100 IN 100: Touring Madison, Hancock, Shelby and Hendricks County Businesses

Old-fashioned grit and cutting-edge technology are working side by side in businesses we visited in counties surrounding Indianapolis.  

In Madison County, we learned that Perfecto Tool and Engineering has been rolling up its sleeves to provide custom machinery and parts to manufacturers for 65 years, but the Anderson firm refuses to rest on its laurels. A recent Manufacturing Readiness Grants (MRG) award helped Perfecto reorganize its operations, purchase higher-tech equipment and connect most of its machines through the cloud. With customers all over the world, Perfecto is working to support these updates with an apprenticeship program that pays students a full wage while they learn.  

Down the road in Hancock County, we saw that Photon Automation is laser-focused (literally) on seizing opportunities in the battery marketplace as a firm with patented processes for welding dissimilar metals. Built on the remains of a firm that went bankrupt, Greenfield’s Photon gritted its way to success, patiently working out of garages and a former American Legion post before moving into a 221,000-square-foot space in 2019. Photon recently invested more than $1 million in CT scanning equipment to optimize laser welding for assemblies, a move the firm believes makes it unique in their industry. 

At Kimura Foundry America, in Shelby County, we saw literal “grit” at work: A proprietary sand imported from Japan plays a major role in the firm’s metal casting process. The Shelbyville company complements this earthy concoction with space-age technology, using 3D printing processes to create molds. The result? A turnaround time of one week for molds, compared to the usual timeline of 25 to 30 weeks. Even with this edge, though, the firm told us it plans to add even higher technology to its operations, strengthening its position as one of two firms on U.S. soil delivering castings in this manner. 

A trip to Hendricks County’s Trifecta Medical took us to a firm that has been operating for only a little more than a year but already employs 65 – and expects to add more in the months ahead. A maker of trays for the orthopedic industry, the Plainfield operation customizes each tray with design and silk screening that accommodate specific devices and tools for storage, transporting and more. A gritty attention to detail allows Trifecta to create trays that are as beautiful as they are functional, a combination the firm believes gives it a solid marketplace advantage. 

This post is a part of a series called 100 IN 100 – a look at Conexus Indiana’s staff visits to advanced manufacturing and logistics employers across the state. Conexus is visiting 100 companies in 100 days during the spring and summer of 2022.