Manufacturing & Technology

VIEWPOINT: Advancing manufacturing is key to futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Joseph Hornett
We've all heard it: Our economy is creeping to a crawl. Skyhigh oil prices, a weak housing market and the struggling U.S. dollar are discouraging consumers and business owners alike. Fears about our nation's fiscal health are shaking broader confidence in the banking industry, the system of global trade, and even our public image abroad. In the face of such adversity, it's helpful to remember that Americans have faced daunting challenges in the past. In tougher times, such as the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: China, higher education and our economic futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Mark Miles
In mid-September, I'll be traveling to China's Liaoning province as part of a delegation led by Indiana State University, hosted by Liaoning University. We'll arrive in the country too late for the Olympics, but we'll be there to talk about another form of global competition-economic development. It's appropriate that the two universities are co-hosting a conference on economic development issues, given the importance of human capital in our economy. It's especially appropriate for China, where higher education has become a...
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VIEWPOINT: Recruiting: If you lie down with dogs ...Restricted Content

August 18, 2008
Jon Ford
The recent episode involving former IU basketball coach Kelvin Sampson underscores how badly broken is our system of recruiting and qualifying top leaders. Reference checks by highly paid professional recruiters failed to turn up the true nature of this leader. Yes, we all were aware of his lack of character at the University of Oklahoma, but were there signs of this lack of character in his past at Montana Tech or Washington State University? One would hope the recruiters went...
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VIEWPOINT: Recruiting: If you lie down with dogs ...Restricted Content

August 18, 2008
Jon Ford
The recent episode involving former IU basketball coach Kelvin Sampson underscores how badly broken is our system of recruiting and qualifying top leaders. Reference checks by highly paid professional recruiters failed to turn up the true nature of this leader. Yes, we all were aware of his lack of character at the University of Oklahoma, but were there signs of this lack of character in his past at Montana Tech or Washington State University? One would hope the recruiters went...
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Startup NICO reassembles Suros' management team: Medical-device maker aims to launch product soonRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Medical-device maker Suros Surgical Systems was one of the fastest-growing companies in Indianapolis history. Just six years after forming it in 2000, founders sold it for $248 million. Is it any wonder they want to work together again? In late July, former Suros Chairman Jim Baumgardt and former Vice President of Sales Jeff Hanthorn joined locally based NICO Corp., the startup launched early this year by former Suros CEO Jim Pearson and Joseph Mark, one of Suros' founders. The mission...
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Regulators fight to assess health risks in local plant: Sensient Flavors files lawsuit to prevent inspectionRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Federal regulators specializing in chronic-disease prevention are attempting to investigate a west-side food additives manufacturing plant. But Sensient Flavors is fighting in federal court in Indianapolis to prevent their inspection. On July 14, Sensient sued the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sensient Flavors is an Indianapolisbased subsidiary of Sensient Technologies Corp., a publicly traded Milwaukee firm that makes artificial colors, flavors and fragrances used in a variety of...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Uneven job growth plagues stateRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Morton Marcus
Should the next U.S. president be concerned about uneven job growth? Or should he just let the market determine which states prosper and which struggle? There is no explicit national job policy to bring employment to slow-growing areas. Neither Sen. Barack Obama nor Sen. John McCain has ventured to discuss the issue. Job growth is left to the states, with each competing against the others in an expensive battle of subsidies. From 2002 to 2007, the number of U.S. jobs...
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Entrepreneur has high hopes for deck-chair markersRestricted Content

July 7, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
In late May, Darrell Bowman launched Lounge Hats LLC, an Indianapolis-based company that makes fabric covers that fit over beach or pool-side chaise lounges to make one thing clear: This seat is taken. Bowman withdrew $20,000 from personal savings and added another $50,000 from an investor, his friend Mike Oswalt, to start the company. He runs Lounge Hats out of his garage, hiring a Chinese company to sew the hats and contracting with a local printer to finish them off.
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Networks help practices extend their reach:Restricted Content

