Category Archives: Advanced Manufacturing

Washington companies increase manufacturing efficiencies.

gaming controllerSometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest impacts. Washington technology companies are helping to improve the efficiency and production in a variety of advanced manufacturing and clean energy applications. For instance, BluHaptics, has developed software that helps control underwater robots. These days robotic operators have often spent their young adult years playing gaming consoles and transferring that skill set to real world applications is a natural. Using laser data and video-game technology, BluHaptics is making it easier and more effective for oil and gas companies and other marine industries to operate robots to clean and fix things underwater. Read more in The Seattle Times.

BluHaptics is one of eight Washington companies that will be attending Hannover Messe, the world’s leading industrial show, as part of the Washington State Department of Commerce delegation. Other Washington State innovators in the delegation include a fiberglass recycler, a producer of biomass energy systems, a developer of imaging technology for monitoring power plants, a producer of clean melting iron and coke free fuels, and a protective coatings company for wind turbines. The work of these Washington State companies increases industry productivity and capabilities, and reduces risk in a variety of industrial and energy production environments.

To learn more about Washington State’s participation in Hannover Messe click here.





Manufacturers have customized training options.

shipbuildingAs technologies change and work forces age manufacturing companies have an ongoing demand for highly trained workers that are up to speed with new skills. Employers in maritime, aerospace, composite materials and advanced manufacturing work in partnership with Washington State’s extensive community college and technical school system to develop customized training programs to meet their workforce needs. Maritime training includes welding, fabrication, marine propulsion and engineering along with on-deck maritime skills. Read more about maritime workforce training in the SeattleTimes.

The maritime industry employs 148,000 and generates about $15.2 billion in revenue. 80% of all luxury yachts are built in Washington State. In the aerospace sector, over 1,350 companies employ 132,500 highly trained workers and more than 1,300 commercial, military aircraft and unmanned aerial systems are produced annually.

The technical and professional skills required to keep these manufacturing sectors on the cutting edge is possible because of their close relationship with Washington’s community and technical college system.

To learn more about maritime, aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors in Washington contact

Advanced manufacturing thrives in Washington State.


Everyone knows that Washington State is the birthplace of commercial aircraft design and production, but smaller specialized product design and manufacturing is thriving here as well. The highly skilled engineering and software talent pool in Washington supports the development of cutting edge technologies that are having an impact worldwide.

Wildlife Computers, Zetron, Laser Techniques and Microvision are four of Washington’s smaller manufacturers who have become world leaders in their specialized technologies. From  devices monitoring animal migration patterns and complex aerospace communication systems, to laser-based measurement tools and palm-sized laser image projectors these companies are part of the robust advanced manufacturing eco-system in Washington State.

Read more about Washington State manufacturing in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Washington’s culture of collaboration and pioneering spirit have fostered a wealth of inventions across all industry sectors. The US Patent and Trademark Office reports Washington companies obtain 5.233 patents per 1,000 residents.  Washington’s top-tier institutions, the University of Washington and Washington State University, along with the Pacific Northwest National Lab support the research and training that move new ideas successfully to market.

To learn more about advanced manufacturing in Washington State contact 


Underwater robots makes the difficult less dangerous.

bluhaptics_robot_underwater_laser_scanner-620x347Robotics in the workplace is often tasked with jobs that are dangerous for humans. And underwater maneuvering is a logical application. BluHaptics is a robotics software company based in Seattle, Washington. They are commercializing software developed through research done at the University of Washington. The software provides operators a 3D visualization of computer controlled systems that do dangerous work such as undersea cutting and welding. Read more about BlueHaptics on page 11 of  Seattle Business Magazine online and in Geekwire.

Washington State is a pioneer in advanced manufacturing and robotics is a big player. From drones and precision aircraft assembly to systems control and automation across industry sectors, Washington State companies are improving the efficiency, safety and precision of manufacturing processes.

To learn more about advanced manufacturing in Washington contact



Artisan aircraft maker takes off.

Merlin_aircraftWashington State is well-known as the world leader in commercial jet design and production.  For over 100 years aerospace innovation has been at the heart of Washington’s manufacturing sector.

Alongside world leader Boeing, smaller Washington companies such as Glasair Aviation based in Arlington, Washington are utilizing advanced materials and design to produce aircraft for the consumer pilot market.  Formerly a producer of kit-built aircraft, Glasair has received FAA approval for full manufacturing of their Merlin airplane. Read more in The Seattle Times.

Key to success in the aerospace industry is a workforce highly trained in working with composite materials and next-generation manufacturing processes. Washington State’s technical and community colleges are at the forefront of training workers for the demands of the new technologies. The Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center at Edmonds Community College and the Center for Excellence in Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing are just two of the organizations creating a highly skilled aerospace and manufacturing workforce.

For more information on Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing in Washington State contact our business experts at


First 737 MAX rolls out at Renton plant.

Mike Siegel/Seattle Times
Mike Siegel/Seattle Times
Boeing’s highly-efficient Renton plant has been manufacturing 42 jets per month. With the addition of a third production line for the brand new 737 MAX the numbers will rise to 52 or more per month. Washington State aerospace employees have over a century of know-how. Couple that with a robust supply chain, a responsive worker training system and a depth of experience in advanced manufacturing, Washington sets the standard for aerospace innovation and efficiency.  Read more in The Seattle Times.

