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Friday, June 10 2016

EDC to partner with Purdue on digital manufacturing education program


COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (June 10, 2016) – The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) recently announced its partnership with Purdue University on a digital thread assessment and digital manufacturing education program for Whitley County manufacturers.

The EDC recently held a meeting on digital manufacturing with local manufacturing business owners and executives, and representatives from the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) programs.

“The partnership with Purdue is critical in ensuring that Whitley County manufacturing companies enhance their competitive position in the marketplace of the future,” said EDC Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program Manager Bruce Stach.

Manufacturing is key for the survival and growth of Whitley County, and as technology changes and digital manufacturing becomes more prevalent, businesses will have to adapt to grow and compete in the global marketplace.

Guest speakers, Dr. Nathan Hartman, professor and associate head of computer graphics technology at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and John Blignaut of the Purdue Technical Assistance Program, shared informative presentations on digital manufacturing–what it is, why it’s important and how businesses can prepare for those technology changes.

“As the U.S. and Indiana manufacturing base moves forward into the future, the digitization of manufacturing data and processes will be a key enabler of future growth and profitability,” said Dr. Hartman, “Companies throughout the OEM and supply chain levels need to be able to leverage these new technologies and processes to maintain their competitive advantage. Product lifecycle management, model-based definition, automation technologies, and digital data security are a few of the important technologies and methods that companies need to adopt to stay competitive.”

The meeting served as a kick-off event to announce the partnership between the EDC and Purdue in developing an education program focused on assisting manufacturing businesses with adopting digital manufacturing technologies. A survey assessment will be sent to manufacturing businesses so the program can be specifically tailored for Whitley County manufacturing businesses.

“Manufacturing has always been and will continue to be a vital part our local economy,” said EDC President Jon Myers, “This partnership with Purdue University will help many of our local employers to maintain their leadership in this area of the economy.”


Writer: Katie Dewitt, 260-244-5506,

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