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Advanced Manufacturing Institute

AMI Helps Small Business in Kansas Expand Product Line

(Manhattan, Kan., July 16, 2009) – Kansas State University's Advanced Manufacturing Institute has helped a small business owner in Manhattan with the development of two new tools to expand his product line.

Charles Faulk, a pianist, piano technician and professional wood turner with more than 30 years experience in piano manufacturing, restoration and concert-level piano work, received assistance from the Advanced Manufacturing Institute in the development of his piano tuning hammers for his business, Faulk Piano Service.

"Every project we work on begins with a collaborative discussion to determine our clients’ specific needs. Our process is an effective way to help focus the project, drive decision-making and accelerate speed to market," said Jared Henry, product development specialist at the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, which also is known as AMI.

"Faulk had a prototype of a new carbon fiber tuning hammer and AMI helped him streamline his design and identify better materials that allowed him to make an enhanced product," Henry said. "The new tuning hammers are made of carbon fiber aluminum instead of titanium, which makes the tools lighter and easier to use. AMI also assisted with the manufacturing of the new tuning head."

Chris Linnick, a K-State senior in mathematics and mechanical engineering, Lee's Summit, Mo., assisted with the development of the tuning hammers.

"My internship at the Advanced Manufacturing Institute has taught me a lot about engineering design and the design process that I could not have learned through coursework alone," Linnick said. "I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with clients like Charles Faulk and highly recommend the AMI program to other K-State students."

"For a small business like mine, AMI has been a godsend," Faulk said. "Not only can they make excellent reproductions of my tool components, but they also make accurate drawings of each part. My many thanks to the first-rate team of technicians and engineers who have made my dream possible."