ARMI On the Move

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI),,held its grand opening at its headquarters in Manchester, NH last month. This nonprofit organization will sustain a Manufacturing USA Institute, the Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ATB-MII). As a public-private supported institute, ATB-MII will use its Department of Defense (DoD) resources to support state-of-the-art manufacturing capability that strengthens DoD defense essential mission.      

ATB-MII will bring together a proactive collation of research institutions, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, federal, and state agencies to accelerate innovation relative to the Tissue Biofabrication Ecosystem to develop technologies, protocols, and procedures that result in biofabrication full scale manufacturing operations. This effort will provide support to help bridge the gap between basic/early research and product development by advancing and scaling critical technologies in the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) between the 4 to 7 range. As indicated by Dean K. Kamen, founder of ARMI: ARMI will make practical the large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue related technologies, to benefit existing industries and grow new ones; and ATB MII's website states: The ATB-MII will provide shared assets to help entities – particularly small manufacturers – access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, creating an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in Advanced Tissue Biofabrication skills.

The cell phone photo shown above and snapped during Dean Kamen's presentation at ARMI's inaugural,, event captures ATB-MII's overall intent.  The presentation side's title ("ARMI Has Solid Backing to Turn a Fragmented Field Into a Robust Industry") focused the audience of ATB-MII partners to a large extent on the impressive group of research universities that will tackle the bioscience, bioengineering, and manufacturing issues involved in completing ATB MII's goals. However, the triad of logos as arranged in the slide's lower right corner also highlights ATB-MII’s intent: "to create an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in Advanced Tissue Biofabrication skills."

As long-time FLATE supporters and FLATE Focus readers, we hope that you noticed our logo on Dean Kamen's slide as soon as you saw the photo of his partner display slide!! However, for Florida's role in developing technicians and skilled operators to support bio-related manufacturing in our state, it is the MEP, FloridaMakes, FLATE cluster that is important. What curriculum content and/or course of study should be installed in the Florida College System A.S. degree programs to produce the new technicians with the knowledge and skillset Florida manufacturers will need?  What training programs and content should be created that can be delivered directly to the current technician and operator workforce that supports this Florida manufacturing sector?  How will what Florida learns about developing this ATB-MII supportive workforce be interconnected with bio-manufacturer's across the country? 

These are three important questions with answers yet to come but NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, FloridaMakes, and FLATE are federal and state agencies in Florida that will ultimately provide the answer to those questions. As a first step, FLATE and FloridaMakes are developing a joint operational strategy which will produce an effective mechanism to efficiently meet the high-tech manufacturing workforce Florida needs from both the new student and current workforce talent pool.  "Stay tuned" to future FLATE Focus issues for exciting developments and details.

Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council (NWFMC) hosted its annual Education Advisory Committee

