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Technician holding a circuit, portraying technologies: Re-envision products and processes.

Technology Services for Iowa businesses

Iowa industry is a rapidly-changing world where new technology and new production methods are continually being developed. Every company’s competitors are evolving and searching for new ways to meet customer needs. Businesses often wonder if they are moving fast enough, and if they have the technological ability to keep up.

CIRAS, as a part of the Iowa State University College of Engineering, has access to a wide range of expertise to help Iowa businesses develop new products or processes, or test the capabilities of existing ones. With CIRAS assistance, companies can access specialized labs to analyze materials, prove product performance, or explore the ramifications of automation and 3D printing. For other needs, CIRAS project manager Brian Muff can help companies explore directed research projects with Iowa State faculty.

3D Laser Scanning and CAD Modeling at ISU

A 3D scanner works by first projecting light onto an object or surface, then detecting the reflected light. The scanner then calculates positions and creates data points based on where the light beams fall in relation to each other. This “point cloud” helps a computer visually recreate the surface of an item in a 3D … Continue reading 3D Laser Scanning and CAD Modeling at ISU

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

Connecting to ISU Faculty and Research Labs

CIRAS is based at Iowa State University, which provides us with with key insights into the technical and business capabilities that exist at Iowa’s premier research institution. The university has nearly 2,000 faculty who teach and conduct research in engineering, business, agriculture, and more. CIRAS can help Iowa manufacturers connect with the right faculty or … Continue reading Connecting to ISU Faculty and Research Labs

Contract Research with Faculty at Iowa State

CIRAS helps Iowa companies work with Iowa State University faculty and staff on multiple types of company-driven technical projects: CIRAS clients have the potential to work with faculty in any area offered by the university Project duration can range from one month up to one year A potential cost share arrangement is available to help … Continue reading Contract Research with Faculty at Iowa State

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

Improve Products and Processes with FEA

Iowa manufacturers with concerns about the safety or reliability of a particular part or product can explore its suitability for a particular purpose by using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). CIRAS experts can help Iowa businesses use FEA simulations to evaluate performance of a product under a host of thermal, stress, vibration, and/or fatigue conditions. Engineers … Continue reading Improve Products and Processes with FEA

Learn About Automation in Manufacturing

Unable to find enough people to hire, businesses across Iowa are turning to process automation so they can continue to grow and develop in the face of a perpetually tight workforce. But installing robots without an overall plan can quickly lead to chaos instead of enhanced productivity. Automation projects frequently fail because companies 1) don’t understand … Continue reading Learn About Automation in Manufacturing

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

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

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

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

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

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