Archives: Services

Improve Manufacturing Operations

Modern manufacturing is a rapidly-evolving industry, and the complexity involved only grows as a business develops over time. CIRAS experts can help Iowa companies find the tools they need to meet challenges as they arise and plan for the challenges they can’t yet see. CIRAS provides customized services to help Iowa manufacturers of all sizes … Continue reading Improve Manufacturing Operations

How to Perform on Awarded Government Contracts

What happens after a company is awarded a government contract plays a vital role in future contracting success. Government agencies prefer to work with reliable suppliers, so they’ll be watching closely. Companies that successfully perform on their awarded government contracts ensure excellent performance ratings and improve the likelihood that they’ll prosper in future sales opportunities. … Continue reading How to Perform on Awarded Government Contracts

How to Bid on Government Contracts

Preparing bids and proposals can be an overwhelming part of breaking into government contracting. Guidance from CIRAS specialists can help Iowa companies save time while learning how to bid on government contracts and increase the chances that businesses submit a winning bid. The CIRAS PTAC program exists to serve as an advisor for any participating Iowa … Continue reading How to Bid on Government Contracts

How to Write a Product Test Plan

Evaluating a new product or part should always begin with development of a test plan. CIRAS routinely walks Iowa companies through this essential step by asking a few key questions: What do we need to know? What questions are we trying to answer? What are the variables that can affect the product’s performance or impact … Continue reading How to Write a Product Test Plan

Test Products in ISU Labs

Part of developing any product or piece of equipment involves checking to see if an item can really do what a company expects it to do. The design and material are carefully chosen, but how can anyone be sure it will work? CIRAS regularly assists Iowa manufacturers with a wide variety of product testing needs … Continue reading Test Products in ISU Labs

FIRST LEGO League in your Community

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international program created by FIRST and LEGO and designed to get children interested in and excited about science, technology, and engineering. Every year, a new challenge is released that engages the teams in hands-on robotics design and scientific research. The goal is to encourage Iowa youth to become science and … Continue reading FIRST LEGO League in your Community

Implementing ISO 9001

Today’s ever-changing world carries with it ever-changing expectations. From food safety to sustainability to information security, society increasingly expects more from its largest corporations. Large manufacturers feel increasing pressure – from stockholders, competitors, customers, and government regulators – to do more to guarantee that their products are safe and of high quality. As a result, … Continue reading Implementing ISO 9001

Improve Manufacturing Safety

A safe workplace is a happier and more productive workplace. Iowa manufacturers who take safety seriously see improved worker confidence, increased profitability, a reduction in overall operating costs, and an end to time lost due to accidents. But how can a company be certain they are following appropriate safety regulations and best practices? CIRAS safety … Continue reading Improve Manufacturing Safety

K-12 STEM Engagement

We help Iowa companies develop strategy to impact their communities for talent expansion through engagement with K-12 audiences including students, educators, and parents. Since our creation in 2002, we have worked with hundreds of partnering industry and organizations to increase reach to Iowa STEM talent. We help businesses and economic developers by: Building a diverse … Continue reading K-12 STEM Engagement

Additive Manufacturing Resources at ISU

CIRAS engineers use specialized technology and materials to help Iowa companies develop innovative products and processes to meet the increasing needs of their customers. Technical assistance available to Iowa businesses includes: Understanding the various 3D printing technologies Help selecting the best technology and materials to meet the needs of a specific application Access to advanced … Continue reading Additive Manufacturing Resources at ISU

Iowa Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of innovators and makers. While national Manufacturing Day is officially the first day of each October, companies and community organizations can plan events for any date that works best for them. Iowa Manufacturing Day events are a great first step in … Continue reading Iowa Manufacturing Day

Food, Feed, and Grain Regulatory Assistance for Iowa Businesses

CIRAS works with partners across Iowa State University to offer a full suite of food safety and quality services focused on helping Iowa food companies grow their businesses. Our services include: Regulatory food safety education and implementation coaching: CIRAS is committed to helping Iowa companies become better educated about food safety and more prepared to handle … Continue reading Food, Feed, and Grain Regulatory Assistance for Iowa Businesses

