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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American Made
3:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Rochester Focuses On A New Picture Of American Manufacturing

Tom Worden works on a fixed-abrasive grinding table at Exelis Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. Exelis is an aerospace and defense company, and employs numerous former Kodak workers in its facility.
Mike Bradley for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

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Next Generation Weapons
10:20 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Replacing Ballistic Missile Subs "Key to National Defense"

The new subs would replace Ohio Class boats including the USS Alaska

The Groton shipyard of Electric Boat may be looking forward to making two Virginia Class submarines per year, but members of the state’s congressional delegation say they’ll continue to push for an additional major building program.

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Hardware City
8:19 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Remembering New Britain's Industrial History

Fafnir Bearing Company.
New Britain Industrial Museum

What was Hardware City like in its heyday? Today, it’s hard to imagine: a packed downtown, with 35,000 factory workers, and life revolving around the factories.  

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Industry Revival
9:18 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Why a Banker is Re-opening a Textile Mill in Connecticut

The main offices of the American Woolen Company in Stafford Springs.
J Holt WNPR

The slow death of the textile industry in the U.S. was underscored last December by the closure of the last operating mill in Connecticut, the historic Warren Mills in Stafford Springs. That same mill is celebrating its re-opening under new owners. 

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Space Flight
6:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:29 pm

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the vehicles that will transport its astronauts to the International Space Station, putting the two American companies on a course to take over a job that NASA has recently relied upon Russia to perform: carrying out manned space flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says vehicles from the two companies are expected to be ready for service by 2017.

Announcing its decision Tuesday, the space agency included these details:

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Where Does All Our Trash Go?

Credit Vuilnis bij Essent Milieu / Wikimedia Commons

Ever wonder what happens to all the stuff you throw away?

Chances are, you've watched it get hurled into the back of a garbage or recycling truck. But what happens after it leaves the curb? Well, the story of trash is a lot more fascinating and complex than you probably think. 

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Industry Revival
2:12 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Stafford Springs Textile Mills Back in Action

American Woolen has restarted production at Stafford Springs.
American Woolen Company

Textiles are once again being produced in Stafford Springs. Eight months after the Warren Corporation mills closed, ending the industry in Connecticut, the newly-reopened company has taken its first work order.

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Business Confidence
1:16 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Manufacturers Optimistic About Economic Outlook

Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Thinkstock

Manufacturers are increasingly bullish about the state of the economy, according to a new survey.

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Manufacturing
4:40 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Connecticut Leading on 3D Printing in Industry

Pratt and Whitney design engineer Louis Porretti uses an electron beam melting machine that is part of the new Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center at the University of Connecticut.
University of Connecticut

Additive manufacturing — what’s commonly known as 3D printing — has technology geeks buzzing about its potential to turn your desk into a mini-factory. It’s actually not as new as you might think -- 3D printing traces its roots back to the 1980s, and it's been the subject of industry research ever since. What effect is it having now on manufacturing in Connecticut?

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:53 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Craft: Why Making Things Matters

Credit spinster cardigan/flickr creative commons

Carving birds? Knitting sweaters? Paper cutting? Blowing glass? If you're a crafts person, paid or unpaid, please call and tell us what it adds to your life.

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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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