied research facility. Yet, Colorado manufacturers need an applied research facility in their home-court that will help them adopt innovative manufacturing technologies to improve product performance, quality, reliability, and cost competitiveness.

Therefore, after feedback from the RCOs, in addition to creating four smaller Fuse Impact Centers, the FourFront Project has partnered with state and local economic development organizations to stand-up a proven applied research center dedicated to manufacturing and technology.

A Northern Colorado location, in partnership with the City of Loveland and the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), provides manufacturers with the equipment necessary to successfully adopt cutting-edge, innovative manufacturing technologies. Focus groups have identified the following potential technology focus areas: Quality Control Technologies such as non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods, Advanced Coating Technologies, Manufacturing Simulation, Internet of Things, Flexible Automation and Additive Manufacturing Applications.

FourFront, the City of Loveland and EWI will create this world-class facility that will firmly establish Colorado as a manufacturing innovation leader. Since 1984, EWI has provided applied research, manufacturing support, and strategic services to leaders in the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, electronics, medical, energy & chemical, and heavy manufacturing industries.

EWI Colorado brings their proven model for advancing manufacturing. EWI’s mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through innovative technology solutions. EWI’s technical expertise includes applications of a wide range of information technologies for manufacturing applications, including design, predictive modeling, process monitoring, real-time controls, quality tracking, and manufacturing data archiving. Colorado’s manufacturing commons requires innovation leadership to compete on a global stage. FourFront’s Northern Fuse Impact Center, anchored by EWI, will help Colorado manufacturers both develop and deploy new technologies to successfully advance their businesses.

For the Northern Colorado Application enter, EWI has completed focus groups and will continue to identify and analyze technology focus areas.  EWI has identified the specific focus area for the application center.  The area is known as Quality Measurement Technologies (Non-destructive evaluation (NDE), Real-time process monitoring to assess quality, Advanced metrology (e.g., non-contact surface measurement) and Structural health monitoring (SHM)).

Accomplishments:

  • EWI has come to Loveland Colorado.
  • Fuse Centers are being established.
  • Identification of potential Fuse Impact Centers in each Region.
  • CAMA is member of EWI Advisory Council focusing on Colorado technology focus area.
  • Funding:  The state of Colorado and CAMA’s board has approved funding for the EWI application center.

 

News and Materials:

Previous InFusions in Colorado Springs:

  • Advances in Metalic Additive Manufacturing
  • Establishing Your Footprint in the Federal Marketplace
  • Strategic Planning Workshop
  • Grow Your Business by Sharpening Your Focus
  • What Can Automation do for You?
  • Taking Your Business to the Next Level: Know Your Customers
  • Taking Your Business to the Next Level: Study Your Competition