Manufacturing & Technology

ETS turns city into world's tanning-bed capital: Company produces 24 models for home, business useRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Scott Olson
Indianapolis-based ETS Tan Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of tanning beds, annually churning out twice as many as its nearest competitor. Yet, the company founded in 1984 by Trevor and Edna Gray has plans to boost production, thanks to new ownership that has the financial clout to make it happen. In August 2006, MH Equity entered the indoor tanning industry with the purchase of Sunshine Holdings, the umbrella company for ETS, Australian Gold and software provider Helios LLC. MH...
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Indesign LLC: Engineers designed firm after losing corporate jobs Ownership stake gave workers even more motivation to succeedRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Marc D.
Eleven years ago, AT&T/Lucent Bell Laboratories announced it was closing its wired consumer product design division in Indianapolis and consolidating operations in New Jersey. That left about 90 employees here with a choice: Move or find another job. Most went or joined other companies. But 34 decided to stick together and start their own business here-Indesign LLC. Today, the high-tech electronic design and development company near Fort Benjamin Harrison is a $6 million-a-year business with 53 employees and clients that...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Cash infusion propels pioneering battery firm into futureRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Greg Andrews
EnerDel, an Indianapolis company pioneering a new kind of battery for hybrid vehicles, has just received a badly needed jolt of juice. EnerDel's parent, Florida-based alternative-energy firm Ener1 Inc., late last month wrapped up $32 million in equity financing from a group of investment heavyweights, including JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse. The investors received warrants giving them the right to invest another $43 million within 180 days, boosting the total capital commitment to $75 million. "The investors we have gotten...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: How globalization benefits Hoosier companiesRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Mike Hicks
The debate on globalization most often focuses on imported goods. This is natural, for it is the sole source of pain associated with increasing international trade. The pain accrues to workers and investors in businesses that cannot compete internationally. Of course, the net impact is positive, in part because trade reallocates workers and capital to more productive activities. These more productive activities pay better and so are ultimately better for the economy-both here and abroad. One often-overlooked element of the...
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Full incubator widens reach: Tech center to help non-tenantsRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Scott Olson
The "no vacancy" sign hanging at an Indiana University business incubator has prompted officials to launch a program in which startup companies can gain access to support services without renting space. IU's Emerging Technologies Center, on West 10th Street near the Central Canal, houses 25 companies in about 44,000 square feet of space. The center has been operating at full capacity the past two years and has a waiting list of four companies. For those who can't get into the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Technology, life sciences creating new Hoosier jobsRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Sally Byrn
While other states strive to find their places in today's international economy, the Hoosier state has made a reputation for itself in the life sciences arena. It's an important effort, especially when you consider that our state's past successes were in the field of manufacturing. Con sidering that the 2007 Indiana Manufacturers Directory reports Indiana lost more than 17,000 manufacturing jobs in the past year, this new economic model built upon technology and life sciences is important, if not essential,...
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Acquisitions fuel growth for Consona: Former Made2Manage roars back after struggling as public companyRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Scott Olson
Building Consona Corp. into a billion-dollar company is well within the sights of CEO Jeff Tognoni. But for now, he's content with a recent growth spurt that is earning national recognition. Indianapolis-based Consona, formerly known as M2M Holdings Inc., grew at a clip of 131.4 percent last year, landing it on Software Magazine's annual list of the 10 fastest-growing software firms in the nation. While Tognoni is proud of the achievement, he's reticent to toot the company horn too loudly....
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Tax reform to take center stage on Organization DayRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
In this column 10 years ago, we told you that, typically, our "short" electionyear legislative sessions are swift and relatively sweet. With the biennial budget the priority of the long, odd-year sessions, significant fiscal matters are usually untouched in the short, even-year session. Major issues that threaten to divide often are left undebated as the two major political parties avoid issues making them look bad in the eyes of voters. Only a decade ago, lawmakers prepared to enter just such...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Existing work force is our biggest education challengeRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Carol D\'amico
As Hoosiers, every time we open our wallets and pocketbooks, we should think about going back to school. For the last three decades, Indiana's per capita income growth has lagged the rest of the country, to the point where the average Hoosier earns less nized for work force development use a combination of state and local dollars and even lottery funds (as in Georgia). Private management of the Hoosier Lottery, as proposed during the last legislative session, could provide the...
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Carrier carrying on in cool housing marketRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Chris O'Malley
With steep declines in new-home construction and existing home sales, market conditions in the Indianapolis-based North American residential business of Carrier Corp. "are clearly challenging," according to George David, CEO of Carrier's parent, United Technologies.
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Medical-device startup lands venture capital: Symbios bringing orphan Biomet technology to marketRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
When large companies make innovations that don't fit their business plan, the discovery often ends up gathering dust on a shelf. But entrepreneurs are eager to build new companies around these orphaned technologies. Four years ago, Jeffrey Alholm spotted just such an opportunity. Warsaw-based Biomet Inc. had tabled a promising anesthetic-dispensing device. So Alholm formed Symbios Medical Products LLC and cut a deal to secure its rights. Now, Symbios has a chance to commercialize the device widely, thanks to a...
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Not your father's car lot: Auto dealers grab attention with livelier designsRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Chris O\'malley
The three-tiered floor gives a commanding view of the flick playing on the big screen. Down the hall, other guests sit entranced behind flat-panel TVs in a spacious lounge, or check their e-mail courtesy of the building's wireless signal. Not far away, 20 kids and their parents celebrate a birthday party. It's not a movie theater, a Hilton or a Chuck E. Cheese's: It's Burd Ford's new facility at 10320 E. Pendleton Pike. These days, almost every new or remodeled...
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EDITORIAL: Tough love for struggling park: State's high standards deserve praiseRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Tough love for struggling park State's high standards deserve praise It would be easy for the state's certified technology park initiative to degenerate into a handout program with little or no accountability. If communities in all corners of the state get a park, along with the accompanying tax benefits and grants, everyone's happy, right? Perhaps. But for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to deploy resources in the most potent manner, it must focus on the parks with the potential to...
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Bank's plans unclear after LaSalle buy: Bank of America unlikely to grow local retail biz, but lending office should stay, industry observers sayRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
But here in Indianapolis, where LaSalle's lone location is a downtown commercial lending office, banking observers don't expect Bank of America retail outlets to follow. "I don't think [Indianapolis] will be a primary focus, at least not in the near term," said Tom Kersting, an Edward Jones analyst in St. Louis who follows the bank. "Their main purpose in making the purchase was getting the Chicago presence. That was the last major market they were lacking." Even so, observers say...
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Embattled city to get lift from resurgence of Remy:Restricted Content

