News and Tribune

INDIANAPOLIS — A Harrison County business was awarded a $200,000 matching grant Tuesday.

Fred Smith Store Fixtures Inc. is a supplier of high-quality laminated products (high-pressure laminate and thermally-fused laminate) for the office furniture, hotel/motel, hospitality and health care industries. The company is investing in automation to format, profile and edge workpieces into a single production run.

The one-to-one grant was awarded to the company through a partnership between the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Conexus Indiana. The Manufacturing Readiness Grants total more than $3.6 million and are expected to spur $23 million in technology-based capital investment in Indiana.

“Historically, manufacturing has been the bedrock of Indiana’s economy, and Hoosier manufacturers continue to prepare for the future by investing in smart technologies,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a news release.

The grants program was launched in 2020 to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing industry, according to the state.

“As Indiana continues its march toward industry 4.0 technology adoption, we are seeing a lot of momentum with companies implementing cobots, machine vision, advanced sensor technologies and automation to increase quality, flexibility and agility, employ lights-out manufacturing and launch digital plant initiatives,” said Mitch Landess, vice president of innovation and digital transformation for Conexus Indiana.

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