The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 10, 2021 1:00 am

State grants to aid 12 area manufacturers

Companies to make technology-based capital investments

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Twelve northeast Indiana companies are among 34 recipients of money from the state's Manufacturing Readiness Grants program, officials announced Thursday.

The total of more than $2.8 million in grants is expected to support $17.4 million in technology-based capital investment, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said in a news release.

“Hoosier manufacturers are preparing now for the industries of tomorrow,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement. “Through the Manufacturing Readiness Grants program, these forward-thinking companies are modernizing their operations to set themselves up for a successful future, creating high-skill, high-wage jobs for Hoosiers in all parts of the state and propelling the long-term growth of Indiana's strong manufacturing sector.”

The program was launched in 2020 to stimulate private-sector investments in Indiana's manufacturing sector. The Indiana General Assembly appropriated $20 million in additional funding to the two-year state budget that runs through June 30, 2023.

Recipients in this round include companies from 22 Indiana counties and cover numerous specialties, including aerospace and defense, automotive, custom electronics and medical devices.

Mitch Landess, vice president of innovation and digital transformation at Conexus Indiana, said his organization reviews all applications as a partner in the grant program.

“We continue to be impressed with the applications that demonstrate more and more Indiana manufacturers are embracing and implementing smart technologies to succeed in an increasingly tech-focused environment,” he said in a statement.

The region's recipients and their counties are:

• Fort Wayne Metals, Allen, will receive $200,000 to invest in a digital plant initiative that will deploy IIoT capability on up to 2,000 machines.

• Fox Products, Whitley, will receive $50,000 toward new routers, lathes and mills.

• Gracie Industries LLC, Whitley, will receive $30,000 to invest in painting robotics and automation.

• Impact CNC, Whitley, will receive $100,000 toward smart manufacturing technologies.

• Kammerer Dynamics Inc., Noble, will receive $65,000 toward an automated material handling system over its laser table.

• Mach Medical, Whitley, will receive $175,000 toward digital twin technology that will speed up translating customers' design specifications.

• Ossian Smoked Meats Corp., Wells, will receive $50,000 toward an automated saw and weight packaging machine.

• PDQ Workholding LLC, Whitley, will receive $75,000 toward two production-grade 3D printers.

• QuikCut, Allen, will receive $50,000 toward a new robotic weld cell.

• Reliable Tool & Machine Co., Noble, will receive $10,000 toward computer systems to reduce reliance on handwritten documents.

• Triton Metal Products Inc., Steuben, will receive $135,000 to invest in automated material handling equipment.

• Whitcraft Enterprises Inc., Allen, will receive $150,000 for an automated dual lathe.

All grants must be matched by the recipient on a minimum 1-to-1 basis, a news release said. Grants undergo a rigorous peer review and recommendation process by a statewide committee of manufacturing professionals representing industry, academia, private equity and more.

Indiana companies are encouraged to review eligibility requirements and submit applications online.

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