IACMI – The Composites Institute Provides Key Support and Response to COVID-19 Pandemic  

IACMI – The Composites Institute is working closely with its consortium members and other partners in response to the covid-19 crisis and remains prepared to help accelerate post-crisis recovery.

The expertise embodied in IACMI’s 150+ members span technologies in advanced composites, additive manufacturing machine tools, robotics & automation, biomaterials and hybrid materials that have high relevance to the health care sector.  There is broad-serving impact to a range of sectors that benefit from the core competencies, facilities/assets and infrastructure that IACMI offers. Several materials and manufacturing approaches are directly applicable to health care infrastructure such as personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, modular health care facilities and accessories.

IACMI is leading recovery efforts through coordination and communication, manufacturing assistance, and post crisis recovery planning. The coordination and impact of this organization, its partners, and the Manufacturing USA network collectively reflect the global scale, adaptability, scalability, and much-needed rapid response for the challenge. Input on the effort has included physicians and other health care personnel providing key insights on needs, wants, and first-hand perspective on form, fit, and function of PPE. Priority ongoing response efforts include the following:

  1. IACMI CTO Uday Vaidya led a University of Tennessee effort involving students, University labs, community members, and over 60 printers, to rapidly create more than 5,500 3d-printed frames for face shields to the State of Tennessee for its emergency response efforts. https://news.utk.edu/2020/03/24/ut-labs
  2. Creation of a robust COVID-19 information page on the IACMI Website that includes current response efforts and resources for federal, state, and shared databases.
  3. Ongoing collection of information from members and others at covid19response@iacmi.org
  4. IACMI SURF in collaboration with LIFT donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to Detroit-area Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center in support of the fight against coronavirus .(IACMI SURF is managed and operated by Michigan State University)
  5. https://iacmi.org/2020/04/09/iacmi-and-lift-donate-equipment-to-detroit-
  6. Served as part of the 40+ person Purdue University team producing medical supplies and working to reinvent development processes that are better aligned with demand. https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2020/Q2/boiler-maker-team-begins-producing-medical-supplies.html
  7. Provide thought leadership and innovation connectivity to aid Dassault Systèmes® in its innovation approach to design that can reduce product complexity and costs facilitating solutions such as 3d printing of spare parts and super-fast design for manufacturing of masks or ventilators. https://3dexperiencelab.3ds.com/en/projects/fablab/open-covid-19/
  8. Sharing information with other Manufacturing USA Institutes
    • Contributing to a shared database of resources and needs and promoting links to information repositories and medical device information at MXD and America Makes websites.
  9. Convening ecosystem partners and providing input to key global technology companies that are pivoting their respective businesses to provide manufacturing assistance.
  10. Collaborating with manufacturing partners to determine alternatives to N95 mask

Given the current situation, and the fact that IACMI has unparalleled assets, facilities, top of the line research personnel and talented workforce, it remains well-positioned to address near-term materials and manufacturing-related challenges, target weak spots in domestic production and other supply chain vulnerabilities, and accelerate deployment of advanced composites.  IACMI will continue advancing and protecting national interests via integrated innovation and workforce development programs to ensure global competitiveness of US manufacturing and its workforce.