On Friday August 4, the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council (NWFMC) hosted its annual Education Advisory Committee for manufacturing programs in middle school, high school and college programs in the 10 counties of  Florida’s great Northwest region. With a mission to develop their own talent pipeline, the membership of NWFMC initiated and continues to support eight middle school and 10 high school manufacturing related programs and academies in 10 counties. The NWFMC also supports the four Engineering Technology Associate of Science (A.S.) degree programs in the region: Chipola College, Gulf Coast State College, Northwest Florida State College and Pensacola State College.  High school students in the manufacturing programs can articulate with credit to any Engineering Technology degree program at these colleges. The University of West Florida (UWF) located in Pensacola, is also an important partner, supporting all the educational initiatives of the Council including training for the current manufacturing workforce. 
To put money where its mouth is, the Manufacturing Council has acquired funding to support the development of the new programs, purchase needed equipment, recruit students, provide educator professional development and training, offer scholarships, and support MFG DAY tours for students in these program every October.  For example, educators from across the panhandle attended training at Northwest Florida State College supported by NWFMC earlier in the week before the August 4th meeting.  To help market the programs to the community, students, parents, and industry,  NWFMC developed individual county-focused career pathway handouts available to download from their website ( The documents promote the manufacturing educational pathways as well as the great high-wage, high-tech manufacturing careers available in their regions.
The advisory committee meeting helps educators learn what the manufacturing industries in their area need with respect to workforce, what the council and regional workforce agencies report on hiring in the industry, and also get to share what they need.  These regional Council Advisory meetings can also fill the requirement of the school programs to have an Industry Advisory Committee meeting each semester.  Al Jenkins, new Engineering Technology faculty at Gulf Coast State College said that these regional meetings were extremely valuable.  He not only learns how the education system in Florida “works,” but hears directly from industry what their needs are.  “Its important to hear directly from those companies who hire our students about the skills they need as well as new technologies they are implementing” Jenkins said. He also mentioned that educators worked together to better understand what the pathway options are for their students, and how they might share equipment, expertise and experiences.  Steve Harrell, CTE director in Pensacola schools, commented that it was important for him and his manufacturing teachers to participate in these meetings, network with their colleagues, and listen to industry partners.
Dr. Barger, Executive Director of FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence) shared a number of resources with the attendees including DVDs of the “Made in Florida” and “Women in Manufacturing” videos and their accompanying teacher guides, classroom posters for MFG DAY and folders with more information about FLATE resources and the statewide manufacturing education pathways.  Dr. Barger also provided a brief overview of  FLATE and its work supporting manufacturing education in our state.

NWFMC student recruiting video

U.S. 2012 Economic Census: Manufacturing

The US Census Bureau has compiled information from the manufacturing industry and created a manufacturing data wheel.  This contains data for all sectors and includes total value of shipments and receipts, costs of material, number of establishments, production workers annual wage and hourly wage and a total number of production workers.  The data wheel contains a high level of data for all subsectors, and provides a snapshot of domestic manufacturing as well as specific values for anyone who is interested in a particular subject/sector. 

For example if we look at the wheel and turn to the section for “Computer and electronic product manufacturing,” the total value of shipments and receipts for services is $313,588,636; number of establishments is 13,282; Production workers average for a year is $407,268; production workers average annual wage is $50,395, and production worker hourly wage is $25.65. 

This Manufacturing Data wheel is a great source of information for educator to use during Manufacturing Day on October 6, 2017.  As educators start to speak to their classes about the tours, they can also look over this information to see how this correlates to the manufactures they will be visiting.

For more information on the stats on the data wheel contact Elaine Anderson.  To get a copy of the data wheel contact FLATE at and we can send you a copy.  The data wheel also serves as an excellent point of reference for anyone who is looking for data and/or conducting research on manufacturing   
Here is a link to the Industry Statistics Portal.  This link shows the data for all the sectors, but also shows the data for subsectors.

Below are some graphs from the Department of Commerce showing the percentage of college graduate men and women in the manufacturing industry and Women’s earnings compared to men in the same Industry.


For more information about the U.S. 2012 Economic Census: Manufacturing wheel or to order some,
you can contact Elaine Anderson at

Mechatronics /Automation Education on the move in Florida and Around the Country


The spring and summer of 2017 have been full of “mechatronics” activities for FLATE and our partners not only in Florida, but also across the country.  July was a highlight with a 5-day workshop for high school teachers hosted by Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) which is one of the co-PIs of the CollaborATE, NSF ATE project awarded to the College of Lake County, IL in 2016. This incredible grant project has developed the first stage of a “low-cost” mechatronics trainer (under $1,000) intended for high school manufacturing, mechatronics, automation programs.  The three partner colleges (College of Lake County (CLC), Ann Arundel Community College (AACC) and (FSCJ) are implementing associate degree programs in mechatronics, by enhancing and updating existing electrical, mechanical and/or electromechanical programs to include the now ubiquitous communication systems that have become integral to all automated systems.