Washington State has over 1,350 aerospace-related companies, including 800 in the Puget Sound Region.  Over 132,500 highly-skilled workers are employed in the aerospace sector with 24 community and technical colleges offering aerospace-supportive training programs. Resources such as the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing assist industry leaders in meeting their employment, production and growth needs.

If your company would benefit from being at the center of aerospace innovation and advanced manufacturing contact

Glowforge’s crowdfunding campaign sets record.

Crowdfunding success depends on the quality of the idea and the company behind it. Typically raising funding in the millions of dollars is only accomplished through the usual venture capital networks. However, Glowforge has set a new record for support from a crowdfunding campaign by raising $27.9 million in sales in just 30 days. It took only 24 hours to surpass their goal of $2 million. If the numbers are an indicator of the confidence investors from around the world have in this startup and the potential for their product, the future is bright for another Washington-based company that is innovating its way to success.

Your imagination becomes reality in 3-D.
Our digital and virtual world does not inherently engage us with the tangible world. But, basic to human nature is the desire to make things you can touch and feel. The maker movement is sweeping the country and 3-D printing is making it possible for anyone to manufacture whatever they can imagine.

Seattle-based Glowforge has developed an affordable, desk-top 3-D laser printer that enables you to draw an object, scan, engrave and cut with drag and drop software.  The possibilities are endless. Personalize a hardwood skin for your computer. Create your own drone. Fabricate a custom leather satchel. Design your own intricately papercut wedding invitations. Custom engrave on glass. Whatever you can imagine, you can manufacture. Glowforge’s first offer for pre-ordering their 3D laser printer far exceeded their expectations. Clearly the time is ripe to rediscover our fascination with making things.

Read more in The Seattle Times.

Washington State has a culture of innovation and collaboration. Check out Washington’s timeline of innovations from aerospace to health care, from creating the first shopping mall to  pioneering online retailing. From its earliest history, Washington entrepreneurs and inventors have brought ideas to market that  have changed the world.

China delegation strengthens ties with Washington State.

China and Washington State flagsIt’s not surprising that Seattle, Washington was the first stopover for China’s President Xi Jinping on his official visit to the United States. Washington is the leading state in U.S. exports to China and the country is the No. 1 trading partner of the Port of Seattle.

During President Xi’s stay in Washington State he is meeting with  U.S. and Chinese business leaders in aerospace, technology and manufacturing.  The visit has expanded collaboration between China and Washington State. Bill Gates announced a formal agreement between TerraPower and the China National Nuclear Corporation to jointly work on the development of a small-scale nuclear reactor that is more safe and efficient than existing technology.

In aerospace announcements, China has ordered 300 Boeing aircraft. And, to meet the needs of the growing China aviation market, Boeing has agreed with the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China to set up a plant for finishing 737 aircraft in the country. Read more in Yahoo News.

Renewable energy, clean technology and advanced manufacturing were additional areas of collaboration being discussed. Washington companies, Intellectual Ventures and Stratos Group, have started talks with representatives of the Chinese Academy of Sciences on sharing resources to study renewable energy. Washington tech companies are looking at setting up a clean tech incubator with links to a similar one opening in Shenzhen.  The possibilities include research facilities that could collaborate on climate change, reducing energy consumption in manufacturing and alternative energy production.

Industry leaders in Washington State and China have forged strong ties as trading partners for many years and are now looking towards shared resources and expertise to tackle problems facing global economies.

Read more in the Seattle Times.

Testing to see if a whole lot of shakin’ is goin’ on.

webbTelescope2Delicately calibrated instruments are highly sensitive to vibrations. Knowing just how much a piece of equipment can take and still perform as expected is critical. Skagit County-based Team Corporation in Burlington, Washington designs and builds multi-axis testing equipment. This testing technology can help engineers simulate the vibrations of a rocket ship launch or the ground shaking action of an earthquake.  Their specialty is reproducing conditions for the most severe environments.  Vibration testing has resulted in the improvement of product reliability, passenger comfort, public safety and advanced electronics technology.

NASA is installing their equipment to test the effect of launch vibration on the new telescope that will replace the Hubble. Vibration testing equipment is also being used in the development of the Orion Spacecraft. It will be a highly advanced, safest and most flexible spacecraft capable of functioning in a variety of extreme environments.  Read more in the Seattle Times.

Washington State has been advancing technology and inventing revolutionary products for over a century. To learn more about innovation and advanced technology across industry sectors contact


Synthetic sapphire crystals to shine in Washougal.

touchscreenTouchscreen devices, optical electronics and aerospace are among the uses of manufactured sapphire crystals.  The synthetic material is extremely strong, scratch-resistant and laboratory-made. B Crystal, a sapphire manufacturer from Latvia, is opening its U.S. headquarters and production facility in Washougal, Washington to tap into the highly skilled workforce and low cost energy. The company plans to expand into the growing market demand for sapphire materials in aerospace and electronics as well as other industry clusters. Read more in the Camas-Washougal Post-Record.

Washington State has a well established position in the development and production of advanced materials with more than 80 composites companies and over 230 materials scientists forging new materials that are lighter, stronger and more durable to meet industry demands. Learn more about advanced materials and manufacturing in Washington State by contacting our business experts at