Smart Manufacturing

CASE STUDIES

Our Manufacturing Readiness Grants case studies inspire and inform Indiana companies on the art of the possible as we chart the course to Industry 4.0 adoption.

We’ve written engaging case studies from our Manufacturing Readiness Grants program to inspire transformation more broadly across Indiana. Think of it as a portfolio of success to demonstrate Indiana’s digital transformation and smart manufacturing leadership.

November 8

POOLGUARD AUTOMATES A NEARLY 40-YEAR-OLD MANUFACTURING PROCESS WITH TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT

When the pandemic hit, North Vernon-based Poolguard saw demand for the five different alarm pool safety products the company manufactured soar. With a $56,250 Manufacturing Readiness Grant, Poolguard transformed a tedious manual job into an automated process using surface mount technology. “So now we’re able to take a job that used to require ten people, and now it only takes two people,” said Ben Stoner, Poolguard president. “And a job that used to produce 250 circuit boards in a 10-hour day with two hours of overtime now produces 150 boards an hour. That increases our production capacity a lot and allows us to take the people who were doing that [manual] job previously and train them in new areas of the company.”

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November 1

STANDARD INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS SOLVES MANUFACTURING BOTTLENECK AND TAKES A STRIDE INTO INDUSTRY 4.0 WITH COBOT ADOPTION

Standard Integrated Solutions was looking for a more efficient way to produce custom-designed parts through a process called air bending. After identifying a bottleneck in the metal and sheet metal manufacturing process, specifically in the press break process, Standard Integrated Solutions invested in its first cobot to take parts in and out of the CNC press breaks. “We tackled the most difficult thing to automate in our operation,” said Bryce Brumm, president of Standard Integrated Systems. “The only way I’m a solution, a viable solution for my customer, is if I can offer quality and a competitive price. This investment in technology helps ensure that.”

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October 27

CHOCOLATE COMPANY, SOCHATTI, LEVERAGES A MANUFACTURING READINESS GRANT TO COMMERCIALIZE AN INNOVATIVE FOOD TECHNOLOGY

SoChatti’s successful application for a Manufacturing Readiness Grant focused on commercializing the company’s innovative technology, which can improve shelf stability and reduce food waste, while maintaining and preserving flavor via its portfolio of first-to-market products and technologies at an industrial scale. Under the leadership of Matt Rubin, SoChatti launched “True Essence,” a food tech startup, and used the MRG funds to purchase a specific piece of equipment to scale its manufacturing process.

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October 12

D.A.S. SERVICES EMBARKS ON A DIGITAL MANUFACTURING JOURNEY WITH INNOVATIVE, INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC SOFTWARE FOR REPAIR SHOPS

D.A.S. applied for a Manufacturing Readiness Grant to implement Traverse Global, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system tailored especially for service repair manufacturers, to allow them to digitize their manufacturing workflow and extend its connectivity to the field. The project integrates with every process and every employee in the company, so D.A.S. leadership knew they could introduce the new technology only after they were certain it would improve all aspects of the business and the company culture.

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October 7

PIKE LUMBER COMPANY CONTINUES LEGACY OF SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT WITH MANUFACTURING READINESS GRANT

When leaders at Pike Lumber decided it was time to augment a mostly manual process, they implemented a machine vision system to scan logs in order to determine the optimum way to position and saw each log – maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste. The machine vision system with its algorithms, paired with a processing system that physically positions the logs, allows Pike Lumber to maximize yield and value of each log. The result is a semi-automated process where the logs are rapidly scanned, positioned and cut while supplying the operator real-time data on exactly how much volume is flowing through the sawmill.

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August 2

INDIANA FURNITURE TAKES A GIANT STRIDE INTO INDUSTRY 4.0 WITH AUTOMATION

When Jasper, Indiana-based Indiana Furniture secured a new, large contract it seemed like the ideal time to take a big leap forward in technology. Vice President of Operations Chad Nord explains how Indiana Furniture decided to implement an automated cutting machine into the cutting room floor operations and what that meant to the company’s production and workforce. “Don’t be driven by the hype of whatever anyone else thinks is cool,” Chad said. “Figure out what your biggest problem is, and then go find a technology solution that can help fix that problem.”

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JULY 22

NIMBLE STAIR SUPPLIES SEIZES OPPORTUNITY TO EMBRACE CONTINUOUS PRODUCTION WITH A MANUFACTURING READINESS GRANT

Stair Supplies is not a start-up, but the company embodies some of the best qualities of one. It’s innovative, creative, focused, agile, gutsy and growing. Founded nearly two decades ago in 2004 it was originally a digital online sales company marketing stair supplies manufactured by other companies. Today Stair Supplies manufactures premium stair parts and sells direct to homeowners, builders and contractors. Not married to its batch processing system, it’s recently been “striving to automate all of our production,” specifically looking to implement a conveyer-based coat line to transition to a continuous flow process.

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June 8

MORE THAN A CENTURY LATER, WOLF CORPORATION WEAVES A MANUFACTURING READINESS GRANT INTO NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS

The technical aspect of fiber products—that “stuffing for furniture”—and the COVID-19 pandemic that became a worldwide scourge in 2020 caught Wolf Corporation’s attention. Tony Wolf, president and CEO of Wolf Corporation, leveraged his business acumen, his love of networking and his enterprising vision to see the possibilities to both help solve a problem for the U.S. government and develop long-term business opportunities for Wolf Corporation.

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June 8

PWR NORTH AMERICA/C&R RACING IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE WITH MANUFACTURING READINESS GRANT

With an eye toward expansion into vehicle electrification, autonomous vehicles, and the aerospace and defense industries, PWR North America rode into 2020 with enthusiasm. They specifically wanted to adopt new technology to enable manufacturing of intricate and advanced cooling cores for a broad range of applications beyond traditional fluid cooling. They had validated and serviced the market by outsourcing key fabrication steps to PWR Australia, but it was time to bring this custom manufacturing process in-house for the expanding North American markets.

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June 8

NIMBLE STAIR SUPPLIES SEIZES THE OPPORTUNITY TO EMBRACE CONTINUOUS PRODUCTION WITH A MANUFACTURING READINESS GRANT

Stair Supplies is not a start-up, but the company embodies some of the best qualities of one. It’s innovative, creative, focused, agile, gutsy and growing. Founded nearly two decades ago in 2004 it was originally a digital online sales company marketing stair supplies manufactured by other companies. Today Stair Supplies manufactures premium stair parts and sells direct to homeowners, builders and contractors. Not married to its batch processing system, it’s recently been “striving to automate all of our production,” specifically looking to implement a conveyer-based coat line to transition to a continuous flow process.

June 8

MURSIX CORPORATION IMPLEMENTS DIGITAL PLANT TECHNOLOGIES FOR LARGE SCALE PRODUCTION OF A NOVEL MEDICAL DEVICE

The Manufacturing Readiness Grant program seems custom-designed for creative and nimble companies like Mursix Corporation. Mursix pivoted early in 2020 to produce millions of pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support COVID-19 response efforts and is now aggressively pushing further into more sophisticated medical device manufacturing.

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