MBI researchers land one of the first Walmart US Manufacturing Innovation Funds grants

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has been chosen for one of the first seven grants from the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund created by Walmart and The Walmart Foundation to help accelerate manufacturing in the United States. The MBI facility in Corvallis will be the principal venue for research activities.

A $590,000 grant will support the development of innovations in plastics injection molding – one of the most common manufacturing processes for making consumer products – in which melted plastic resins are injected into a shaped cavity made by two metallic molds.

OSU faculty members and MBI researchers Sundar V. Atre and Rajiv Malhotra are the lead investigators.

“Current practices for fabricating these molds are labor-intensive and costly, and much of the mold material is wasted as metal chips,” said Atre. “We estimate that mold-making costs can be reduced by 40 to 50 percent. That will give U.S. manufacturing an edge.”

The Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, in collaboration with the Conference of Mayors, will provide a total of $10 million in grants over the next five years. The first $4 million in grants were announced Thursday (Aug. 14) at the 2014 U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Denver.

“Researchers at many of America’s best universities are hard at work on tough manufacturing challenges,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of The Walmart Foundation. “We are excited to support the development of innovative solutions, which we hope will unlock new opportunity for manufacturing in this country.”

This story is based on the August 14, 2014, OSU News and Research Communications news release, which can be read in its entirely at: http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2014/aug/walmart-and-walmart-foundation-award-osu-grant-help-boost-us-manufacturing