Article

Utah Innovation Awards

Inventing a Better Tomorrow

Presented by Stoel Rives LLP & Utah Technology Council

April 8, 2013

Though currently geared toward extreme mountaineers, Easton views the Cuben Si2 Tent as its “concept car” for future development of durable tents. 

 

Mechanical Systems / Chemicals / Manufacturing Finalists

Technology for Stiffening Composite Airplane Parts by ATK Aerospace Group

Over a few short decades, composite materials have made aircraft significantly lighter and reduced fuel costs. However, much of the focus has been on automating the production of composite parts with “large acreage,” like fuselage skins and shells. But the stiffening components actually account for more than half the weight and cost of the structures.

ATK’s Automated Stiffener Forming technology enables low-cost manufacturing of composite fuselage stringers and frames, the skeleton of a commercial aircraft fuselage shell. These composite parts create lighter-weight airplanes with up to 25 percent greater fuel efficiency. With this technology, ATK can fabricate the parts at production rates of 10 times that of the traditional manufacturing process.

ATK has automated a process normally performed by hand, making the process more flexible for stiffener designers and more cost efficient. It also yields higher-quality stiffeners than other automated stiffener processes available in the industry.   

 

Ceramic Joining Technologies by Ceramatec, Inc.

Ceramic structures have long been limited by size and complexity—large structures could only be assembled using adhesives or bolted joints, reducing the benefits of ceramic, while complex structures required excessive and expensive machining. Ceramatec developed a manufacturing method, similar to welding for metals, that enables the fabrication of large, complex ceramic assemblies.

Key to the joining technology is a bonding material that, when heated, forms a liquid that fills the gaps between the ceramic components. As the material hardens, it very nearly replicates the chemistry of the components, making the joint as strong as the base materials, even when exposed to high temperatures, thermal cycling or chemical environments.

Several industries will benefit from this technology. The energy industry can apply it to high-temperature solar receivers, gas turbines, solid oxide fuel cells and nuclear fuel cladding. Other applications may also include satellite dishes, armor systems and microchip packaging.

 

Honorable Mention:

3Form C3 Color Technology By 3Form, Inc.

 

Enterprise Software & Web-Enabled B2B Solutions Finalists

Canvas By Instructure

Schools and universities have used learning management systems (LMS) to track student grades and progress for nearly two decades, and in that time the market has become fractured, complicated and stuck with cumbersome systems developed mostly in the 1990s. Canvas has made huge strides in changing that in the past two years.

Canvas is a cloud-native LMS that combines the best aspects of both open-source and closed-source learning management systems to provide universities, colleges and schools with an option that is easy to use, secure and reliable. Because it is cloud-based, Canvas saves schools from dealing with local hosting, software upgrades and crashes that can occur during periods of heavy use, such as final exams.

Schools have taken notice of the ways Canvas has improved the LMS market. In 24 months, Canvas’ revenues increased from $140,000 to more than $74 million. Canvas has been implemented at more than 300 universities, colleges and school districts, including five of the nation’s top business schools and all of Utah’s major institutions of higher education.

 

Spotlight Data Mining by Allegiance, Inc.

Businesses have access to more data than ever before, but they often don’t have the time, money or expertise necessary to analyze it in useful ways. Spotlight is a cloud-based data-mining tool that helps companies overcome this challenge by doing the analytical heavy lifting and finding meaningful patterns hidden among oceans of data.

Spotlight is designed to make data analysis possible and easy for anyone, rather than just trained analysts. It automatically analyzes raw datasets to find patterns that could help businesses maximize their productivity. It works quickly and efficiently, using a process that distills data into binary classifications, allowing the system to compare two patterns in one CPU clock cycle.

It is also easy to use, thanks to a simple configuration wizard that allows users to specify exactly which patterns they want to seek and which data they want to mine.

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