The Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA), funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Danville Regional Foundation, is the new destination for innovative manufacturers ready to optimize their operations and scale. With state-of-the-art facilities, the CMA will help you accelerate to the next point in your growth cycle, whether you’re shifting production to the United States from abroad or ready to expand in Southern Virginia. Companies may access services and support through the CNC Machining Innovation Lab, the Industry 4.0 Integration Lab and the Metrology Lab with NIST Certified Inspection. The CMA is also home to the United States Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence.

But the CMA is not just a high-tech operation. Located on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), the CMA’s tenants and partners will benefit from numerous campus-wide resources, including professional meeting, training and event spaces; a café; research and development capabilities; and wrap-around concierge services. 

Being a part of this larger, innovation-focused business ecosystem will drive collaboration and strategic partnerships, helping you integrate emerging technology and discover next-generation capabilities. In addition, we can help you consider location, logistics, and workforce. We’ll connect you with skilled workers in the region, offer hands-on training, and support your search for a long-term home that ensures success.

CNC Machining Innovation Lab

The 5,791-square-foot CNC Machining Lab will enable new and existing businesses to evaluate their processes, build out improvements, and incorporate efficiencies without disrupting current operations. This space will empower manufacturers to increase global competitiveness.

Businesses can:

  • Test various processing configurations to determine the most effective design. 
  • Review and improve existing manufacturing processes without disrupting operations at existing facilities.
  • Replicate processing anomalies or other challenges in a controlled environment.
  • Leverage the CMA’s expertise to find solutions.


Industry 4.0 Integration Lab

The Industry 4.0 Integration Lab offers numerous opportunities for collaborative innovation:

  • Manufacturing companies, technology companies and engineering students can work together to discover, integrate, and showcase emerging technologies, products, and equipment.
  • International manufacturers can expose the U.S. customer base to products. 
  • The lab will bolster state and local economic development efforts by attracting prospects from across the country. 
  • The space will provide integration opportunities to demonstrate and teach Industry 4.0 concepts, such as industrial internet of things process monitoring.

Industry 4.0 Lab Overview

Metrology Lab with NIST Certified Inspection

A 1,448-square-foot, fully equipped Metrology Lab provides the integrated inspection capabilities required to validate product quality. This measurement lab is controlled according to strict industry standards and offers National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certified inspection.

Those who need testing support will be able to:

  • Accurately and affordably measure and certify products. 
  • Bypass the cost and process of establishing an inspection lab in new facilities. 
  • Bypass the requirement to send products to an outside lab, thus saving time and money. 

Top Tier Metrology Equipment and Services

Rapid-Launch Space

Our rapid-launch space is at the core of our quick-launch support, expediting operational startup time. This high-tech space allows businesses to begin limited operations while constructing a new facility off-site. Manufacturers can test product expansion ideas or launch new lines without impacting current operations or production. 

Manufacturing Optimization

The Center for Manufacturing Advancement is geared towards manufacturing optimization. It helps industry drive emerging technology into their manufacturing processes to help them be more efficient, more effective, more profitable, and to be more impactful. 


additive manufacturing center of excellence

The U.S. Navy is launching its Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) within the CMA on the IALR campus. 

The U.S. Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence serves as a model for how industry partnerships will develop new technical data packages that aid manufacturing needs in support of the U.S. Navy, and that provide opportunities for integrated workforce training in additive manufacturing to fill workforce gaps.

Emerging from IALR’s collaborative efforts with the U.S. Navy, the AM CoE project supports the need for a skilled workforce for the defense industry. The AM CoE will serve as an operational hub to facilitate and expand additive manufacturing. Additionally, the AM CoE is growing the defense industrial base’s capacity to escalate production capabilities. The AM CoE’s principal functions will be to:

  • Promote adoption of mature industrial qualification processes and data to earn technical warrant holder approval for additive manufacturing production;
  • Enable scale and speed to address material readiness challenges and critical fragilities in the castings/forgings market space;
  • Pave a path for sustainable and scalable additive manufacturing production capability in the submarine industrial base.

The creation of the AM CoE marks the first project partnership for the CMA, bringing in eight partners to start.

  • Danville-based company Master Gage & Tool is expanding its presence in the region and providing on-site support for the AM CoE located within the CMA.
  • FasTech, which has been located on the campus of IALR since 2019, is part of the Navy’s AM CoE project and has received its first Navy contract.
  • Three new leading companies to the region, Phillips Corporation, Industrial Inspection & Analysis (IIA), and Austal USA, now have a presence for the first time in Southern Virginia. They will physically occupy high bay and office space in the CMA.
AM CoE Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the AM CoE was held during the second annual ATDM Summit in 2022 where the U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and additional federal, state and local government officials joined with partners from the defense industry and academia. The gathering allowed for those representatives to convene and discuss topics pertaining to closing skills and workforce gaps within the Naval Defense Industrial Base.


AM CoE Partners


Austal USA is the enterprise team lead for the CoE. They will oversee program management tasking, including day-to-day operations, communications and meetings, contracting, and overall project-cost accounting, scheduling and reporting.

Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM)
Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM)

CCAM will serve as the lead for digital thread and digitally enhanced qualification. CCAM will also develop processes around wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) with cutting-edge materials.

FasTech, LLC
FasTech, LLC

FasTech will partner to stand up and operate the CoE. They will provide parameter and post-process development, DED & PBF, CNC, and enterprise beta testing. They will also provide low-volume production capabilities.

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR)
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR)

IALR will provide post-processing services in the CoE. This includes CNC machining, saw cutting, and processing of test samples. IALR will also utilize the CMA Metrology Lab to inspect components and produce measurement reports.

Industrial Inspection & Analysis, Inc.® (IIA)
Industrial Inspection & Analysis, Inc.® (IIA)

IIA will provide in-house qualification and testing. This will include destructive testing and non-destructive testing (NDT), advanced NDT and in-situ sensing, qualification methodology development, part qualification, and environmental testing and analysis.

Master Gage & Tool Co. (MG&T)
Master Gage & Tool Co. (MG&T)

MG&T will provide metrology services in the CMA Metrology Lab, including precision inspection, calibration services, and custom design and build solutions, when required. MG&T will also provide detailed inspection reports and procedures to support testing and technical data package creation.


Mitutoyo will be a strategic partner at the CMA, providing on-site support to the Navy’s AM PRO project. They will provide coordinate measuring machining (CMM) services, which will include application engineering support, CMM programming and CMM operation.

Phillips Corporation
Phillips Corporation

Phillips will serve as principal for the additive manufacturing processes, part selection process, and part digitization. This will include the installation and qualification of powder bed fusion (PBF) and wire arc directed energy disposition equipment and processes.


A dynamic alliance of more than 80 highly respected and experienced subject matter experts, The SPECTRUM Group will provide strategic oversight and guidance for the AM CoE. SPECTRUM will ensure strategic stakeholder alignment.

Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA)
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