The Center represents a major commitment to the industries we service, said Ed Peterson, Martin Engineering’s chairman of the board. “It will lead to new technologies that will make bulk materials handling cleaner, safer, and more productive.”
“We need to make the next step into basic materials research,” said Todd Swiderman, chief technology officer. “The tinkering stage is over; to remain a leader we have to know the science of bulk materials and component performance. With this facility, we will lead the way.”
The Center for Innovation (CFI) is a $5 million facility with the goals of improving bulk materials handling through collaboration, innovation, and education. CFI is housed in a new 22,600-sq-ft building at Martin Engineering’s world headquarters campus in Neponset, Illinois.
Part pure-science research laboratory and part industrial product development center, CFI will collaborate with partners including corporations, industry associations, and universities for practical research to solve the common problems in the handling of bulk materials-problems that have plagued these industries for years.
CFI has both the scientific instruments and the full-scale materials handling equipment to test bulk materials and prototype components under simulated operating conditions. Included in CFI are laboratories for the analysis and testing of characteristics and performance of metals, polymers, and bulk materials; an environmental lab for accelerated aging; and a process simulation area that features full-scale material-handling equipment, including a full-scale re-circulating three-belt conveyor system for testing both bulk materials and equipment prototypes.