Technology Day Inspires Better Plants Partners

By Andrew Held, ICF on Apr 06, 2017

Over 190 industrial organizations – representing close to 2,600 industrial facilities nationwide – have joined the Better Plants program. They leverage the program to save money, develop their workforce, and boost their manufacturing competitiveness. Better Plants partners benefit from the expertise of In-Plant Trainings, access to borrow instruments through the Diagnostic Equipment Loan Program, and no-cost Industrial Assessment Center assessments, to name a few resources. Better Plants also provides a valuable bridge to world-class technology resources and expertise at our National Laboratories.

From March 15-16, Better Plants partners gathered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee for Technology Day. This gathering focused on how private sector industry can boost productivity through industrial adoption of technologies researched and developed at the Lab. Highlights included examining ORNL’s 3D-printing technology and demonstrations of other cutting edge technologies such as ultrasonic dryers, advanced sensors, and 3D-immersion software platforms.

Throughout the event, Better Plants partners heard from and networked with Lab researchers and industry leaders. Additionally, partners toured several innovative projects in the Lab including:

In addition to the hands-on technology demonstrations, two Better Plants partners, United Technologies and Cummins led a panel discussion offering their perspectives on lab-industry partnerships based on their successful experiences partnering with several of the National Labs and how these partnerships enabled them to leverage research and technologies that benefited their companies.

Working directly with our National Labs has sparked innovation that allows us to compete with companies around the globe." said Roger England, Director of Materials Engineering and Technology at Cummins Inc. “There are a lot of really smart people at [Oak Ridge], and when you hang around smart people you only get smarter.”

Interested in hearing more about the Better Plants Technology Day? Contact us at BetterPlants@EE.DOE.Gov


Partners view a live demonstration of an ultrasonic dryer. Created by the ORNL Energy and Transportation Science Division, this technology could potentially take thermal heating out of the drying process, resulting in significant energy savings. 






Partner’s view the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) project’s 3D printed Jeep-esque vehicle. Created along with the AMIE project’s 3D printed house, the car can travel 35 miles per charge.