Second round of Manufacturing Readiness Grants awarded to 31 Indiana businesses

October 30, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 30, 2020) – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with Conexus Indiana, announced the second round of awards totaling approximately $3 million to 31 Indiana businesses in Manufacturing Readiness Grants, which Governor Eric J. Holcomb first announced in May. The grants are part of the Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement (EASE) program designed to stimulate manufacturing investments that will position Hoosier operations, and the sector overall, for future growth and prosperity.

“It’s truly incredible to see manufacturers across the state of Indiana rise to the unprecedented challenges of this year,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “The response we continue to see from the Manufacturing Readiness Grant program is remarkable, and I’m am encouraged by the progress we’ve seen in getting these businesses back on track.”

The 31 manufacturers receiving grants represent 21 Indiana counties and cover a wide range of specialties, including automotive, aerospace and defense, agriculture, machinery and construction, consumer packaging products, and health care and medical. Together, these businesses plan to invest more than $19.3 million in technology and equipment to position their businesses for future growth by increasing capacity and modernizing operations. Four of the manufacturers – EARL Solutions LLC, Helmer Scientific LLC, Hightech Signs and Trinity Guardion LLC – are accelerating operational investments in health care manufacturing technology to support critical COVID-19 response efforts.

Recipients include:

  • American Quality Molds (Wayne County; $53,500 grant award), purchased by Shrader Enterprises from the original owner and founder in 2018 and moved to Richmond earlier this year, manufactures aluminum mold bases and Rapid Insert Dies for plastic injection molding. The company is upgrading its equipment, including 3D printing and additional instruments, tools and software in order to enhance the safety of its workers and better serve its new and old customers.
  • Arcamed LLC (Marion County; $150,000 grant award), founded in 2011 and based in Indianapolis, designs and manufactures medical case and tray systems, caddies, instruments and implants. The company operates CNC machines for tight tolerance and high-precision manufacturing and is upgrading equipment with technology-driven features to achieve better efficiencies and broader capabilities.
  • Barber Manufacturing Company Inc. (Madison County; $100,000 grant award), founded in 1894 and located in Anderson, manufactures springs for the upholstered furniture and bedding industries. The five generation-owned and operated company is investing in retrofitting modifications to its 80-year-old specialty production equipment, adding servo drives, sensors, interlocks and other items to replace and improve mechanical devices.
  • Catalyst Product Development, Inc. (Marion County, $159,500 grant award), headquartered in Indianapolis and founded in 1999, provides rapid product design and development, including marketing research, industrial design, mechanical design, engineering, 3D CAD modeling, prototyping, tooling and machining, plastic injection molding, and small batch manufacturing and assembly. The company is moving further into higher volume manufacturing and expanding its capabilities in additive manufacturing, Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) and micro-molding.
  • Decatur Mold, Tool and Engineering Inc. (Jennings County;  $65,000 grant award), founded in 1966 and based in North Vernon, provides tool design and mold manufacturing services. The company is investing in robotics and electrode handling for Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) to enable continuous production and a fully automated and smart process.
  • Decatur Plastic Products LLC (Jennings County; $98,000 grant award), based in North Vernon, provides high-quality injection molding, flocking, assembly and finishing services along with expert engineering assistance and material recommendations. The company is investing in a new flocking line driven by robotics.
  • EARL Solutions LLC (Jackson County; $100,000 grant award) recently spun out from a Carmel-based distillery in order to manufacture hand sanitizer to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The company is investing in automated liquid fill equipment and label-making equipment.
  • Eckhart & Company Inc. (Marion County, $6,000 grant award), a 100-plus-year-old company in Indianapolis, specializing in full-service bookbinding and finishing services, is investing in Power BI to use a data-driven approach to increase efficiencies of labor usage and improve processes.
  • Entech Inc. (Elkhart County; $100,000 grant award) based in Middlebury since 1995, specializes in producing all sizes of micronized rubber powder (MRP) and crumb rubber. The company is modernizing its existing manufacturing facility and installing new equipment for product expansion.
  • Georg Utz Inc. (Bartholomew County; $50,000 grant award) headquartered in Switzerland with a production facility in Edinburgh since 2009, develops and produces reusable plastic transport devices for automated and manual systems across various industries. The company is implementing a full Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with interconnectivity between machines and IOT sensors, material planning, production control and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
  • Global Plastics Inc. (Boone County; $100,000 grant award), headquartered in Indianapolis and founded in 1992, provides plastic injection molding of automotive, industrial, medical, packaging and commercial parts. The company is investing in precisely calibrated and automated work cell molding equipment to accommodate expansion.
  • Helmer Scientific, LLC (Hamilton County; $200,000 grant award) based in Noblesville, designs, integrates, manufactures, markets and distributes specialized medical and laboratory equipment to clinical and life science customers in more than 125 countries. The company is investing in a sizeable expansion with expected surge in COVID-19 vaccine-related demand.
  • Hightech Signs (Allen County; $130,000 grant award), founded in 1988 and headquartered in Fort Wayne, has temporarily pivoted from providing large format print and graphics to manufacturing fabric masks to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The company is investing in a new cutter for its Fort Wayne facility to benefit both short-term mask production and long-term standard business.
  • Huhtamaki (Grant County; $10,000 grant award), founded in 2012 and located in Marion, is a global manufacturer of consumer packaging products including disposable dinnerware. The company is continuing its technology enhancements with the addition of data analytics software.
