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This past week, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing, or ARM, celebrated the formal opening of its new headquarters at Mill 19 at Hazelwood Green in Pittsburgh. The public-private partnership is dedicated to increasing the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing through robotics and workforce development.

ARM was founded in 2017 by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. It is part of the Manufacturing USA network. The organization recently welcomed FANUC America as its 200th member and named Brett Lambert as its chair.

From technological advancements to worker training, Mill 19 will be the epicenter for the future of manufacturing, said the organization. The collaborative nature of the space is intended to showcase what is possible when industry, academia, and government collaborate toward a unified goal. ARM welcomed its network of local and national partners to visit Hazelwood and engage with the community.

Mill 19 ready for collaboration

The new 90,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art facility sits within the frame of the former Jones & Laughlin Steel Company steel mill. The first two floors are completed and occupied by ARM and CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative. In addition, Catalyst Connection, an ARM member and the local Manufacturing Extension Partnership, will move into the third floor of Mill 19 later this fall.

“We look forward to working with our partners and Mill 19 tenants to create the nation’s most innovative advanced manufacturing and robotics facility,” said Lambert.

Mill 19 includes a 200-person training room, a 24-person classroom, a high bay, flexible space, and break-out rooms and conference rooms. The flexible space on the first floor is also shared by ARM and CMU and will house diverse projects dedicated to advancing the state of manufacturing.

The Mill 19 high bay is shared by ARM and CMU. It features a length of 180 feet and a 10-ton crane. The high bay will also house ARM’s prototyping and “de-risking” operations, which are currently under development. ARM explained that it plans to help manufacturers across the U.S. eliminate the risks of automation so they can deploy it more easily and less expensively.

ARM already has equipment in the high bay at Mill 19, including robots from members Yaskawa and FANUC. For the opening event, an additional number of local ARM members brought demonstrations of their work, including CapSen Robotics, IAM Robotics, RE2 Robotics, Hebi Robotics, Siemens, and Premier Automation.

Mill 19 interior

Interior of Mill 19. Source: ARM, CMU

Community support for ARM

Mill 19 sits in Pittsburgh’s historic Hazelwood neighborhood, minutes from downtown, and its creation marks a significant milestone for both the city of Pittsburgh and the nation, said ARM. The site had sat empty since the mill’s closure in 1997.

The revitalization of the site was made possible by collaboration between three Pittsburgh foundations: the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments. These foundations, seeing the potential of the site, purchased the land in 2002.

ARM was joined by supporters and dignitaries for the opening event, including Tracy Frost, director of the Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program at the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Farnam Jahanian, president of CMU; Congressmen Mike Doyle and Mike Kelly; state Senator Jay Costa; Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto; and Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive. “What happens here will benefit all,” said Peduto

ARM Members can expect to learn more about Mill 19 at the 2019 member meeting being held November 5-7 in Pittsburgh. Learn more about the Member Meeting by emailing [email protected].

The Robot Report is launching the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, which will be on Dec. 9-10 in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference and expo will focus on improving the design, development and manufacture of next-generation healthcare robots. Learn more about the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, and registration will be open soon.

Source: The Robot Report

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