In addition to upgrading the degree programs at the three colleges, the project PI’s are working with their local high schools to develop articulated pathways and/or duel enrollment programs.  To support the high school programs involved (3-5 per college), the grant team will complete the development of the high school mechatronic trainers in three stages. Each summer during the grant, the partner high school teachers are traveling to FSCJ for an the intensive 5-day workshop taught by Tim Callahan, mechatronics instructor at AACC.  This summer the workshop focused on wiring and programing programmable logic controllers (PLCs).  The next two years will have the same high school teacher return to continue the training adding more complicated subsystems that include motors, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic components.

The 11 high school attendees rated the “Southern Working Connections” as excellent and could not wait to get access to the first stage of the trainer that they worked with this summer. The trainers will be loaned to the teachers from grant colleges so teachers can continue to work with them during the coming school year and use them with their students. All of this year’s participants are expected to return the next two summers to continue to learn more advanced applications.  Margie Porter, CLC CollaborATE PI, was very excited about how very engaged the teachers were in their work and how excited the teachers were to have focused time with hands-on learning in mechatronics. She says “they are hungry to learn and eager to have access to equipment.  We are hopeful that this intensive strategy will help build enrollment in both high school and college programs.” FLATE participated in the workshop, mentoring the teachers in their work and making lunchtime presentation on various resources, recruiting females, and industry credentials. For more information about the Mechatronics Community in Florida, contact Dr. Barger (


The week before the Mechatronics Southern (SWC) Working Connection in Jacksonville, FLATE hosted half-day Mechatronics workshop at the HI-TEC Conference in Salt Lake City. Partnering with Dan Horine from Virginia Western Community College and the NSF ATE PACE-ME grant and Doug Laven from the South Central College (MN) and the NSF ATE iMEC grant project to present the workshop.  These two experienced mechatronics educators led the eighteen attendees through wiring, troubleshooting, programing basic commands to solve fundamental problems. Wiring the hardware allowed participants to trace the communication flow through the system.

The growing need for mechatronics and automation technicians across the country and in an array of industry sectors including manufacturing, supply chain, energy, utilities, aviation and aerospace, chemical processing, continues to attract students into these high skill, high wage careers. This was the third year this team presented a PLC focused mechatronics workshop at HI-TEC. With one, or two persons per trainer, this workshop “turned theory into reality” said one attendee.


FLATE also hosted a panel about Mechatronics Industry credentials.  Over 80 attendees crowded into the breakout session room to hear representatives from Siemens, PMMI and NIMS present the basics of their mechatronics-related credentials, how each are administered, , how schools can get involved, curriculum and costs, and program alignment. The presentations stimulated a large number of questions from the audience and a lively discussion closed the session. Presentations from the speakers are posted at: (select FLATE presentations, 2017).


Also at the HI-TEC conference, FLATE hosted its 5th annual “Mechatronics Moments” reception with about 40 mechatronics-minded attendees.  The casual networking event provides attendees an opportunity to share information about their program in an “open mic” / “karaoke” style session.  This year’s theme was “student projects”. About 15 educators shared a project idea and outcomes. The famous FLATE audience “applausometer” helped determine the best project of the evening.  The winner walked away with a modest gift certificate.


FLATE, the CollaborATE, PACE-ME and iMEC projects, Mechatronics program at Gateway Technical College have partnered to support a monthly online gathering /call for mechatronics educators called the Mechatronics Community Exchange” (MCE).  The group meets once a month during the academic year on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm.  Monthly session topics are identified by the attendees and have included FabLab integration with mechatronics; student recruitment; industry credentials, various mechatronics components/equipment; laboratory “setup”; student projects, etc. The schedule for this fall is 3-4 pm on Fridays: September 29th, October 27th, and December 8th.  Contact Dr. Barger at if you are interested in joining this conversation or visit the MCE Website.

FLATE recently partnered with Quanser (, supplier of mechatronics and engineering education laboratory and research equipment, to add 2-year mechatronics program information to their new online Mechatronics Education Forum. Educators can join the forum to find and post mechatronics events, programs of study, projects, and discussions about issues related to mechatronics education.  Special sections for the 2-year programs will be available on the forum later this fall.

