Two Dubois County businesses were among the 43 Indiana businesses named in the sixth round of manufacturing readiness grants awarded through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with Conexus Indiana.
Launched in 2020, the Manufacturing Readiness Grants 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.
Locally, Indiana Furniture Industries Inc. received $109,121 grant award to invest in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling.
Also, Peak Toolworks received $60,763 to invest in automated equipment for its tool manufacturing processes and robotics for auto-loading thousands of tools.
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 Manufacturing Readiness Grants have enabled or expanded the scope of technology projects, and an additional 26% say the grant accelerated project timelines.