Principal investigator: Emory Zimmers, Robert Gustafson

University: Lehigh University

Industry partners: Effort Foundry Inc; Miller Fabrication Solutions

Foreign competition is using advanced manufacturing technologies to obtain major competitive advantage. Effort must adapt rapidly or risk becoming completely non-competitive in price, service and quality. Critical high performance manufacturing technologies required to achieve reliable delivery and quality performance include:

  1. Engineered conveyor system to improve material handling and mold quality
  2. Actual vs. estimated cost tracking system to determine profitability by order and part family
  3. Full service machining, finishing and direct delivery capability
  4. Inorganic binder system for sand molds to reduce gas related defects from organic binder flashing.
  5. Analyze reasons for underperforming processes, actual vs. standard for Miller Fabricating

These upgrades will ensure more elastic pricing capability by ensuring consistent quality and delivery service while doubling revenue per order. Achieving these goals will add stability to the business and protect and grow seventy-five high-paying manufacturing jobs in PA.

The project will take advantage of the Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center’s close relationships with Ben Franklin Technology Partners – North East Tier (BFTP-NET), Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN) administered by the Steel Valley Authority, Miller Fabrication, Inc. in Brookville, PA and the Lehigh University Civil and Environmental Engineering Department to support the efforts. All of these organizations have agreed to support the ESC-Effort project. This will enable fast track accomplishment of project objectives.

The project leverages the research and innovation capabilities of Lehigh University and supports PMFI objectives regarding manufacturing innovation, job creation and student involvement/retention in PA.