October 22, 2007
B e a t e n - d ow n Anderson finally has some good auto-related news: Remy International Inc., headquartered in the industrial city of 60,000, is poised to survive- perhaps even thrive-thanks to a bankruptcy reorganization plan that halves its debt, along with other moves that make it more competitive. "Frankly, I think this is a great piece of information for Anderson," Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith said of the company's trip through bankruptcy court, which is expected to...
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India deal boosts BastianRestricted Content

October 22, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Little more than a decade ago, Bastian Material Handling had annual sales of less than $35 million. Since 2000, its revenue has doubled, to $80 million, and its business interests don't just cross the state, they circle the globe.
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EYE ON THE PIE: This may not be beginning of the endRestricted Content

October 15, 2007
Morton Marcus
"The sky is falling, the sun may not rise tomorrow, the eternal verities are in doubt." So said the Prophet standing in the public park. Lunch-hour office workers and shoppers strolled past or relaxed on benches. The speaker was seen as a nut, an unfortunate member of the homeless class, driven by drugs to disgrace and dissolute dialogue. But I knew better. This was Phil Prophet, formerly one of the leading mortgage lenders in the state, a regular Rotarian, a...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Perceptions of manufacturing don't match realityRestricted Content

October 15, 2007
Mike Hicks
There's no way to miss the dramatic loss of manufacturing employment Indiana has experienced in the past generation. Since about 1980, there has been a roughly 60-percent drop in the number of manufacturing workers in the state. Why is this so? Many Hoosiers blame globalization for these job losses (even if they support free trade). There's plenty of anecdotal evidence by way of Chinese-made toys. But once you get past this anecdote, the data tells a very different story. The...
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IU, state pushing regulators to halt sale of I-Light vendorRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Indiana University and the state's Office of Technology have sought an emergency order from regulators to halt a Colorado company's further assimilation of an Indianapolis fiber provider it bought Oct. 1.
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Patent dispute threatens Suros Surgical Systems: Consultant claims key role in biopsy innovationRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
An intellectual property tussle dating back to the origins of Suros Surgical Systems Inc. is threatening to become more than a headache for the local medicaldevice maker. Founded in 2000, Suros was one of the fastest-growing high-tech startups in Indianapolis history. Its machine for minimally invasive breast biopsies now rings up more than $43 million in annual sales. Such success attracted deep-pocketed suitors, and Suros was acquired in July 2006 for a whopping $240 million by Bedford, Mass.-based Hologic Inc....
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why the nation's union movement is in declineRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Mike Hicks
The recent United Auto Workers strike against General Motors Corp. provides a good backdrop for considering the collapse of the union movement, and its causes. Back in the early 1970s, about one in four workers belonged to a union. Unions and union interests were powerful. Then, as now, unions came in two flavors-trade and industrial. Trade unions serve a critical role in the functioning of markets. Employers of carpenters, welders, masons, plumbers and a host of others rely upon unions...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Good news about Indiana economyRestricted Content

October 1, 2007
Morton Marcus
What do most people concerned with economic development want to see? More jobs at better pay. How can we tell if we are getting there? Simply by looking at what is happening to earnings. Earnings divided by the number of jobs equals average earnings per job. Hence, with elementary school arithmetic, we can say that earnings equals the number of jobs multiplied by the average earning per job, exactly the two indicators of economic development that most folks want to...
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VIEWPOINT: Avoiding Chinese 'fifth-shipment' folliesRestricted Content

September 24, 2007
Benjamin A.
The recent announcement by the Indianapolis company Gilchrist and Soames that it would recall its privately branded toothpaste because of concerns regarding its diethylene glycol content is a small part of a larger global concern about the quality standards of goods made in China. The same week, Mattel recalled more than 9.5 million U.S. toys over concerns about the use of lead paint. Many Indiana firms rely on a steady stream of qualified products from China, so now seems a...
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Hilbert taking on tanning nicheRestricted Content

September 24, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Less than two years after New Sunshine LLC was bought by a group led by former Conseco Inc. CEO Stephen Hilbert, its Australian Gold division has acquired its top two competitors, amassing 80 percent of the indoor suntan lotion market.
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Relocation survey says: 'Go [Mid]west,' young executive: Companies are sending more of their employees to the region; overseas transfers are also on the increaseRestricted Content

September 17, 2007
Scott Olson
Midwestern cities are unlikely to top the list of vacationing hot spots, but they are a popular destination for relocating employees. That's the consensus from the latest Corporate Relocation Survey conducted annually by Evansville-based Atlas World Group, whose largest subsidiary is Atlas Van Lines, the second-largest interstate motor carrier in the United States. The study revealed that nearly a third of firms, 29 percent, are sending more employees to the Midwest than any other part of the country. Surprisingly, the...
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