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Friday, April 09, 2010 - CIBRE Initiative -- Tool and Die Futures
CIBRE is helping small manufacturers explore innovation and shift the industry into emerging sectors such as defense, energy and aerospace, under the umbrella of the Tool and Die Futures Initiative (TDFI).

Through monthly forums, CIBRE is facilitating conversations between tool-die companies, OEM and Tier 1 suppliers.

The TDFI and CIBRE also are bringing together teams of displaced white collar business and technical professionals, small manufacturers and OU students to work on economic transition projects to help reshape the manufacturing industry in southeastern Michigan while providing SBA students with important experiential learning opportunities. 

Eight graduate students are now at work on projects that range from preparing business plans and conducting market analysis to developing strategies to diversify from automotive to aerospace. Other projects include developing strategies for a non-profit agency and helping the manufacturing firms become competitive by allowing them to explore new technologies such as robotics.

In partnership with OU's Pawley Institute, a summer training program in lean thinking and process improvement is being planned to help interested TDFI members and SBA students identify and implement lean practices.

For more information or to get involved see the Tool and Die Futures Initiative Web site.

For more information on CIBRE and TDFI, read the following articles:

• Tapping displaced workers, students SBA's CIBRE helps reshape Michigan's economy -- SBA Insight

• Hope, diversification key to manufacturing's future -- On Message With Meltzer 

• CIBRE creates an open forum for die makers, customers and key stakeholders -- Tool & Die Authority

Assistance for workers, firms already in place -- The Macomb Daily