Widespread Events & Industry Tours Planned for 2017 Manufacturing Day/Month

Manufacturing Day/Month is one of the HOTTEST events celebrating the strength of American
manufacturing. October 6 marks the official kick off for Manufacturing Day with industry tours, open houses, career fairs and other miscellaneous events being planned in Florida and across the country. If you have been following the trends for MFG Day/Month, you also know Florida has led the nation in the number of tours and events that are hosted throughout October to celebrate Manufacturing Month. Leading the nation is a matter of immense pride not only to the MFG Day Coordinators and stakeholders who have taken an active role in organizing statewide events, but is emblematic of excellence in Florida manufacturing.

This year Florida Makes and its network of Regional Manufacturers Associations across the state are taking the lead in organizing statewide industry tours and events that kick starts on MFG Day which is October 6! Counties and cities across Florida are set to issue proclamations marking October as MFG Month. Thousands of students and educators from schools across Florida are also set to participate in industry tours that are geared to showcase products that are “Made in Florida” as well as get an up-close and in-depth look at high-skilled, high-wage careers that the industry offers.

There are a number of ways to be involved in this nationwide event that focuses on the strength of American Manufacturing. Outlined below is a list of Florida Manufacturing Day coordinators who are spearheading regional efforts to facilitate and coordinate MFG Day industry tours and events. Contact a regional MFG Day Coordinator in your area to host an industry tour, an open house, career fair, or set-up industry tours for students to local manufacturing facilities.

Contact Information
Florida Makes
Alachua County
Gainesville Chamber of Commerce
Baker & Columbia Counties
Florida Gateway College
Capital Region
Leon, Wakulla, Madison, Gadsden Counties
Tallahassee Community College
Central Florida                                       Orange, Brevard, Lake, Seminole & Osceola Counties
Manufacturers Association of Central Florida
Hillsborough County
Bay Area Manufacturers Association
Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association (UTBMA)
School District of Hillsborough County
Highlands County
Sebring Airport Authority
Marion County
Marion Schools
Marion Regional Manufacturers Association
Northeast Florida (Duval, St. John, Clay, Nassau)
First Coast Manufacturers Association
Northwest Florida  (Escambia, City of Pensacola, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty County Santa Rosa, Walton, Okaloosa, and Bay Counties)
Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council
Pasco & Hernando Counties
Pasco Hernando State College
AM Skills
Pinellas County
Bay Area Manufacturers Association
Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association
Pinellas Schools
Polk County
Career Pathways at Polk State College
Sarasota-Manatee Counties
Sarasota County Schools Career & Technical Education
Manatee County Schools
South East Florida
Palm Beach & Broward Counties
Atlantic Technical College
HOERBIGER Corporation of America, Inc.
South West Florida
Goodwill Industries
Lee Schools
Polygon Solutions
Atlantic Technical Center

Here in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, the Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA) will take the lead in matching schools and companies for student industry tours. Some of the local events planned in the Tampa Bay area include:

Following up on the successful model that FLATE established over the years, this year Regional
Manufacturers Associations (RMAs) and Regional MFG Day Coordinators across Florida will be taking the lead in surveying statewide industry hosts, educators and students who participate in this year’s industry tours. Student, industry, educator and parents survey are available for download on the FLATE Wiki with an option to complete the surveys online as well. Post event surveys will be tabulated by RMAs in partnership with FLATE and shared with statewide partners and stakeholders. Ordering and sponsorships for MFG Day T-shirts are also being handled a little differently. Contact your local RMA/MFG Day Coordinator to see how you can place an order. 

