Kaysville, Utah – September 03, 2019. Today, the Utah Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) announced the launch of its new supply chain database tool aimed to help small and rural manufacturers increase business opportunities. Named CONNEX, the online tool is a searchable database of nearly every advanced material and manufacturing supplier and manufacturer in Utah. It also consists of a marketplace where companies can find buyers and sellers for industry items as well as donate expired materials and other equipment to school education programs.
The development of the tool began nearly two years ago with a grant from the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of Economic Adjustment, to assess and improve the complete supply chain for Utah’s DoD-focused carbon composites and advanced materials industry. During that time, extensive interviews were conducted with Utah companies regarding their capabilities, certifications, machinery, materials, workforce expertise and more. The data was then entered into an online database tool which allows users to find and pinpoint the exact supplier or manufacturer they are looking for according to their needs.
The objective of the program is to make Utah’s advanced materials industry more globally competitive and capable of diversifying into new markets. The supply chain tool will enable anyone in or out of the state to easily find Utah companies with the specific expertise and equipment to meet their requirements. This will especially benefit the smaller, lesser-known manufacturers by helping them better connect into the supply chain and increase their contract opportunities in both the defense and commercial sectors.
The advanced materials and manufacturing industry has long been an important economic cluster for Utah since the strategic missile programs of the 1950’s. At that time, two Utah-based aerospace companies, Hercules and Thiokol, developed the expertise to build these systems along with space launch systems that eventually included carbon fiber manufacturing in Utah.
In the 1990’s, Hercules sold the carbon fiber portion of its business to Hexcel and then Hercules and Thiokol merged into ATK. ATK was then joined by Orbital Sciences to become Orbital ATK which is now part of Northrup Grumman Innovation Systems.
Many of those early technologies and processes are still in use in today including filament winding, automatic tape laying and fiber placement. The industry has also expanded to now include over 100 Utah businesses, each of which deploys unique skills and services to produce the very specialized components of the advanced materials industry.
“Utah has moved well beyond the early applications of carbon composites to using these advanced materials in aerospace & defense, outdoor products, transportation equipment, medical products and more”, said Jeff Edwards, Executive Director of UAMMI. “This unique effort to map Utah’s supply chain will better connect these suppliers with each other and make it much easier for the entire industry to do business with the very talented companies we have here,” he added.
Although the tool is being officially released this month, it has been in beta testing for over a year. Since then, it has already resulted in determining the exact services each company provides, their relationships to one another and the supply chain gaps that need to be addressed. It has also facilitated the donation of valuable materials and equipment to Utah schools and helped to accelerate dozens of business opportunities.
UAMMI plans to showcase this new tool during the CAMX industry tradeshow in Anaheim, September 24-26. Demonstrations will take place at the Utah booth (F41) during the entire show. The tool can also be accessed directly at: www.uammi.org/connex
Founded in 2014, the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) brings together public, private, community, industry and education partners to assure growth and sustainability of Utah’s advanced materials and manufacturing industry and maintain Utah’s leadership in this key global industry. www.UAMMI.org
|Jeff Edwards, UAMMI Executive Director
450 South Simmons Way, Suite 300
Kaysville, UT 84037
(801) 593-2236 Main
(801) 455-0896 Mobile
|Justin Bott, UAMMI Marketing Manager
450 Simmons Way, Suite 500
Kaysville, UT 84037
(801) 593-2269 Mobile