Manufacturing & Technology

VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: More businesses can benefit from a doctor in the houseRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
Christopher S.
Fifty years ago, a sick or injured worker in a manufacturing plant did not have to leave work to get care-the worker simply went to the plant clinic and saw the company doctor. Today, the idea of the company clinic is making a come back, but with a new emphasis on wellness and prevention. health recommendations and concerns. In some cases, these routine visits can lead to the discovery of potentially serious conditions that might have otherwise gone unnoticed and...
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Throttling up for big job cuts at Rolls-Royce?: Local impact of international job reductions isn't clearRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
Chris O\'malley
The more than 4,000 employees at the region's second-largest manufacturer are waiting to learn whether some will lose their jobs. Rolls-Royce Group PLC plans to cut up to 2,300 U.S. and European positions. The British aerospace company on Jan. 11 said it plans to slash its work force by almost 6 percent among managerial, professional and clerical ranks. It blames rising raw material costs and the declining value of the U.S. dollar. First-half 2007 profits of $600 million were roughly...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Legislators avoiding games as they tackle tax reformRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Ed Feigenbaum
People outside the legislative process finally are understanding that there is no perfect solution to the property tax reform dilemma, that it is not a zero-sum game, that there will be winners and losers, and that this is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. What they still do not realize is how hard legislators are working to accommodate the legitimate concerns of homeowners, governmental units and schools, businesses, and agricultural interests, and how difficult it is to assemble a package...
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City emerging as drug distribution hub: Medco Health Solutions deal latest boon to growing subsector in Indiana's life sciences development effortsRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Thanks to a series of major economic development wins, Indianapolis is enjoying a pharmaceutical distribution business hot streak. Life sciences industry leaders hope to keep the sizzle burning in 2008 and beyond. "It's not something we're hoping we can do someday. It's something we're already doing now," said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson. "We're simply trying to expand the footprint of what we're doing." Pharmaceutical logistics has become a big business. According to the Arlington, Va.-based Healthcare Distribution Management Association, U.S....
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Growing biomed firm rolls with the changes: Under string of owners, Seradyn develops niche producing immunoassaysRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Scott Olson
Life sciences firm Seradyn Inc. on Georgetown Road has endured a revolving door of owners in the 30-some years since its inception. But what hasn't changed is its dedication to developing immunoassays for medical purposes. Immunoassays are chemical tests used to detect or quantify a specific substance-the analyte-in a blood or body fluid sample. Seradyn develops and manufactures assays that use antibodies to measure drug concentrations in the bloodstream. In the past 10 years, Seradyn has developed 15 such products...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana being stamped with wrong imageRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Morton Marcus
Blessed be our friends at the U.S. Postal Service. They do a great job of collecting and distributing the mail. They face strong competition from private carriers and from the Internet, but they continue to serve the public well. Then, too, USPS always looks for new ways to honor America and Americans through the issuance of new stamps. If a particular series catches on, they can make a pretty penny by selling stamps that are never used. That's why USPS...
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NY Times job helps ACS Sign gain attentionRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
ACS Sign System's unusual approach to sign-making--some are not strictly signs at all--has helped the company grow its revenue and expand its footprint beyond Indiana. In recent years, sales outside its home state have grown from 20 percent of total revenue to almost half.
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INVESTING: Look to battered sectors for bargain investmentsRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
This was a puzzling year for investors. It began with ample lowcost money available to borrowers and record-low volatility across markets. It will end with a credit crunch hobbling financial firms and a market punctuated by volatile spurts. And yet despite this significant shift in market character, the major averages will end the year with modest positive gains. The year began with a sort of benign complacency for investors, as stocks had been on a smooth upward trajectory since the...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why state's job growth is better than neighbors'Restricted Content

December 24, 2007
Mike Hicks
For the past week or so, I have been flooded by phone calls from colleagues in Illinois and Michigan, chortling over a new marketing campaign launched by Hoosiers. The privately financed billboards and radio spots ask businesses and residents whether they are tired of high taxes and unresponsive government. If so, they are invited to "Come on IN" to Indiana. It's high-order fun this holiday season. Indiana sits as a small island of growth in the Midwest, and it is...
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Union push under way at 2 Indianapolis hotels: They would be first to unionize in central IndianaRestricted Content

December 24, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Employees at two Indianapolis hotels have begun a push to unionize-a move that, if successful, would make the properties the only union hotels in central Indiana. Several workers at the downtown Westin and the Keystone Sheraton have met with representatives of New York-based Unite Here, a labor group that represents about 440,000 hospitality and textile employees nationwide. Both hotels are part of Bethesda, Md.-based Host Hotels & Resorts Inc.'s global portfolio. Backers said a union is needed to raise wages...
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Century-old manufacturer cleans up on dirty waterRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
One hundred and one years ago, Cole Stickle convinced the Langsenkamp family to help him start a company based on a technology few understood--turning water into steam power. Five generations later, the 15-employee operation continues to thrive.
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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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