FPC Client of the Week: Swift Manufacturing & Engineering

Product Development. Prototyping.

Manufacturing.  Capabilities.

 

Swift Manufacturing & Engineering is a contract manufacturer, industrial design, and new product development company right here in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin.

Unlike any other Manufacturer, Swift’s goal  is to help in the manufacturing and design of those everyday small ideas in your head to that perfected final product you present to the world.  And with close, day to day customer interaction, with Swift, you can be on the front line of watching your vision come to life.

With better machining, Swift has the capacity to handle parts with greater sophistication than any other competitors. Their machinists have engineering knowledge with superior craftsmanship. Their lead times are 3-4 weeks compared to an industry standard of 6-8 weeks.  They strive on customer satisfaction, and instead of customers spending their time sending parts back and forth to different secondary vendors for plating, heat treating, and grinding, Swift manages the process for them, saving them time and increasing the firm’s revenue.

And through the use of Swift’s customer portal, customers can log in to see the real-time status of their order at any time, including where they are in the production process, where their materials are in the supply chain, and the results of the inspection phase.  Swift believes that what they do is all about the customer and unlike industry norms, Swift puts a priority on face-to-face customer meetings and trade show attendance. Getting real-time feedback has improved the company’s product quality, level of customer service, and loyalty. And they have a 100% customer retention rate.

Swift wants and is the whole package, as founder Reidar Aamotsbakken says, “Our primary aim is to provide a full spectrum of services, so that if required we can take a proposed part from a napkin-sketch kind of thing, to a 3-D prototype to trial runs to full production.”  And with cutting edge technology, superior customer relationships, and one of a kind craftsmanship, Swift truly does offer it all.  So next time you have that one in a million idea and you draw a quick sketch on a napkin, head over to Swift and watch as your dream and vision comes to life.

To Learn more about Swift or to watch your vision come to life visit: Swift Manufacturing & Engineering

 

 

 

Photos and information courtesy of: http://swiftmanufacturing.com/?p=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FPC Client C-Motive Reaches New Heights

New Motor Under Development by UW-Madison Spin-off

Article Written by: David Tenenbaum

Published by: The University of Wisconsin News

Date: September 8, 2014

 

A tabletop motor using an entirely new driving principle is under development at the headquarters of C-Motive Technologies, a start-up business that is commercializing technology from the College of Engineering at UW-Madison.

“We have proven the concept of a new motor that uses electric fields rather than magnetic fields to transform electricity into a rotary force,” says company co-founder Dan Ludois, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UW. The distinction may sound minor, but it could solve a number of practical problems while saving money, he explains.

Actually, the concept is not entirely new: Benjamin Franklin and others described and built motors based on electrostatic forces back in the 18th and 19th centuries, but none achieved practical operation. Since the widespread adoption of electric motors a century ago, magnetism has been the only practical source of rotation. Magnetism is easier to exploit than electrostatic fields due to the properties of naturally occurring materials and simple engineering techniques. However, new advances in materials, mechanical engineering and advanced manufacturing may enable electrostatic motors.

In 2011, while Ludois was finishing a Ph.D. thesis at UW-Madison, he realized that instead of relying on magnetic fields, he could achieve a similar result by manipulating electric fields to create a motor based on electrostatic attraction. The new technique, he realized, could deliver major advantages in weight, material cost, operating efficiency and maintenance requirements.

In the motor on display, nested stationary and rotating plates are held hairs-width apart by a unique air-cushioning strategy. An electric voltage delivered to the fixed plates creates an electrostatic field that attracts the rotating plates in a way that forces them to spin.

“A charge builds up on the surfaces of the plates, and if you can manipulate the charge, you can convert electricity into rotary motion or transfer electric power from one set of plates to the other,” says Ludois.

This type of coupling can be used “to power things that move without touching,” Ludois adds.

The breakthrough relies on electronics that precisely control a high-voltage, high-frequency electric field and fluid mechanics to keep the surfaces close without touching. “Nothing is touching, because you are using electric fields to couple the stationary and rotating parts,” Ludois says. “There is no contact, and no maintenance.

“Rather than magnetism, we are using the force that hold your clothes together when you take them out of the drier — electrostatic force. This technique can power anything that needs to move, and that you don’t want to touch while it’s moving.”

Because motors and generators are essentially mirror images of each other, the invention may first meet the market in the form of a generator for wind turbines, an application for which C-Motive Technologies received a Small Business Innovation Research grant for development and research from the National Science Foundation in 2014.

By saving weight and materials, and boosting efficiency, the new design should give the company a bottom-line advantage. The new design avoids the use of precious “rare earth” metals and substitutes aluminum for the more expensive copper found in magnet windings of conventional motors and generators.

When C-Motive was founded, Ludois and co-founders Justin Reed and Micah Erickson were all Ph.D. students. “It’s really hard to beat the world, especially when you start out as three graduate students,” Ludois says.

C-Motive has had its share of help from UW-Madison. Two years ago, the idea won two awards in the G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition, run through the Wisconsin School of Business. C-Motive has also received $100,000 in seed funding from the Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship course, another School of Business resource.

In 2011, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation supported Ludois and his colleagues for patent protection on the discovery, giving them the leverage to pursue additional funding. After six months in the Metro Innovation Center on East Washington Avenue, C-Motive is now housed in an office/lab space near Stoughton Road in Madison to house its five full-time employees, including two of the three founders.

Ludois devotes his evenings to C-Motive, but spends his days in the academic world at UW-Madison.

“I remember as a student, everybody talked about the Wisconsin Idea, that the bounds of the university extend beyond the bounds of the campus,” Ludois says. “Looking ahead, I hope to be part of that ideal by translating my research as a faculty member into society at large. For me, on a personal level, that would certainly bring my efforts full circle.”

 

Article Courtesy of David Tenenbaum at the University of Wisconsin Madison News

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