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January 24, 2002

Pitt's School of Engineering sets up Center for Metal Fluids

Metalworking companies in the Great Lakes area have a new partner — the Center for Metal Fluids (CMF) at Pitt's School of Engineering — that will work with them to reduce maintenance costs, increase employee productivity and have an impact on both the environment and the quality of finished products.

Pitt will work with World-Class Industrial Network, LLC (WIN) to establish the center, which will help firms select, manage, develop and dispose of metalworking fluids. WIN will help in the strategic planning and marketing of the center.

"Metalworking firms are often unaware of the significant impact these fluids have on costs, health, productivity, product quality and the environment," said Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering. He said these problems are particularly acute among small and medium-sized metalworking firms, especially in the Great Lakes region, where some of the major machining centers are located.

The goal of the CMF is to become a center for best practices in the use and management of metalworking fluids. The School of Engineering will provide faculty who have addressed environmentally benign engineering, as well as laboratories such as the Manufacturing Assistance Center, which can provide a "test bed" site for new techniques.

"Having such a center in southwestern Pennsylvania is important to the region because it will attract researchers and professionals on the cutting edge of best knowledge practices, new technologies and practical applications," Bidanda said.

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