The Center uses a distributed manufacturing approach for fabrication of novel machine prototypes. Novel machines are designed by the research staff and component testing is done to provide the engineering data needed to fabricate these first-of-a-kind machines. When components can be fabricated by conventional industrial practices, they are outsourced to experienced suppliers. However, when materials or other factors beyond current industrial practice are required, the Center researchers develop new fabrication processes in-house. If the new processes become routine practice, they are transferred to competent industrial suppliers. In this way, the researchers remain focused on novel systems, but the results of the earlier work are available to others through a competent base of industrial suppliers.
The High-Bay Area, houses extensive fabrication, assembly, and testing facilities in a 140,000 sq ft air-conditioned space. The 70 ft. tall High-Bay features two 25 ton cranes with an additional 25 ton crane servicing a machine shop area. The Center also has 10,000 sq ft of air-conditioned space available in eight additional lab spaces, and a 1,200 sq ft welding shop. A link has been provided on this page to document that outlines a complete list of High-Bay capabilities.