June 30, 2008
Scott Olson
Outside of Indiana, the local law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP has a nominal presence in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C. Yet, the midsize practice with roughly 130 lawyers in Indianapolis is handling an immigration issue for a fellow firm in India and is encouraged about prospects in Argentina, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Global gigs typically are reserved for larger rivals with an international scope. But scores of firms that want to expand their reach, without the risk...
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More manufacturing? Maybe Butler did it: University's accelerator helps plants boost businessRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
Ten years ago, Bob McAfee bought SaniServ, an 80-year-old Mooresville institution that pioneered the making of softserve ice cream machines for restaurants. Despite the manufacturer's longevity, a handful of competitors-one of them much larger and two roughly the same size-had cut into market share, causing SaniServ's annual revenue to stall at about $10 million. Determined to improve upon the figure, but unsure how to go about it, McAfee turned to the Butler Business Accelerator. The 2-year-old consultancy on the Butler...
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Powerway lays off 14 after losing software deal with ChryslerRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Cory Schouten
Locally based Powerway Inc. is scrambling to shrink its work force and remake its business plan after the firm's most lucrative customer--the ailing automaker Chrysler LLC--said it will no longer use Powerway software or mandate its use among the company's hundreds of suppliers. Powerway laid off 14 employees and slashed salaries for many who remain after it learned of Chrysler's plans on June 6.
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: There are Six Sigma options; Here's a look at six of themRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Dave Berry
While many manufacturing companies are implementing Six Sigma for continuous process improvement, it may not be the most practical solution for every company. Smaller manufacturers can benefit from applying many of the tools found in the Six Sigma methodology, but on a more manageable scale for daily process improvement. While far from a complete list, the following six practical tools may be used by smaller companies who are motivated to continually streamline production and improve productivity: Key performance indicators Most...
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Allegiant finding treasure in clients' trash: Local firm helps manufacturers set up cost-saving recycling plansRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
In 2000, gasoline cost 99 cents a gallon, you could barely give recyclable plastic away and the idea of manufacturers "going green" was a pioneering thought. Allegiant Global started that same year as Heritage Interactive Services, with one client and little market awareness of what industrial recycling and reuse initiatives meant. Heritage Interactive was started by principals of locally based Heritage Environmental Services, which was-and still is-involved in more traditional waste-disposal services. When one of Heritage Environmental's clients, Michigan-based Lear...
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Purdue joins Conexus on manufacturing, logistics effort: University, advocacy group predict evolving industryRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
An advocacy group formed a year ago to boost the visibility and growth of the state's advanced manufacturing and logistics industries has received a major lift from Purdue University. Conexus Indiana and Purdue earlier this month announced the formation of a partnership in which the university will lend its academic and research talents to the organization. The key goals include linking manufacturers with new suppliers, exploring emerging markets and supporting startups launched from university or privatesector research. "Conexus is very...
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Officials turn up call for 2-year degrees: State putting emphasis on higher education optionsRestricted Content

June 9, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
State and local leaders are turning up the amp on the importance of higher education, but they're also trying to tune students into the message that being college-educated doesn't have to mean spending four years at a university. In recent weeks, both Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels have loudly proclaimed the state's need for more workers with twoyear degrees. While government officials have long said the state needs a more educated work force to attract business,...
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IPIC's BioWorksU virtual effort wins acclaim:Restricted Content

June 9, 2008
Scott Olson
A new Web site developed locally and designed to attract youngsters to careers in the life sciences sector now shares something in common with the wildly popular Club Penguin site. The Indianapolis Private Industry Council, with assistance from locally based Creative Street Media Group, created BioWorksU.com. And while more educational and likely more appealing to a larger age group than Club Penguin, the two were among recent Webby Awards finalists. Called the "Oscars of the Internet" by The New York...
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VIEWPOINT: A prayer for the housing marketRestricted Content

June 2, 2008
Jon Ford
Please, Chairman, forgive me, for I have sinned and I herewith repent. Please Chairman Bernanke, hear my prayers. Please give me only one more housing bubble and I will forever honor you with the restraint you desire. I have succumbed to the seven deadly sins of investing and I herewith vow never again to do so, so long as you let interest rates continue to fall. I have been weak in seven ways: Hubris. Yes, it is true. I believed...
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Evolving mobile phones indispensable for on-the-go technology 'addicts'Restricted Content

