Engineering and applied R&D company EWI was so content with its first Colorado lab facility that it opened a second. And then a third. The latest is a new innovation center dedicated to establishing best-in-class technical capabilities in advanced quality measurement technologies. It’s located at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology in Loveland, and its mission is to help manufacturers gain a competitive advantage through the application of advanced process monitoring and inspection control technology.
Organizations like EWI bring their R&D work to Colorado to take advantage of the state’s Research and Development Tax Credit — a 3% income tax credit on research and experimental expenditures within an enterprise zone. More than 30 federal labs have R&D facilities in the state, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Clusters of R&D are quickly noticed by manufacturers, and at EWI Colorado, manufacturers will find expertise in advanced quality measurement. Focus areas for applied R&D include real-time manufacturing process monitoring and analysis, advanced nondestructive (NDE) evaluation, computer vision inspection, non-contact metrology and structural health monitoring. The center also works to enable manufacturers to transition proven, high-value, technologies to the factory floor. This technology focus was chosen for its broad industrial relevance to Colorado industries following extensive regional and national focus groups, advisory group meetings, and customer input.
All Sectors Need R&D
“Manufacturers in Colorado and throughout the country agree that there is a need for more reliable NDE, as well as accurate real-time monitoring,” says Tom McGaughy, EWI’s Director of Technology. “The activities at EWI Colorado will support development and implementation of those technologies across all manufacturing sectors.”
Adds Chris Conrardy, EWI Vice President and Chief Technology Officer: “We are tremendously excited about opening EWI’s third lab facility in Colorado. With high-tech manufacturing growing rapidly in the state and outstanding regional partners, we have already established a strong foundation for the new center of excellence.”
In 2018, DataDirect Networks (DDN) opened a new facility in Colorado Springs, allowing significant expansion of lab, testing and benchmarking facilities. It enables the
big-data storage supplier to accelerate development efforts and increase in-house capabilities to mimic customer applications and workflows. DDN says its new facility will help its engineers and technologists enhance their research, development and innovation capabilities in high-growth fields such as Analytics, AI and Machine Learning.
On August 23, 2017, Hach opened a state-of-the-art facility at its headquarters campus in Loveland to house research and development workspace. Hach is a leading supplier of water testing and analysis instruments and other systems. The new R&D facility allows 50 off-site employees to join the approximately 750 full-time employees on the campus.
“We are excited about the opportunity this new facility gives us to invest in the success of our associates, provide an innovative place to work for residents of Northern Colorado, and enable us to continue to bring breakthrough innovations to help our customers be confident in their results globally,” noted Kevin Klau, President of Hach. The new building, named Pikes Peak, joins the existing Longs Peak and Torreys Peak buildings, all of which are named for Colorado’s Front Range mountain peaks measuring more than 14,000 feet tall. The expansion is part of a $25 million investment, including updates to the existing facilities. With Pikes Peak, the campus now has more than 300,000 square feet of production, office and meeting spaces, and state-of-the-art laboratories.