To support students’ and educators’ learning and engagement in manufacturing, FLATE

has also developed an extensive array of resources specifically designed for industry, educators, or anyone interested in MFG Day/Month. A list of these comprehensive (free) resources are listed on the Florida MFG Day/Month page at There is even a 2017 MFG Day poster that teachers can use as a curriculum tool and/or to decorate their classroom. To access these resources, visit the FLATE’s Wiki at: and

Over the next few weeks leading up to MFG Day, FLATE will be posting information on regional industry tours, open houses, expos, proclamations and other Florida-related MFG Day events on the Made in Florida MFG Day site Be sure to share your MFG Day event with us so we can post it on the site, and/or post the information about regional events on the national MFG Day page. Manufacturing Day is also making big waves in the social world with ALL MFG Day participants encouraged to share news, pictures, videos about tours and events using the hashtags #MFGDay17 and #FLMfgMonth17. For information on other national manufacturing day events and tours contact your local Regional Manufacturers Associations and Regional MFG Day team in your area, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at

First PathTech LIFE Recruitment Webinar

  A National Survey of LIFE 
Learning, Interests, Family, and Employment Experiences Influencing Pathways into Advanced Technologies
NSF #1501999

Please join us at the First PathTech LIFE webinar on Wednesday August 30, 2017

Come share and learn from your colleagues from around the Nation during this unique webinar about the characteristics of two-year college students across various technology fields, their academic pathways, career goals, and school-work-life balance issues that impact their decisions to enroll, return for further coursework, and/or pursue a certificate or degree.

To register for the webinar click here “Registration,”

or go to

About the project
Researchers from the University of South Florida’s Department of Sociology and College of Education and the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) are conducting a national survey of individuals completing coursework, certification, and AS/AAS degrees in advanced technologies at community colleges. The purpose of this national survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is to identify the characteristics of two-year college students across various technology fields, their academic pathways, career goals, and school-work-life balance issues that impact their decisions to enroll, return for further coursework, and/or pursue a certificate or degree. The information that you provide will help improve the academic and career support colleges’ offer to students completing coursework in advanced technology fields.

We are looking for students completing coursework, certification, and A.S/A.A.S degrees in the following advanced technology fields:

· Engineering technology,
· Advanced manufacturing,
· Micro & nano technology,
· Energy & Environmental technology

College Partners Incentives
Each college partner will receive a stipend and a findings report comparing your students to the national sample if the minimum criteria for students’ participation is met. A minuimum response rate benchmark is necessary to ensure our sample is representative of all students. Colleges who do not reach the response rate will still receive a national findings report and each student who completes the survey will receive $25 directly from PathTech. The survey will take about 15 minutes.
College Commitments
· Appoint a contact person to correspond with the PathTech research team.
· Distribute the flyer and/or survey link to students taking courses in Engineering technology, advanced manufacturing, Micro and nano technology, Energy and environmental technology.
· Provide the number of students who received the survey link so we can calculate the response rate.
· Confirm a list of survey participants are active students in your program.

September 2017 –August 2018: Distribute national survey wave 2 (Fall 2017) and wave 3 (Spring 2018, tentative).

Preliminary Results: Did you know that…….

· Programs who participated were:

· The majority of the respondents were between the ages of 18-30

· 84% of the respondents were male

Please forward this information to colleagues responsible for your CTE and Career Pathways programs. If you have a conflict and cannot attend, please consider sending a representative.

Thank you for agreeing to participate in this project. We hope that geographic location of your college partners will allow us to reach a broad cross-section of the country that will yield findings that are generalizable across colleges and technological fields

If you have any questions please contact:

Will Tyson- PI Associate Professor of Sociology University of South Florida
Ben Reid-External Communications Coordinator

sTEm–at-Word Puzzle #61: Pump Part selection for thick fluid applications

Analysis: A new technician at a pump repair company is asked to rebuild positive displacement pumps for a customer that uses their pumps to transport viscous fluids.  The technician knows that for constant viscosity (constant thickness) fluids; a higher pump pressure applies a higher stress on the fluid; the Shear Rate of the fluid always increases linearly with Applied Stress; the fluid's Shear Rate value multiplied by the fluid's viscosity value always equals the Applied Stress value.  The tech knows this customer always uses their pumps to move a fluid that gets thinner when the pump applies more pressure on that moving fluid. The tech also reviews the graphic at the red and green data points and, even though there are no values provided on the ordinate (y-axis) or the abscissa (x-axis), is absolutely positive which Repair Kit to use. 

The Question : Does the Technician selects Repair Kit #450?