June 2, 2008
Louis Jones
Mitch Roob oversees a state agency with a $6.5 billion budget and thousands of employees who deliver a range of services to more than a million Hoosiers. And he'd be lost without his BlackBerry. He is just one of the many Indianapolis professionals who use enhanced mobile devices, or smartphones, to keep tabs on their work and increase their productivity away from the office.
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Move over 'Super 70'-this one is really big: Department of Transportation hoping for summer launch of study to add truck lanes to 800 miles of I-70Restricted Content

May 26, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Imagine driving the car down an interstate highway devoid of tractor trailers. It could dramatically improve traffic flow and safety, but it would sever supply chains and bring manufacturing to a halt-to say nothing of the state's logistics industry. But how about putting those trucks in their own lanes, separated from cars and light trucks? What seemed merely a fanciful concept for Interstate 70 when highway planners tossed it out about a year ago is gaining momentum. The Indiana Department...
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EDITORIAL: Pricey fuel isn't all bad: Pain at pump creates opportunityRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Pricey fuel isn't all bad Pain at pump creates opportunity The high cost of fuel hurts everyone, from commuters to business owners to not-for-profits whose volunteer drivers deliver meals to shut-ins. Our whole economy suffers. But there's a silver lining to gas for $4 a gallon: opportunity. If the price of fuel isn't coming down, and that seems to be the prevailing wisdom, the only thing to do is adapt. It's in adapting that there's opportunity to be found and...
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EYE ON THE PIE: We need more leaders like this guyRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Morton Marcus
A friend and I were having lunch. We were talking about an old issue: the lack of leadership in the state. Both of us agreed that Mitch Daniels has been doing a good job in following through on what he promised, whether or not folks liked it. But we were hard-pressed to find other examples of civic or political leadership. I suspect our problem may have been one of age. We're guys who have been around for the past four...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Despite some perceptions, future for IT workers brightRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Jim Jay
In mid-March, Bill Gates traveled to Washington to carry an unpopular message to Congress: Raise the limits on visas for foreignborn tech workers, or Microsoft and other high-tech companies will be forced to move more jobs overseas in search of a skilled work force. Gates' testimony to the House Committee on Science & Technology wasn't groundbreaking-the shortage of tech workers is well-documented. But it begs an obvious question: Why have computer science enrollments at U.S. colleges and universities fallen by...
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Hungry for growth, bagel maker tiptoes into healthy food segment

May 5, 2008
Sam Stall
Since its founding 17 years ago, Indianapolis-based Harlan Bakeries LLC has built its reputation, and its fortune, on making bagels. Untold millions of bagels. Considering the number of conventional treats Harlan turns out, it might be easy to overlook its newest project: producing a non-medical "diet cookie" for Boca Raton, Fla.-based Smart For Life Weight Management Centers.
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Angels invest where others fear to tread: Wealthy entrepreneurs join forces to create HALO Capital GroupRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Some high-tech companies are so risky that even venture capitalists quiver. That's when they turn to angels, who aren't afraid to fly to the rescue of cash-strapped innovators with chancy yet possibly lucrative ideas. Last year, two dozen of central Indiana's most successful business veterans decided to intercede on behalf of Hoosier entrepreneurs. They formed HALO Capital Group, a network of angel investors who seek to speculate on promising Indiana startups. Every other month, the HALO group meets at a...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: A healthy economy makes an uninteresting campaignRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Mike Hicks
In this curious primary season, Indiana finds itself the brief center of attention as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama invest time and treasure in the crossroads of America. The strongest focus in both their campaigns is my favorite subject-the economy. Both candidates bemoan the poor Hoosier economy, its job losses and income inequality. This would be a superb campaign approach for both candidates, except that their claims are wholly, totally and embarrassingly devoid of facts. Indiana's economy is doing...
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