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Manufacturing Optimization


An Auburn-based company is bringing to market a newly developed environmentally friendly building material that is manufactured using plastic waste. The company, which uses recycled materials to develop cost-effective products for the agricultural, equine, commercial, industrial, and consumer markets, was partnered with a Cornell fiber science professor in the College of Human Ecology. The team developed a technology to turn plastic waste into plywood-like plastic sheets. Building materials made with these innovative “green” materials are water and chemical resistant, and stronger than the dense plywood currently used as the industry benchmark.

A global manufacturer of amorphous metal used as core materials in energy-efficient power distribution transformers is poised to expand into new markets. The company is upgrading its rapid manufacturing techniques with the help of a Cornell chemical engineering professor. The newly developed proprietary process produces metal alloys with enhanced electromagnetic properties, paving the way for use of the company’s new alloys in structural applications in aerospace, a new target market. The technique can also be transferred to other rapid manufacturing processes that involve metal-on-metal solidification, used in the metals and semiconductor industries.

To manufacture nano-gas sensing devices an American multinational semiconductor company needed the expertise necessary to develop nanoscale fabrication techniques. The principle of metal–oxide–semiconductor MOS based sensors is based on a change in the electrical conductivity of a metal oxide semiconductor MOS film when exposed to a specific gas species. Integrating such transistors with MEMS devices is challenging as standard MEMS production processes degrade the electronics and vice versa. To overcome these technical challenges, the company partnered with a Cornell electrical engineer. The company has now access to technologies leading to integrated microsystems using micro and nanoscale fabrication techniques.

A small company formed as a result of cutting-edge battery technology research with a Cornell electrochemistry professor approached the CCMR to scale-up production of its innovative anode material, necessary step to secure state and federal grants as well as venture capital financing. The company has been able to successfully demonstrate that the anodes it has developed for lithium batteries can be manufactured and assembled into battery pouch cells using commercially viable processes. The company is currently working on a phase two scale-up. These results facilitated its selection as a tenant in Cornell’s McGovern Center for Venture Development, which provides promising startups with laboratory space and helps with business plan development and investment opportunities.

A startup company developing a novel repair skin cream based on a chemical compound extracted from plants turned to the CCMR to solve a critical supply issue related to production scale-up. Cornell chemists were able to synthesize a new molecule that mimics the natural compound in the active ingredient. Recipes for production of this molecule were provided to a contract manufacturer for further scale-up.

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