Several Region and North Central Indiana businesses are among the 43 recipients receiving a share of nearly $4 million in Indiana Manufacturing Readiness Grants.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp., in partnership with Conexus Indiana, announced the sixth round of awards, which will support a projected $46.1 million in technology-related capital investments across Indiana.
“Manufacturing is in Indiana’s DNA—we build things,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “The demand for the Manufacturing Readiness Grants program has proven time and time again to us that these investments help Hoosiers build things better.”
Launched in 2020, the program was created to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing industry. Since then, $17.4 million in grant funding has been awarded to 212 companies in 60 counties, prompting proposed projects with combined budgets of $138.9 million and $22 million in estimated new wages.
In recently published case studies, Conexus Indiana provides an in-depth look into various completed projects, highlighting business impact and outcomes. These, along with data analysis from applications and surveys, find:
- Rather than displacing workers, investments in technology are freeing workers from tedious tasks to perform higher-value, higher-paying functions.
- Awards support modernization at primarily small and midsized firms (average of 165 employees) with long histories of participation in Indiana’s manufacturing economy (average of 37 years in operation).
- The most adopted technologies include robotics, cobots, 3D printing and next-generation machines with sensor-enable features such as data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- 68% of companies report the grants have enabled or expanded the scope of technology projects, and an additional 26% say the grant accelerated project timelines.
“The Manufacturing Readiness Grants program is clearly a powerful tool in our work to ensure that Indiana companies, at all levels of the globally competitive supply chain, adopt the new technologies important for the future of Indiana’s manufacturing economy,” said Mitch Landess, vice president of innovation and digital transformation at Conexus Indiana.
Recipients from Northwest and North Central Indiana include:
Economy Signs (Lake County; $21,750 grant award). The company is investing in equipment to automate the production of channel letters, which is currently performed by hand.
Hoosier Tank and Manufacturing LLC (St. Joseph County; $40,000 grant award). The company is investing in a Markforged 3D printer to produce carbon fiber reinforced components and a 3D laser scanning system to analyze, measure and quality check its finished goods.
ITAMCO Co. (Marshall County; $191,240 grant award). The company is investing in automation and robotics to augment both the pre- and post-heat treatment steps in its manufacturing process.
Laidig Systems Inc. (St. Joseph County; $130,000 grant award). The company is investing in a new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, including automated cranes and a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled lathe.
Mack Tool & Engineering (St. Joseph County; $85,000 grant award). The company is investing in new software to enhance the capabilities of its 16 CNC machines as well as a cobot tending system to augment its manufacturing process.
Marson International LLC (Elkhart County; $162,500 grant award). The company is investing in robotics and automation for its buffing, bending and cutting processes.
Michiana Global Mold LLC (St. Joseph County; $145,000 grant award). The company is investing in automated equipment to increase efficiencies and allow for more unmanned production.
Skinny Guy Campers LLC (Elkhart County; $37,875 grant award). The company is investing in digitized truck beds measurements with advanced precision to enable custom fitting of camper designs to more truck models.
Steel Warehouse Company LLC (St. Joseph County; $50,000 grant award). The company is investing in a heavy payload robotic system to automate production of its dock ramp leveling line products.
Stoutco Inc. (Elkhart County; $75,000 grant award). The company is investing in an automated fiber laser cutter to augment its current capabilities and secure new business.
Talon LLC (Elkhart County; $100,000 grant award). The company is investing in fiber laser cutters to enhance workflow flexibility, eliminate the need for oxygen and cutting gases, and reduce energy consumption.
Vista Plastics LLC (Elkhart County; $60,000 grant award). The company is investing in smart equipment to automate various steps in its extrusion production line for cutting more precise lengths.
Walerko Tool and Engineering (Elkhart County; $55,000 grant award). The company is investing in new technology and enhanced machinery to further automate its machining processes and to increase output for current and new customers.
Wilco Distributing (St. Joseph County; $50,000 grant award). The company is investing in automated equipment for its manufacturing line for pre-hung door production.