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Art's Way Announces Technology Improvements from Manufacturing 4.0 Grant

In April 2022, agricultural equipment maker Art’s Way, Armstrong, Iowa, was named a recipient of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Manufacturing 4.0 grant, a program created to infuse more technology into Iowa manufacturing businesses after the pandemic. In the year following, the company says it has spearheaded improvements to work through the company’s largest supply-chain backlog in history.

“We’ve implemented three new collaborative weld robots, called cobots, to vastly improve our product weld quality, consistency and output for our customers,” says Brian Wrightsman, Art’s Way vice president of operations. “Amidst ongoing labor shortages, it’s a huge advantage to have cobots that can produce consistently placed welds every time while increasing productivity.”

According to Art’s Way, the company has also implemented a high-definition plasma (CNC plasma) system for cutting thick metals, further increasing efficiency while producing tighter tolerences. Art's Way uses dual CNC lathes for finish machining spindles, axles and shafts with increased productivity and quality.

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Com-Gen Lunch #5 - Solar on Every Rooftop in the Bow Valley

Video: Com-Gen Lunch #5 - Solar on Every Rooftop in the Bow Valley

Sometimes community renewable energy does not have to be one solar or wind project in a community. At the Com-Gen Lunch on June 26th, 2020, Jodi Conuel of the Bow Valley Green Energy Co-operative outlined the organization's vision for making renewable energy affordable and accessible for people in their community. But how?

Jodi Conuel explains by pooling financial resources within the community, Bow Valley Green Energy will fund rooftop solar projects and other forms of community renewable energy. The energy is either sold back to the grid or the owner of the building where the install is, for example. Profits are shared among investors and invested into community projects.

The video will provide you with a great 'playbook' on how to form a community renewable energy co-operative and point out some of the challenges you may face. For Jodi and Bow Valley Green Energy it is important to not only see this initiative succeed in their community, but to inspire similar initiatives across Alberta as well.

Community Generation Network is made up of community groups, co-ops, installers, municipalities and individuals in Alberta who are interested in creating community renewable energy projects (i.e. renewable energy projects that generate benefits for communities beyond electricity). The Com-Gen Lunch is a biweekly opportunity to discuss the community benefits of developing your own community renewable energy projects with peers and partners and hear success stories from right here in Alberta. It is hosted by the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association and Rural Routes to Climate Solutions