Manufacturing

Funding for Made in Connecticut, an ongoing reporting series which examines Connecticut’s manufacturing future, from high-tech to handmade, is made possible by our Founding Sponsor, KBE Building Corporation, to promote science, technology, and innovation in Connecticut.

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Manufacturing
1:51 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

What's Behind the Connecticut-Made Brand?

Bob Torrani, director of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology’s (CCAT) Advanced Manufacturing Center in East Hartford, explains how CCAT helps smaller firms to optmize new technology.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

What consumer product comes to mind when you think of Vermont? Maple syrup, Cabot cheese, or Ben & Jerry’s, perhaps? If that's what comes up in a kind of consumer word association, marketing gurus would nod their heads knowingly.

A strong product is great, but if you don’t build a strong brand, it won't sell. How are businesses and policy makers branding Connecticut-made products?

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Hard Hittin' History
2:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Voices From the Hardware City

Fafnir Bearing Company.
New Britain Industrial Museum

New Britain may lose its baseball team to Hartford, another blow to a city that, over the years, has lost many of its jobs, and many of the the iconic brands associated with the city.

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Preserving Michelangelo
11:58 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Carrier to Install New HVAC System in the Sistine Chapel

The famous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel
Antoine Taveneaux Wikimedia Commons

Farmington-based Carrier is to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Sistine Chapel as part of an effort to preserve the frescoes of Michelangelo.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

The Second Amendment, Colt, and Tracing Guns

Emily Stanchfield Creative Commons

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long, but it has caused more debate than just about anything else in the Constitution. "It’s confusing and self-contradictory and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what its clauses and commas mean," said Michael Waldman, author of the new book The Second Amendment: A Biography. We talk to him about the history and odd syntax of this Amendment and the debate over it that was renewed by the tragedy in Newtown.

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Made in Connecticut
9:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Connecticut Vaccine Company Gets $50 Million in Federal Funding

The Meriden labs of Protein Sciences.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Meriden’s Protein Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar extension to its contract with the federal government to provide flu vaccines.

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Made in Connecticut
11:09 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Helping Manufacturers Save For the Future

Hugh McCann at his Bridgeport factory.
Harriet Jones WNPR

As manufacturing continues its rebound in this country, there’s a lot of discussion about the best ways for government to encourage the trend. One group of manufacturers in Connecticut think they’ve found the perfect policy tool, and they’re pioneering it here in Connecticut.

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Made in Connecticut
9:27 am
Fri June 13, 2014

How Connecticut Manufacturing Businesses Have Beat the Odds For 100 Years

Bill Potvin at Hosmer Mountain Soda continues to sell flavors that are uniquely New England.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The odds were never in favor of small businesses. Data from the Small Business Administration shows that only about one-third of all start-ups make it beyond the first ten years. 

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Manufacturing
2:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

CCAT Installs "World's Most Advanced" 3D Printer

Machining Applications Specialist Eric Wold uses the new ProJet printer.
Matthew Perry CCAT

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology has installed what it says is the world's most advanced 3D printer.

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Made in Connecticut
4:49 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Harpsichords Brought to Life at Zuckermann's Stonington Workshop

Artist Tatyana Nivina paints the soundboard of a harpsichord at Zuckermann Harpsichords International.
Shana Sureck WNPR

The little seaside town of Stonington has a storied reputation when it comes to one historic instrument. For the last 40 years, it's been a center of harpsichord production.

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Submarine Contract
9:47 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Connecticut Companies Urged to Bid for Navy Work

Electric Boat will build ten more Virginia Class submarines in the next five years.
Credit Electric Boat

Local manufacturers are being urged to consider offering their services to Electric Boat as the shipyard ramps up production in coming years.

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Laying the Keel
12:36 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Michelle Obama Sponsors New Electric Boat Sub

First Lady Michelle Obama signs her initials on a plate that will be mounted on the USS Illinois
Rhode Island Public Radio

First Lady Michelle Obama visited Rhode Island to help lay the keel for a new submarine being built by Groton's Electric Boat.

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Reducing Gun Violence
8:36 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Connecticut Faith Leaders Press Gun Manufacturers On Safety and Weapons Distribution

Gun locks on display.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Following the recent mass killing in California, faith leaders in Connecticut gathered on Monday to call on gun manufacturers to take steps aimed at reducing gun violence. 

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Made in Connecticut
10:18 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Connecticut Manufacturers Foresee a Hiring Crisis

A representative from Capewell Components talks to a potential job candidate at a manufacturing careers fair.
CBIA

Connecticut's manufacturers expect to be doing lots of hiring in the next few years, but a recent survey shows they're worried about where all those new workers are going to come from.

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Manufacturing
8:20 am
Fri May 30, 2014

DIY Dulcimer Kits Are a Musical Hit in Connecticut

Students at the Middle School of Plainville play dulcimers in teacher Laurel Schwartz's class.
Diane Orson WNPR

The word dulcimer means "sweet sound." There’s no better way to describe this American folk instrument.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Connecticut

John Dankosky speaks with (from left) Chris Murphy, Kris Lorch, and Sonny Morneault.
Lydia Brown WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

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Technology
2:00 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Hospital Disinfects Phones to Tackle "Major Threat" to Patients

Phones brought in by patients must be kept clean, just like any equipment used at a hospital.
Sony Xperia Z Creative Commons

Sometimes people go to a hospital, and they leave with an infection. A new device being tested at St. Francis Hospital might reduce those infections.

