02.28.05 media - RAMTEC - Regional Automated Manufacturing Technology and Education Center

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 02/28/2005 - 13:15.

Forum to unveil $28M plan to push automation

From Crain's - By DAVID BENNETT - Northeast Ohio's manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the one-two punch of the economic downturn and ever-growing foreign competition, but it's looking to launch a $28 million counteroffensive.

Backers of what's called the Regional Automated Manufacturing Technology & Education Center, or RAMTEC, will roll out their plan at a 4 p.m. forum this Wednesday, March 2, at the Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University.

The centerpiece of the plan is a $10 million building boasting 55,000 square feet of factory floor and 20,000 square feet of lab and classroom space. The proposed center also would be outfitted with $18 million of automated and robotic machinery.

Officials at Case have taken the lead in planning the center, though representatives of about a dozen local manufacturers and trade schools have been heavily involved in the effort. At present, though, no site has been identified for the center, and backers still are looking for federal and state aid to help finance it.