Product Design and Process Design

CIRAS engineers can help Iowa companies with product/process design in a variety of ways and make connections with our network of partners and resources in different areas of expertise. CIRAS can: Provide companies with limited product design concept assistance using 3D CAD Provide guidance for companies experiencing specific technical issues with a new or existing … Continue reading Product Design and Process Design

Improve Supply Chain Performance

CIRAS can review a client’s supply chain to assess possible problems and provide education and coaching to improve. We work with Iowa companies on various supply chain management topics including: Sourcing strategy, including determining total cost of ownership (TCO) and evaluating reshoring opportunities Inventory management, education, and improvement Purchasing and supplier management to improve service … Continue reading Improve Supply Chain Performance

NDE Resources at ISU

Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) refers to various noninvasive techniques that can be used to find flaws in parts or to measure some property of a component. CIRAS experts can help select the most suitable inspection tool for a company’s application, depending on cost concerns, sensitivity requirements, and implementation needs. We can assist Iowa companies in this … Continue reading NDE Resources at ISU

How to Develop Effective Sustainability Programs

CIRAS, through our partner the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum (ISBF), helps Iowa businesses connect and develop effective sustainability programs. The mission of the ISBF is to connect Iowa businesses to continuously improve practices that positively impact people, planet, and profits. ISBF is a confidential, members-only forum focused on helping environmental, social responsibility, safety, and other … Continue reading How to Develop Effective Sustainability Programs

How to Find and Understand Government Contracting Opportunities

Finding and understanding government contracting opportunities can be confusing. CIRAS PTAC staff can help guide companies through this next step by: Providing education on the government solicitation process and the various contract types Explaining the difference between RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs Identifying internet-based and other electronic procurement opportunities that match a company’s products and services … Continue reading How to Find and Understand Government Contracting Opportunities

Materials Testing Resources at ISU

At times, Iowa companies may find themselves with questions about the materials used in their products.  Why are they failing or under-performing? Did our supplier send us what we ordered? Will this substance be able to handle the demands of our particular product design? CIRAS can help find answers. Metallurgists with the CIRAS Technology Assistance … Continue reading Materials Testing Resources at ISU

Student Projects at ISU

Every engineering student at Iowa State University is required to complete a capstone project to graduate. Many of these projects are sponsored by companies, and a team of senior students works with the company to apply engineering analyses and provide design recommendations. Project topics reflect Iowa State’s engineering departments – e.g., mechanical, electrical, software, computer, … Continue reading Student Projects at ISU

Implement Lean Processes in Business

A Lean organization strives to identify and eliminate waste through visual management (making problems visible). A company accomplishes these objectives by first establishing a primary focus on developing its people to be strong team members who are good at problem solving. CIRAS and the Iowa Lean Consortium work to help Iowa businesses: Develop a plan to … Continue reading Implement Lean Processes in Business

Implement an Innovation System

Experience tells us that the best innovation strategy for Iowa companies involves a proper mix of innovation, improvement, and line expansion.  Innovations can involve new product development, but also can mean new services, processes, business models, and/or marketing. Innovation services at CIRAS focus on the four main phases of Innovation: Definition: Creating, documenting, refining and … Continue reading Implement an Innovation System

Exporting to Global Markets

CIRAS export growth services, including ExporTech, help Iowa companies develop a strategic business plan to significantly increase international sales. A statewide network of partners allows CIRAS to connect companies with experts and resources to address their unique business needs. Our approach at CIRAS means we: Engage with businesses to determine export needs Provide tailored education … Continue reading Exporting to Global Markets

B2B Networking and Best Practice Sharing for Iowa Businesses

CIRAS B2B Networking programs are structured activities focused on helping Iowa companies develop relationships to improve their businesses. CIRAS and our partners can provide Iowa firms with the right connections at the right time to help them find new customers, new suppliers, and/or answers to important questions. We offer three types of B2B networking: Matchmaking … Continue reading B2B Networking and Best Practice Sharing for Iowa Businesses