Reebok equipment donation to aid URI engineers
Lindberg furnace expands capabilities at Rapid Manufacturing
KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 12, 2000 -- Reebok has donated a high-temperature
industrial furnace to the Rapid Manufacturing Center at the University of
Rhode Island to expand the Center's metals processing research capabilities.
Less than two years old, the Lindberg furnace is used in the process
of making molds for manufactured products. It can heat powdered metals up
to 1200 degrees Centigrade to burn away polymer binding agents and sinter
the metals together.
"To process metals at high temperatures, you need an inert gas around
the metals," explained Brent Stucker, assistant professor of industrial
and manufacturing engineering and director of the Center. "This furnace
has the safety features necessary to allow us to use hydrogen in the process,
which will contribute significantly to our research."
According to Stucker, the furnace will also increase the Center's production
capacity, "since there are many times in our research that our other
furnaces are full."
In addition to donating the Lindberg furnace, Reebok made a contribution
to URI toward the cost of moving the furnace and installing it in the Rapid
"This piece of machinery was the first in the footwear industry
and contributed to the cutting edge of technology," said Paul Bates,
director of the Advance Process and Engineering group for Reebok. "Reebok
is delighted to be able to provide state-of-the-art technology to the University
of Rhode Island to enhance the engineering students' experience."
"We are pleased that Reebok has recognized URI's leadership in manufacturing
research and donated the Lindberg furnace to our Rapid Manufacturing Center,"
said Thomas Kim, dean of the URI College of Engineering. "It will provide
our students with additional exposure to unique technologies and broaden
our faculty's ability to develop new manufacturing processes."
The URI Rapid Manufacturing Center was established in 1998 to perform
research aimed at decreasing the time required to go from product design
to manufacture, and to transfer to industry the resultant knowledge and
Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, Mass., is a leading
worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual
footwear, apparel and equipment. Principal operating units include the Reebok
Division, the Rockport Company, Greg Norman and Ralph Lauren/Polo Sport/Footwear.
Sales for 1999 totaled approximately $2.9 billion.
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For Further Information: Brent Stucker 874-5187, Todd McLeish 874-7892
For more URI news visit: www.news.uri.edu