Iowa State University Center for Industrial Research and Service  

CIRAS eNews - January 2022

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Malvenworks Finds Success With Industry 4.0 
Malvenworks, a Nevada, Iowa, maker of firefighter hand tools is growing in stature after CIRAS helped the company modernize and improve the designs for its tools. 
The company turned to Iowa State’s Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy. CIRAS project manager Jake Behrens and Chris Hill, director of the CIRAS Technology Assistance Program, used a 3D scanner to create digital CAD models of Malvenworks tools. Those models then were modified to make improvements such as adding sharper edges and ridges to keep a blade from getting stuck in the door it’s meant to chop down. CIRAS then used 3D printers to create physical samples of the modified tools for Malvenworks to review.
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Marketwise Helps Leaders Face Challenges Together
A networking group launched seven years ago by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry in partnership with CIRAS continues to help its members learn from people who do the same work they do.  MarketWise provides marketing and sales leaders opportunities to expand their skills through education, shared experiences, and best practices with their peers.

Ralph Bright, Vice President of Marketing at Interpower Corporation education, shared experiences, and best practices with their peers. Ralph Bright, vice president of marketing at Interpower Corporation, is one of several dedicated members who believe regularly attendance at the group’s meetings makes him more effective at his job.

“This group helps keep me on the cutting edge of marketing technology,” said Bright, who joined five years ago. “But the biggest benefit is the ability to confidentially bounce ideas off each other – get a different perspective on a problem I’m facing. None of us are as smart as all of us.”

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Upcoming Conferences, Trainings & Workshops

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) seeks to make Iowa better by educating its businesses about the latest research-proven methods and best practices of industry. Here are just a few of the ways we plan to do that in the coming month. View full event list.

ILC Virtual Lean Coffee

January 21st 10:15 AM


January 24th 9:00 AM

Introduction To Lean Accounting 

January 24th 1:00 PM

Engage! 2022 

January 28th 2:00 PM 


Industry Iowa a CIRAS Podcast
Industry Iowa is a CIRAS podcast to help Iowa businesses and communities prosper and grow. Listen in on our conversation with Melissa Burant, Supply Chain Project Manager, CIRAS, as she talks about the intentional development of a nationwide effort to leverage connections designed to increase the availability of needed materials here in the U.S. and so much more. 
Check out the latest episode: Listen Here
Prepare for Government Contracting in 2022
There’s no better time than the start of a new year to connect with your PTAC counselor and do an audit of your goals with government contracting….and we are here to help!

One thing I love to do for clients is simply work with them in updating a free market research report, to give them a good snapshot of who in the government is buying their goods and/or services. This not only creates a very concise list of which agencies the client needs to develop a relationship with, but also shows them where they need to register as a vendor, who their competitors are, and how much each government agency is typically spending on each contract. 

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DBE Conference Debrief 

A conference focused on connecting Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) with numerous resource partners was held November 3 in Des Moines. The well-attended event provided opportunities for businesses to learn best practices, meet and identify potential business partners, increase their business exposure with other DBE companies, and collaborate with other contractors.
CIRAS partnered with the Iowa DOT to host the conference. DBEs are generally defined as small businesses that are 51 percent or more owned by economically and socially disadvantaged individuals.
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