The Buffalo Manufacturing Works resource center is ready for business.
State officials are scheduled to officially open the $45 million facility on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus at 2 p.m. Wednesday, launching a component of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative aimed at helping local manufacturers tap into cutting-edge equipment and production expertise – all as part of a push to make them more profitable, productive and product-oriented.
The new facility, located in the former SmartPill building at 847 Main St., isn’t a factory and will not do any actual manufacturing. What it will do, however, is allow companies to use the center’s resources in an effort to develop a new production process or to see if a new technology can be adapted for a company’s use. The center is designed to be more of a laboratory and research facility, where companies can learn about new technology and research and work with the center’s engineers to harness those latest developments in their own factories.
At the center of the facility is its high bay, which features equipment that will be used to show manufacturers how they can take advantage of new technology in fields ranging from flexible manufacturing techniques and additive manufacturing to ultrasonic machining technology and materials research. The center will have a 3-D printing lab to show manufacturers the new technology.
It has a range of robotic equipment that the center plans to use to show local manufacturers how they can better automate their production processes. The center will have a wet lab to do chemistry and material science work to help companies develop better products. It will have a precision measurement lab with an electron microscope to look at high-magnification images of surfaces.
In addition, the facility will have conference rooms and a staff of engineers available to work with local companies on specific projects or explain how they can use the latest academic and industry research to become more competitive.
The facility is being managed by EWI, a nonprofit from Columbus, Ohio, that operates a similar center in the Ohio capital that has been helping businesses for 30 years.