The $590,000 grant was created by Walmart and The Walmart Foundation to help accelerate manufacturing in the United States.

“Current practices for fabricating these moulds are labour-intensive and costly, and much of the mould material is wasted as metal chips,” said Sundar V Atre, OSU associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering. “We estimate that mould-making costs can be reduced by 40 to 50%.”

Over the course of the three-year project, Atre and his co-principal investigator, Oregon State mechanical engineering assistant professor Rajiv Malhotra, will work with three industrial partners – Metal Technology Inc, Arburg and North American Höganäs – to develop and test their manufacturing innovations. The team will work with the OSU Advantage Accelerator to develop a commercialisation plan. 

The Walmart US Manufacturing Innovation Fund, in collaboration with the Conference of Mayors, will provide a total of US$10 million in grants over the next five years.