Scappoose, OR — With the arrival and set up of its first major piece of manufacturing equipment from WFL Millturn Technologies, the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Research and Development (OMIC R&D) will be able to accelerate its research capabilities for its seventeen industry and university member organizations. Delivered last week to OMIC R&D’s facility in Scappoose, Oregon, from WFL’s facility in Austria, the $3.0 million M80 Millturn is a multi-purpose machine that can produce a finished part without needing to move it from machine to machine, as is typical in a manufacturing facility.
WFL joined OMIC R&D in 2017 with a commitment to provide the M80 Millturn as its in-kind membership dues for two or more years based on mutual needs and interests. The current fourteen manufacturing members and three university partners in OMIC R&D, as well as new members who join the organization over the coming years, will be able to work with Center researchers on the development of new or refining of current manufacturing materials and products.
Matt Carter, chair of OMIC R&D’s board of governors and technical fellow in Boeing Research and Technology said, “This is a very exciting time for our members and the future of our R&D activities. The WFL Millturn will help our university and industry researchers improve productivity for our members, and produce complex design features at a lower cost. The WFL equipment has taken OMIC R&D to the next level of innovation while meeting precision measurement thresholds often down to less than a thousandth of an inch.”
WFL is the only manufacturer worldwide that concentrates exclusively on the production of multifunctional complete machining centers. Machining of parts for manufacturers requires very specialized machine tools to perform each of the operations necessary to create a finished part while meeting precision measurement thresholds. Achieving this generally requires many pieces of equipment which take up large areas of factory floor space and require large workforces to operate all of the equipment, with each machine performing a single type of operation such as drilling, turning, milling, boring, grinding, etc. Separate machines for each function make it very expensive to increase capacity with factory expansion and additional machine tools being the most common and most expensive requirement paths.
Josh Yarrington, western regional sales manager for WFL said, “We’re excited to be part of OMIC R&D at its early stages of supporting manufacturing advances and providing the organization with its first major piece of equipment. WFL has helped manufacturers achieve new technology breakthroughs with unique multi-purpose Millturns. We look forward to working with OMIC R&D researchers to achieve advances in metals manufacturing for OMIC members, not just in the state and region, but globally.”
The OMIC R&D model focuses research on helping indigenous industries increase competitiveness while creating a real partnership with and integration into the local economy. As research activities expand with high-cost, high-value machinery added on to the production floor, OMIC R&D is expected to eventually increase state and regional commercial productivity in manufacturing and stimulate economic growth and development.
OMIC R&D is the fifteenth such research center established with Boeing leadership worldwide, and the first Boeing has sponsored in the United States. Its mission is to bring together manufacturing companies and higher education in an innovation environment where “outside-in” applied research with faculty and university students solves real problems for advanced manufacturers while training the next generation of engineers and technologists.