Robert C. Byrd Institute for Flexible Manufacturing

RCBI encourages manufacturers to adopt the most modern manufacturing strategies, technologies and techniques with the goal of transforming the region’s economy into a powerful, just-in-time, global player.

Established in 1990 in Huntington, West Virginia, RCBI today continues to operate its original Manufacturing Technology Center and has opened three additional ones in Charleston, Bridgeport and Rocket Center. Each of these high-tech centers features specialized technologies, unique structures for education and training, manufacturing networking opportunities and quality documentation and certification, all tailored to serve industry with but not limited to its geographic locale.

Technology Opportunities

Nowhere else will one find access to high-end, specialized production technologies that have the ability to enhance and add to existing West Virginia industries and attract new, diversified jobs.

In addition to state-of-the-art CNC mills and lathes of varying sizes and dimensions, RCBI statewide is home to:

  • A 6-axis Machining Center that serves the aerospace industry’s need for oversized and exotic parts production, enabling manufacturing to bids on jobs they otherwise might have to pass up due the size and productivity limitations of lesser technology. Our 6-axis center is the only one readily available for manufacturers’ shared use on the East Coast.
  • A 440cc Submersible Wire EDM Cutter that offers manufacturers the capability of producing cleaner cuts at considerably faster speeds.
  • A 2000-watt Laser Cutter that enables even small shops to produce parts while reducing both valuable lead and production times, thus increasing their productivity
  • A Swiss Milling Lathe that allows manufacturers to expand their specialized products. The “Swiss Turn,” as it’s more commonly called, is capable of producing a complex turned and milled part from a single set up

In addition to RCBI’s well-known metals manufacturing, RCBI has brought composite manufacturing assistance to West Virginia. Looking to expand an already growing market locally as well as nationally, RCBI has in place:

  • A 5-axis CNC Router that offers manufacturers flexibility in programming and is especially useful in the aerospace, composites, plastics and woodworking sectors.
  • A state-of-the-art Cutting Room and Preparation Area that’s equipped with four independent down-draft dust removal and collection tables.

This area also accommodates industry standard tooling required for preparation of composite materials for secondary bonding and repair. Equipment including drill presses, band saws and various pneumatic tools are used in this area.

  • A Clean Air Technology “Softwall” Cleanroom that surpasses standings for an ISO 14644-1 and ISO 14644-2 Class 6 clean zone/Fed Standard 209E Class 1000.
  • A Nondestructive Ultrasonic Squirter System that is used to perform non-destructive evaluation of the structure and composition of parts to detect subsurface anomalies using ultrasonic testing technologies to ensure the quality of the part.
  • An advanced Metrology Lab that houses an impressive array of measuring, testing and reverse engineering equipment. Equipment such as a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that captures part geometry or dimensional inspections are also accompanied by sophisticated reverse engineering tools such as a FARO Industries platinum arm and laser tracker; these tools convert physical measurements into solid models, reducing engineering time. In addition, the Metrology Lab also houses X-ray, tension testing and ultrasonic immersion equipment.

Training Programs

Nowhere else will one find access to the customized technical training provided by RCBI, whether it is at one of our manufacturing technology centers or delivered on-site at your facility, all training programs fit your needs and your schedule. RCBI’s training program range from basic skills to blueprint reading to advanced CNC, CAD and CAM instruction.

RCBI, working with an Industry Board of Advisors, developed the only nationally certified Machinist Technology Program that couples the opportunity for individuals to earn national certification from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills as well as an Associate Degree from Marshall University or West Virginia University.

RCBI’s quality programs fit your company’s needs as well. RCBI’s experts in the field of quality documentation and preparation are well suited to customize the fit to what is needed to secure the next contract or stand beside a company to final certification.

Business Development Opportunities

RCBI is home to a nationally recognized computerized clearinghouse – the 21st Century Manufacturing Network – for manufacturers seeking contracting opportunities and assistance to prepare bid documents, view and download drawings and network with the global marketplace. To date, more than $250 million in actual contracts have been awarded through the network to West Virginia companies actively seeking opportunities in the global marketplace.

RCBI helps manufacturers increase productivity levels through use of specialized technologies, improve competitiveness through workforce development and technical training efforts, and maximize return on investment by integrating the latest technologies. RCBI is committed to manufacturing in West Virginia and has provided technology training and specialized manufacturing assistance to nearly 3,400 manufacturers that employ more than 57,000 individuals at an annualized payroll of more than $1.7 (B) billion.


Charlotte Weber, Director & CEO

Ph: (304) 781-1655

For Further Information, contact:

The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing

2400 East Benedum Industrial Drive

Bridgeport, WV 26330

Toll free: (800) 469-7224

Fax: (304) 842-0436