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  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017
    February Utah Disruptive Technology Seminar
    Valentine’s Day – Composites Style
    Most individuals celebrate Valentine’s Day with heart-shaped chocolates, roses, and a nice dinner, but not for 102 knowledge-seekers. These attendees with varying backgrounds in teaching and aerospace, along with scientists and business people alike, decided to attend the Utah Disruptive Technology Seminar (DTS) at the Corporate Alliance in Ogden.
    Many heard that Ogden’s DTS event provides a forum for local and international business people, engineers, scientists, and funders. The City of Ogden is an emerging technology center in aerospace, advance manufacturing, recreation products, and last but certainly not least, composites; this year’s seminar focus.
    “Composites are two or more materials with markedly different physical or chemical properties – categorized as ‘matrix’ or ‘reinforcement’ – combined in a way that they act in concert, yet remain separate and distinct at some level because they don’t fully merge or dissolve into one another.” (American      Composites Manufacturers Association, 2017). In layman’s terms, it’s something composed of several different things to make it stronger; just think Boeing’s 787.
    While numerous of the seminars attract well known presenters, this event was particularly special with a guest from Northern Ireland. Gareth Caves, Group Business Development Director of Williams Industrial Services (WIS) came to share a new technology that his company possesses; a piece of machinery that minimizes curing time from around twelve hours to just about two! After this piece of equipment was mentioned, Mr. Caves had all the audience’s eyes on him waiting for an explanation as to how this was done. He obliged them by showing a 3-D video of the device and enlightened the audience of how it worked.
    After Mr. Caves’ presentation finished, Dr. Brent Strong, a member of Utah’s Advanced Material & Manufacturing Initiative, otherwise known as UAMMI, circled back and offered a concise and comprehensible presentation of what composites were. For those in the audience who were novices, it was much appreciated.
    John Melilli, President of Composite Automation, then discussed “new innovative technologies from the companies he represented, including: advancements in fully automated filament winding plants, right sized AFP machines with interchangeable thermoset and thermoplastic heads and combining 3D laser projection with vision to facilitate quality control.” (Composite Automation, LLC, 2017). The remaining speakers, Zach Smith of Funded Today and Colby Cooley from EDCUtah wrapped up the event with their presentations.
    With the closing of the final discussions, the audience was given a chance to ask the panel any questions that remained in their minds. Afterwards, presenters and audience members alike mingled. Overall, it was an experience and networking opportunity many will have a fond memory of.
    Anja Jenson
    Ogden City Business Development Division