Great Lakes WIND Network (GLWN), a Cleveland, Ohio-based international supply chain network and advisory group, has named the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Kansas State University as its first-in-the-nation Center of excellence to expand GLWN's supply chain development efforts across the state of Kansas.

As wind energy original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and component suppliers continue to expand across the U.S. market there is a growing need to develop the component supply chain in order to increase industry capacity, reduce logistic costs, and increase U.S. manufactured content, the group explains.

"Across the nation, demand for GLWN services has been increasing at an amazing rate", said Ed Weston, GLWN Director. "Our leadership team decided the most effective and industry responsive growth model for our organization is to develop strong partnerships with proven regional technical resources that can not only co-deliver our services, but also provide much deeper insights into a region's manufacturing capabilities."

GLWN expects to establish a limited number of designated Centers of Excellence that serve key regions of the country where the wind industry is actively making new manufacturing investments and/or existing manufacturers are actively pursuing industry participation.

AMI is a department within the College of Engineering at Kansas State University which provides engineering and business services to manufacturers and entrepreneurs. AMI's engineering staff will work directly with GLWN staff to provide site assessments for manufacturers wishing to enter the wind industry supply chain, make recommendations on possible components to be supplied and assess the organizations overall production system.

The partnership will enable companies who have met suitable criteria to participate in the GLWN Wind Alert System which informs potential suppliers when an OEM or upper tier supplier is sourcing a specific component that they are capable of producing.

In addition to conducting on-site evaluations the partnership will facilitate workshops across the state for manufacturers who are interested in entering the wind industry to become better informed regarding the opportunities and hurdles posed by the wind industry.