MILL: Manufacturing Innovation Learning Laboratory

The MILL at RPI

 


Lab and Related Undergraduate Courses are Focused on Educating the Next Generation of Manufacturing Innovators

Focused on educating the next generation of manufacturing leaders and pioneers, MILL builds upon the many successes of its predecessor, the award-winning Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (AML).

“Advanced manufacturing is accelerating the translation of American innovations in science and technology into new products and processes, and helping create jobs across all technology sectors. The Manufacturing Innovation and Learning Laboratory positions Rensselaer and its graduates to make significant contributions at the leading edge of this dynamic field.,” said Shekhar Garde, Ph.D., Dean of Engineering.

Located in the George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation, MILL is a forward-looking manufacturing learning environment. Leveraging the instructor expertise and industry-grade equipment in MILL, sophomores and seniors taking Introduction to Engineering Design, the new Manufacturing Processes and Systems I and II, and senior capstone design courses can practice and master manufacturing processes. In these classes, students undergo the same design, process engineering, technical documentation, and rapid prototyping used in industrial research and development teams.

Looking forward, MILL will be an important foundation for infusing micromanufacturing, nanomanufacturing, and other advanced manufacturing technologies into the Rensselaer undergraduate engineering curriculum and graduate student experience. Additionally, MILL will enable new course work and advanced study on robotics systems development, manufacturing systems simulation, and emerging machining technologies. The Rensselaer School of Engineering expects to establish new undergraduate and graduate courses focused on these areas.

“Not just anyone can get a job at a leading high-tech manufacturing company. To succeed, thrive, and become a leader at these companies, you need to know the ins and outs of how to make stuff quickly, smartly, and competitively. This is precisely what Rensselaer teaches undergraduate students in the MILL,” said Sam Chiappone, Director of Manufacturing Innovation in the Rensselaer School of Engineering.

MILL and MPS Class is sponsored by several industrial partners including Allendale Machinery – Haas Factory Outlet,AngioDynamics,Boeing,Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing of the Capital Region (CEN),CTM,Deringer-Ney,East Branch Engineering and Mfg. Inc.,EDAC Technologies,GE Global Research,Integer*,LAI,LoDolce Machine Co.,MasterCAM,Putnam Precision,RBC Bearings, Inc.,Sandvik,Sikorsky,Simmons Machine Tool Corporation,Snap-on,Sonoco,and Specialty Silicone Products (SSP).

MILL’s predecessor, the AML, was established in 1980. For the past few years, several student teams using the AML and taking the related course, Advanced Manufacturing Lab, have won or placed high in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Design and Manufacturing Competition held at the ASME annual conference. Recently, Manufacturing Processes and Systems II Invisbell -Bike Bell Team captured third palace at the ASME Student Design and Manufacturing Competition in 2017.

This year, graduating seniors who studied in the AML over the past two semesters have already secured manufacturing-related jobs at Apple, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, RBC Bearings, and many other top-tier employers. The evolution of AML into MILL stands to make Rensselaer students even more prepared and more attractive to leading international manufacturing and technology companies.

MILL is an important cornerstone of the overall advanced manufacturing enterprise at Rensselaer. Leading the university’s advanced manufacturing research program is the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS). CATS is a New York state designated Center for Advanced Technology and receives annual funding of nearly $1 million from the Empire State Development (ESD) Division for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). Since 1988, CATS has worked with partner companies to leverage the knowledge and expertise of Rensselaer faculty and students toward solving real-world advanced manufacturing challenges.

Location 
George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation (CII) Room 1027
Equipment: 
  • Haas VF 1 – CNC Milling Machine
  • Haas OM-2 CNC Milling Machine
  • Moore Nanotechnology Systems 350 UPL Lathe
  • Hurricane Laser Cutter Category 4 Charley 80W
  • Adept Cobra 800 SCARA Robot
  • SONY Conveyor System
  • Staubli RX 90 Robot
  • Stratasys Dimension FDM Machine
  • Stratasys UPrint FDM Machine
  • Z-Corporation Z310 3D Printer
  • B-9 Creator Stereolithography Printer
  • Brown and Sharpe Gage 2000 CMM
  • Faro Platinum Inspection Arm
  • Arburg Allrounder 270c Injection Molder
  • Arburg Allrounder 221k Injection Molder
  • Battenfeld Injection Molder
  • Formech 660 Vacuum Former
  • Flow Mach2 Abrasive Water-Jet Cutter
  • Sonitek S840 Ultrasonic Welder
  • Sonitek TS500 Thermal Press
  • Branson Ultrasonic Welder 2000 D
  • Branson Ultrasonic Welder 2000 DT
  • General Machining Equipment
Contacts 

Sam Chiappone, Director Manufacturing Innovation, SoE
chiaps@rpi.edu

Larry Ruff, Senior Engineer, SoE
ruffl@rpi.edu

Sponsors