Six Indiana wood industry firms awarded $820,000 in technology grants
December 22, 2021 | 12:40 pm CST
Fred Smith Store Fixtures shop floor

Fred Smith Store Fixtures received a $200,000 grant toward investing in automation to format, profile, and edge workpieces into a single production run.

INDIANAPOLIS – A half-dozen businesses with strong ties to the wood industry are among 44 Indiana businesses to receive Manufacturing Readiness Grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in partnership with Conexus Indiana.

The Manufacturing Readiness Grants program was launched in 2020 to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing industry. This year’s grant recipients serve a variety of specialties including entertainment and décor, industrial applications, injection molding, and medical devices.

The six wood industry companies, which received a total of $820,000 in matching grants, represent a wide range of activities spanning from logging through store fixture manufacturing. They include:

  • Buchan Logging Inc. (Adams County; $50,000 grant award) is a logging operation that produces veneer, rift, and quarter sawn logs. The company is purchasing a tech-enabled timber harvesting machine to adopt mechanical felling techniques in modern hardwood harvesting.
  • Buchan Sawmill Inc. (Allen County; $150,000 grant award) is a hardwood lumber manufacturer specializing in walnut, oak, hickory, ash, and maple from Indiana sources. The company is implementing a machine vision system to electronically manage and execute saw cuts, which will minimize waste and maximize lumber efficiency.
  • Fred Smith Store Fixtures Inc. (Harrison County; $200,000 grant award) is a supplier of HPL and TFL products for the office furniture, hotel/motel, hospitality, and healthcare industries. The company is investing in automation to format, profile, and edge workpieces into a single production run.
  • Trim A Door Corp. (St. Joseph County; $150,000 grant award) is a manufacturer of pre-hung doors and custom millwork. The company is investing in an automated paint line with machine vision.
  • Robert Weed Corp. (Elkhart County; $120,000 grant award) is a manufacturer and distributor of wood products, mouldings, and laminated products for multiple industries including boats, furniture, kitchen and bath cabinets, RVs, and walk-in trucks. The company is implementing a 3D vision system for identifying material and product defects.
  • Wood-Mizer LLC (Ripley County; $150,000 grant award) is a manufacturer of equipment for the timber and woodworking industries. The company is investing in cobots to automate repetitive welding and fabrication tasks.
     

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Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.