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May 28, 2013 | Tom Ballard

“Manufacturers only” RAMP to hold first quarterly meeting next week

amp_logo_gearOnlyCalling all manufacturers interested in exploring advanced technologies to remain more competitive in the marketplace.

If you fit the profile, you should plan on attending a two-hour event designed just for you that starts at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 5. It is open to “manufacturers only” and will be held at the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) building at 2360 Cherahala Boulevard that is just east of the Pellissippi Parkway-Hardin Valley Road interchange.

The session is the first quarterly meeting of the new “Regional Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Consortium,” a group that goes by the acronym of RAMP!

“If you manufacture products, you’re welcome to attend,” said Buzz Patrick, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at Tech 20/20, again emphasizing that attendance is limited to manufacturers.

The RAMP! activity is part of a larger, $2.4 million initiative that Patrick is coordinating. The overall effort – AMP! or the “Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Center of East Tennessee” – involves a number of local organizations and funding from five federal agencies. It is one of 10 public-private partnerships across the country awarded funds to help revitalize American manufacturing.

“This is the first of a planned quarterly series where the group will meet in manufacturing facilities to learn from each other,” Patrick said. The inaugural meeting is being held at the NTRC facility and will include a tour of the neighboring Manufacturing Development Facility (MDF), a world-class advanced manufacturing center operated by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Patrick explained that each quarterly session will feature a presentation by a local company describing how it has adopted advanced manufacturing technologies. Clinton-based Remotec will discuss its robotic technology during the June 5 session.

“The presenting company will host the next quarterly meeting,” Patrick said, so the September session will be in Clinton.

Other agenda topics for June 5 include a presentation by Jennifer Evans of the Knoxville Chamber on the new manufacturing curriculum that the Knox County School System has adopted and an explanation of AMP! and RAMP! After the MDF tour, attendees will have an opportunity to network.

Manufacturers interested in attending should contact Patrick at

For more information about AMP! and RAMP!, readers can access previous posts by entering either acronym in the search box.

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