RAMP Mary­land cel­e­brates sec­ond an­niver­sary

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Mem­bers of the Re­gional Ad­di­tive Man­u­fac­tur­ing Part­ner­ship (RAMP) marked their sec­ond an­niver­sary Mon­day with an open house at ATK Or­bital in Elk­ton.

RAMP was es­tab­lished by the Mary­land Gen­eral As­sem­bly in 2014 to bring to­gether pri­vate busi­ness, ed­u­ca­tion, gov­ern­ment and Aberdeen Prov­ing Ground to ex­pand Mary­land’s ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

“We cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­ist­ing and start-up man­u­fac­tur­ers by part­ner­ing them with a fed­eral lab­o­ra­tory,” RAMP Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Rick Decker said Mon­day morn­ing, as he thanked all the vol­un­teers in RAMP who have worked dili­gently since its in­cep­tion to cre­ate these part­ner­ships.

“We link small busi­ness with gov­ern­ment equip­ment and ex­per­tise that they wouldn’t oth­er­wise have any ac­cess to,” Decker said, not­ing this model has helped 15 com­pa­nies so far, with more in the wings.

The 2-year-old or­ga­ni­za­tion also pro­vides net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple in the ad­dic­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try for

ELK­TON

in­for­ma­tion shar­ing.

“We’re look­ing for cre­ativ­ity, not just en­gi­neers, to solve dif­fi­cult prob­lems,” Decker said.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Har­ford and Ce­cil County gov­ern­ments at­tended the cel­e­bra­tion at ATK in Elk­ton.

“We have a tremen­dous re­gional group here,” Ce­cil County Direc­tor of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Lisa Webb said, while she pointed out that Ce­cil County has a lot of man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing ATK Or­bital, Terumo and Gore as some of the larger ones, but also sev­eral smaller man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Karen Holt, who is Webb’s coun­ter­part in Har­ford County, con­grat­u­lated both coun­ties for mak­ing this hap­pen.

“En­thu­si­asm is still strong in this group, two years later,” she said.

Ad­dic­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing is the process of pro­duc­ing a three­d­i­men­sional ob­ject from a dig­i­tal file by lay­er­ing ma­te­ri­als. It uses mul­ti­ple tech­nolo­gies, such as 3D print­ing, rapid pro­to­typ­ing, di­rect dig­i­tal man­u­fac­tur­ing, just-in-time man­u­fac­tur­ing, lay­ered man­u­fac­tur­ing and ad­di­tive fabri­ca­tion.

“This speeds up the process tremen­dously,” Decker said. Har­ford County Direc­tor of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Karen Holt, left, and Ce­cil County Direc­tor of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Lisa Webb help RAMP MD Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Rick Decker cut the two-year an­niver­sary cake with a sword that be­longs to Decker. He used the same sword last year to cut the cake then.

Bradley Prue, sales man­ager at Danko Arlington, Inc., said his 97-year-old Bal­ti­more com­pany started us­ing 3D print­ing about five years ago to make pat­terns for prod­ucts that pre­vi­ously re­lied on skilled work­ers who crafted pat­terns by hand.

Dave Wheat­ley, chair­man of the board of RAMP and owner of D. Wheat­ley En­ter­prises, has used RAMP for his own firm.

“This part­ner­ship has pro­vided ac­cess to so­phis­ti­cated equip­ment that ex­panded my com­pany’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties and pro­vided ac­cess to peo­ple with decades of trial and er­ror in this field,” he said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

Danko Arlington Sales Man­ager Bradley Prue shows Ce­cil County Direc­tor of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Lisa Webb one of the prod­ucts made by his firm us­ing ad­dic­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

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