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Music Manufacturing
12:18 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Organ Company In Hartford Still Pulling Out All the Stops After 100 Years

Anne Wysocki, a voicer at Austin Organs, tunes a chimney flute that will be added to an organ in Cincinnati originally built by Austin in 1929.
Shana Sureck WNPR

If you ask Michael Fazio how long he’s been in the pipe organ business, he’ll say, “How do I get out of it?”

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Ovation Factory Closing
1:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Guitarist Joel Weik Has a Unique Perspective On Ovation Guitars

Guitarist Joel Weik prefers Ovation Guitars in an amplified "live concert" setting.

Last month, Fender Musical Instruments announced it will close the Ovation guitar factory in New Hartford in the coming weeks. For now, that means all Ovation guitars will be made in factories overseas. 

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Made in Connecticut
11:56 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Connecticut Aerospace Companies Face Technological Leap

Pratt and Whitney's Pure Power geared turbo fan engine PW1100G.
Pratt and Whitney

Companies that supply planes and engines to commercial airlines are about to see a boom in business unlike anything that the industry can remember. There are more customers than ever before for airline flights, and alongside that, engine technology has taken a big leap forward. That means unprecedented investment, and Connecticut is at the epicenter of that change. 

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Green Power
11:04 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Fuel Cell Industry Still Strong, Say Advocates

A fuel cell installed in New York by ClearEdge Power,
ClearEdge

The market for fuel cells is growing, according to industry experts, despite the recent bankruptcy of one of Connecticut's largest fuel cell manufacturers.

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Defense Procurement
11:45 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Electric Boat Celebrates Historic Contract

Electric Boat in Groton is preparing to work on the largest contract ever awarded by the U.S. Navy.
Electric Boat

Electric Boat expects to hire more than 500 extra employees as it gets ready to work on the largest contract ever awarded by the U.S. Navy. The workforce can still expect pain in the short term.

The contract for ten Virginia class submarines represents five years of steady work building two submarines a year at the Groton yard, something that's been hard to come by in recent decades.

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Made in Connecticut
10:56 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Reshoring Reaches Connecticut Manufacturers

Operator Angela Hernandez performs a trimming operation and visual inspection on a prototype molding process at NPI Medical in Ansonia.
David Butler II Butler Photography, LLC

As World War II came to a close, manufacturing in Connecticut employed close to half the state's working population. Now it accounts for only eleven percent of employment. That dramatic decline over half a century is due to one irresistible force: off-shoring, and the loss of work to cheaper labor markets in Asia. But that force may not be so irresistible after all.

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Submarine Building
9:20 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Electric Boat Snags Biggest-Ever Navy Contract

A Virginia Class submarine built by Groton's Electric Boat.
Electric Boat

The U.S. Navy has given Groton shipyard Electric Boat the largest shipbuilding contract ever awarded.

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Submarines
3:05 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Electric Boat, Labor Union Agree to New Contract

Electric Boat in Groton.
Electric Boat

A labor union for 2,200 workers at submarine maker Electric Boat has agreed to a new, five-year contract through 2019 that includes annual pay raises of three percent or more. 

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Made in Connecticut
3:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Ovation Guitars to Cease Production in Connecticut

Ovation Guitars in New Hartford.
warriors-bikers-people-places-things.blogspot.com

Connecticut's historic Ovation guitars will no longer be made in the state. The New Hartford factory will close this summer.

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Manufacturing
10:15 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Will Connecticut Be Part of a Manufacturing Renaissance?

The machine shop at the former Swift gold leaf factory in Hartford, part of the state's legacy in the manufacturing industry.
Jonathan Haeber Creative Commons

Changes in technology, energy and world labor markets are all driving a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., but some economists believe Connecticut may miss out, despite its storied history as a manufacturing state.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Connecticut

John Dankosky speaks with (from left) Chris Murphy, Kris Lorch, and Sonny Morneault.
Lydia Brown WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Last week, Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

Can our state be home to a boom of reshored jobs? How can we keep the skilled manufacturing jobs we already have?

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Small Business
8:54 am
Fri April 11, 2014

New Haven Cardboard Furniture Company Goes Beyond One-Man Production

Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami.
Alan Yu WNPR

In New Haven, there's a furniture shop where everything is designed, hand-made, and shipped by just one employee working with cardboard.

Now Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami is working with manufacturers in Connecticut to scale up production of his cardboard furniture, and even make it high-tech.

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Workforce Pipeline
3:43 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Manufacturers in Connecticut Continue to Seek Qualified Workers

Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s manufacturers have a lot more confidence in the future of their companies, according to a new survey. But they're more cautious about the future of the state.

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MFG4
11:09 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Manufacturing World Coming to Hartford

Governor Dannel Malloy tours MFG4 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford two years ago.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

This spring Hartford will once again play host to the biggest names in the world of manufacturing, as the MFG4 conference comes to town.

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