RCBI plays key role in supporting innovation, manufacturing - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

RCBI plays key role in supporting innovation, manufacturing

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Charlotte Weber Charlotte Weber
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  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
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  • Region’s new economy focuses on technology

    Region’s new economy focuses on technology

    Friday, August 1 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 17:58:46 GMT
    North-Central West Virginia has the largest concentration of high tech jobs in West Virginia. The new economy in the Clarksburg-Fairmont-Morgantown corridor is focused upon technology-based economic development.
    North-Central West Virginia has the largest concentration of high tech jobs in West Virginia. The new economy in the Clarksburg-Fairmont-Morgantown corridor is focused upon technology-based economic development.
  • When you think you know everything, check online

    When you think you know everything, check online

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-07-30 10:00:22 GMT
    So, I’m strolling down Capitol Street in Charleston, taking in the joyous FestivALL celebration when I notice a pair of young boys smirking at my T-shirt.
    So, I’m strolling down Capitol Street in Charleston, taking in the joyous FestivALL celebration when I notice a pair of young boys smirking at my T-shirt.
  • Solving those devil-dog, double-word problems

    Solving those devil-dog, double-word problems

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:00:23 GMT
    Let’s play a word game. You will find the answers at the end, but if you cheat when playing Scrabble (as I do), you might cheat now. Of course, then, you would miss the fun of playing.
    Let’s play a word game. You will find the answers at the end, but if you cheat when playing Scrabble (as I do), you might cheat now. Of course, then, you would miss the fun of playing.

Charlotte Weber is director & CEO of the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing.

American manufacturing continues to undergo tremendous changes and transformations. The first transformative wave that affected manufacturing was the introduction of the steam engine, followed by the advent of mass-production techniques. Then came the globalization of manufacturing. Fast forward to the 21st century, with manufacturers and entrepreneurs seeing big changes due to a new wave of innovations, such as 3D printing, robotics, customized products, etc. 

What does this mean for manufacturers and entrepreneurs and how do they prepare themselves to survive and thrive? A new report from MIT suggests that a renewed commitment to R&D in manufacturing, through creative new forms of collaboration, can spur innovation and growth in the United States. 

The report, Production in the Innovation Economy, or PIE, follows two years of in-depth research on hundreds of firms across various industrial sectors, ranging in size from high-tech startups to multinational corporations. 

While there are a variety of reasons why the nation should seek to retain its own manufacturing base, from defense capacities to job creation, the report aims to highlight the larger potential that manufacturing holds for innovation-based economic growth in the United States. 

"It has been suggested by previous reports that sustaining the strength of U.S. manufacturing is essential to America's future; a strong advanced-manufacturing base is crucial to national security, and it represents a key source of good-paying jobs," MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. "But as the PIE report makes clear, local production is very important to sustaining a vibrant innovation ecosystem in a region. 

"Thus, we must also take steps now to regain U.S. manufacturing momentum if we want to sustain the nation's signature economic advantage: innovation." 

Among the approaches the report recommends are new forms of collaboration and risk-sharing — often through public-private partnerships or industry-university agreements — that can enable a wide variety of firms and industries to grow. Another conclusion the report emphasizes is that manufacturing should not be regarded as a small group of traditional, shrinking industries. Instead, manufacturing is a diverse, evolving group of industries in which new products and knowledge frequently emerge from firms of all sizes throughout the country. 

The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, or RCBI, is a unique regional public-private organization that facilitates university-industry R&D efforts and provides training to manufacturers. Our statewide Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers provide advanced manufacturing equipment and software available to lease ranging from state-of-the-art, cutting-edge machining, precision cutting tools and computer-aided design and manufacturing to robotics, digital scanning and 3D Printing. RCBI helps keep manufacturers competitive and thriving.

RCBI remains committed to being a beacon of innovation and learning for manufacturers of all sizes. Innovation again is opening new worlds of opportunities. RCBI is happy to be a partner in all of this and serve as a driving force toward a bright future.