  • Italpollina USA Inc. (Madison County; $116,677 grant award), founded in Italy with a new U.S. manufacturing facility in Anderson, produces biostimulants for sustainable modern agriculture. The company is building a new production unit to make a biological control agent (BCA) that acts as a biopesticide.
  • Jeco Plastic Products LLC (Hendricks County; $72,000 grant award) established in 1973 in Plainfield, specializes in rotational molding and twin sheet pressure forming to produce logistics products for the printing, pharmaceutical and automotive industries. The company is moving into aerospace and defense, investing in equipment modifications and precision measuring devices.
  • Jomar Machining & Fabricating (Elkhart County; $100,000 grant award), founded in 1991 in Middlebury, specializes in large machining and fabrication projects and is investing in a robotic welding system.
  • Kimura Foundry America (Shelby County; $38,000 grant award), a Japan-based metal foundry with operations in Shelbyville, is investing in 3D printing to produce castings and purchasing new equipment, including Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM), to enhance operations and efficiencies.
  • Kirby Risk Corporation (Tippecanoe County; $78,750 grant award), located in Lafayette and founded in 1926, is a wholesale distributor of electrical supplies and automation products. The company provides electrical apparatus sales and repair services and manufactures wiring harness/cables, control panels and precision machined products. Kirby Risk Corporation is investing in digital transformation and automation to increase efficiencies.
  • Mid-West Metal Products Co. Inc. (Delaware County; $22,400 grant award), based in Muncie for more than 90 years, produces wire-formed and fabricated, sheet metal fabricated and tubular metal products for customers worldwide. The company is adding robotics to automate parts run on press brakes, as well as training its workforce on robotics.
  • Myers Spring Company, Inc. (Cass County; $70,000 grant award) based in Logansport, manufactures products made from wire, primarily compression springs, torsion spring and wire forms. The company is investing in a “Large Spring Coiler” built in Italy that will be the largest of its type in North America.  It will be fully automated and have remote access to monitor the condition of the equipment via IOT sensing and feedback.
  • NASCO Industries, Inc. (Daviess County; $100,000 grant award), founded in 1979 and based in Washington, manufactures protective outerwear for a variety of industries. The company is upgrading its machinery to gain efficiencies and reduce material waste.
  • Nutrition 101 Inc. (Madison County; $100,000 grant award), founded in 1987 and based in Pendleton, recycles food waste and produces livestock feed, biofuels and recyclable commodities. The company is investing in robots and automated machinery to depackage products to improve efficiencies.
  • Perfecto Tool and Engineering Co. Inc. (Madison County; $113,500 grant award), founded in Anderson in 1955, builds custom machinery and parts, and manufactures build-to-print customer designs. The company is reorganizing its workflow and production cells, renovating its shop and purchasing new lathes and mills.
  • Premium Rock LLC (Elkhart County; $50,000 grant award) based in Elkhart, produces lightweight, highly durable, fire-resistant, waterproof and UV-resistant engineered stone panels. The company, which plans to begin increasing its workforce, is launching a new proprietary product and investing in a new process and needed manufacturing equipment.
  • Recovery Force Health LLC (Hamilton County; $157,500 grant award), based in Fishers and founded in 2013, is a digital health company focused on SaaS solutions through wearable medical technology. By investing in specialty equipment for its manufacturing process, the company is positioning itself to ramp up production of their flagship product, the MAC System, in early 2021.
  • Semiconductor Test Supply LLC (Morgan County; $47,720 grant award), founded in 2010 and based in Martinsville, designs, assembles and tests electronic printed circuit boards for aerospace, defense, medical and industrial applications. The company is automating solder printing and inspection and adding capacity to existing assembly robots.
  • Standard Integrated Solutions Inc. (Pulaski County; $50,000 grant award), based in Winamac and founded in 2004, offers a full line of industrial equipment, supplies, services and products essential to the industrial environment. The company is investing in cobots to tend Computer Numerical Control (CNC) mill and press brakes.
  • TBK America Corporation (Wayne County; $89,444 grant award), a Japan-based international company with a manufacturing facility in Richmond, manufactures and markets water pumps and oil pumps. In order to enhance its product quality and productivity, the company is upgrading its Richmond facility processes with a cloud-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration.
  • Trinity Guardion LLC (Ripley County; $200,000 grant award) based in Batesville and founded in 2010, manufactures a launderable microbarrier for hospital mattresses and is investing to start in-house production of hospital bed barriers to prevent cross infection risk between patients.
  • Tri-Pac Inc. (St. Joseph County; $100,000 grant award) based in South Bend, provides contract development and manufacturing services for aerosol, liquid, tubes and specialty-packaged products. The company is adding manufacturing lines to increase capacity and expand capabilities to manufacture prescription medical devices and over-the-counter drugs.

The IEDC initially made $4 million available for Indiana Manufacturing Readiness Grants and has since been able to expand the awards for Hoosier manufacturers with support of CARES Act funding. The awards are issued in the form of matching grants up to or equal to the amount of the qualified investment in new equipment and machinery (minimum 1:1 investment match).

While the allocated program funding has been exceeded, Conexus, with the input of a peer review panel, will continue to assess applications and make funding recommendations to the IEDC, which will fund select applications if and when additional funding becomes available. Eligibility requirements and the grant application are available online.

“Digital transformation is critical for the future of Indiana’s manufacturing base,” said Mitch Landess, vice president of innovation and digital transformation at Conexus Indiana. “Conexus Indiana is pleased to help support so many small- and medium-size manufacturers make investments in smart manufacturing technologies.”

About Conexus Indiana
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, go to www.conexusindiana.com.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.