Research Foundation News

January 30, 2019

Manufacturing Design Laboratory celebrates opening at Purdue, marking new space to explore advanced manufacturing possibilities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The “tsunami” of digital manufacturing is here – and Purdue University has a major new resource to handle it. Purdue officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Wednesday (Jan. 30) for the Manufacturing Design Laboratory, a research space dedicated to the technology-driven future of manufacturing in Indiana and across the globe.

The Manufacturing Design Laboratory is housed in Purdue’s Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center (CMSC), a part of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute (IMI), located at Purdue Research Foundation’s Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. Established in 2015, IMI is a partnership between Purdue and the state of Indiana.

“This laboratory provides a space to bring together Purdue resources and manufacturing expertise from across Indiana to create new ways to maximize the opportunities presented by digital manufacturing,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said.

 “With the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation and a focus on embracing innovation, Indiana is poised to propel new technologies that will advance the industry and create new solutions used across the world,” said Jim Schellinger, Indiana secretary of commerce. “We’re excited to celebrate the next step forward for the Indiana Manufacturing Institute, a partnership between the state, Purdue University, the Purdue Research Park and IACMI, as we cut the ribbon on the Manufacturing Design Laboratory that will support continued industry research and workforce development opportunities.”

Manufacturing lab The new Manufacturing Design Laboratory, housed in Purdue University’s Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center (CMSC), provides new space to explore advanced manufacturing possibilities. (Purdue Research Foundation photo/Oren Darling) Download image

More than 40 faculty from Purdue’s College of Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute participate in research and programs at IMI.

The work aligns with Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration, celebrating the global advancements in sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

“Advancing manufacturing is key to many industries in the coming decades,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “Purdue Engineering is proud to build on our heritage and accelerate innovation in manufacturing, with significant impact for Indiana and the country. IMI and its MDL that opens today will enable our faculty, students, researchers and partners to define the future of manufacturing.”

Jan-Anders Mansson, a Purdue distinguished professor of chemical and materials engineering who developed the laboratory, said the new space will serve as a testbed for Indiana companies developing advanced manufacturing systems.

“The tsunami of digital manufacturing is here, and Purdue and the state of Indiana are ready to tackle the challenge,” Mansson said. “It is exciting to come to Indiana from Switzerland and use this space to test what is possible in manufacturing as we move into Industry 4.0, the next wave for advanced manufacturing.”

The facility allows researchers to offer more ways to demonstrate new processes and technologies.

“The design laboratory offers a unique space to create the future of advanced manufacturing and composites manufacturing, which focuses on engineered and personalized products,” said R. Byron Pipes, a Purdue distinguished professor of engineering and the executive director of CMSC.

The ribbon cutting comes as IACMI – The Composites Institute holds its annual winter meeting this week in Indianapolis. The event brings together hundreds of the world’s leading experts on composite manufacturing, and highlights the design, modeling and simulation capabilities that Purdue offers the composites industry. 

Writer: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341,

Mitch Daniels,

Jim Schellinger, media contact: Abby Gras,

Mung Chiang,

Jan-Anders Mansson,

R. Byron Pipes,

Note to Journalists: Video B-roll is available at

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