Month: September 2018

Crane Flexible Manufacturing Complex Nears Completion

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana

Crane originally began as an ammunition depot site to produce and manufacture munitions in 1941, now nearly 80 years later, manufacturing at Crane continues to be prominent economic driver — though the processes and technologies have greatly evolved.

Our entire region has a rich history of manufacturing. Manufacturing makes up 32 percent of our workforce with more than 20,000 people employed in the industry. When one thinks manufacturing, Jasper Engines, Kimball, and General Motors probably come to mind, but advanced manufacturing is thriving at Crane Army Ammunition Activity as well.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity is the second-largest tenant of NSA Crane and employs 700 over people. Crane Army works to safely receive, inspect, store, ship, renovate, demilitarize, and manufacture conventional ammunition, missiles, and related components to support the Army and Joint Force readiness. It occupies over 51,000 acres of land and 4.8 million square feet in storage and manufacturing buildings.

Crane Army’s new Crane Flexible Manufacturing Complex (CFMC) is a multi-million dollar investment currently under construction at the base, and is part of the Army’s modernization strategy to upgrade existing workplaces and increase efficiency. The total site for the complex is around 46 acres with three main, co-located, production buildings and a variety of support buildings dedicated to advanced manufacturing. After renovations are completed, the upgrades will give production lines and projects improved production rates.

The CFMC will initially provide the manufacturing space to service the M1122 artillery round, which processes old conventional munition rounds and reuses the shells to create low-cost training projectiles for the Army. Previously, this type of job had to be completed in several separate areas, and now can all be done at the CFMC. With the entire production process modernized, operations will have a better flow from start to finish. Previously, Crane Army was forced to rely on trucks to move production from one point to another, slowing down completion times and increasing logistics costs.

This type of investment is a testament to the strength of manufacturing in our region and will continue to provide jobs for the skilled workforce that helps drive our economy. Production at CFMC is slated to be fully functional and operational by 2019, and a ribbon cutting will be held when the complex is nearing completion.

Crane’s Innovation Program Expands Research and Opportunities for the Region

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana

As the state’s only federal laboratory, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division is entrusted to develop the high-level technologies that are critical to our military missions, and to provide superior capabilities for our service men and women.

Each year, NSWC Crane goes above and beyond its mission requirements to further capitalize on the research and development being conducted by some of the best and brightest scientists and engineers in the field. Through a $14 million annual program from the National Defense Authorization Act Section 219, Crane is able to fund additional research, technology transition and workforce development programs that can impact overall scientific research and also can make a difference to our region.

Crane’s Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) program panel was established to select which programs and projects will receive funding from the program each year. The panel recently met to review the 142 proposals submitted this year, and selected 47 finalists to present and answer questions on their project. Each project is judged on key factors such as alignment with Navy and base goals, importance, workforce impact, and collaboration with existing Crane and Navy divisions and departments.

Project ranging from microelectronics to advanced countermeasures deployment were among those selected for funding this year, but another program, in collaboration with Bloomington High School South, shows the reach and scope of the program that can make a local impact.

Through this program, students from the BHHS robotics team will design a mobile and remotely controlled robotic base structure to meet government detailed specifications. The final product the students create will be used by the U.S. Government for technology demonstration and evaluation.

The intention of this mutually beneficial collaboration is to inspire and support a new generation with the challenges of the ever-growing field of robotics. While the Crane team is inspired by the fresh perspective the students bring, the students will benefit from their Crane connection as they enter the workforce and pursue a career in technology.

The NISE program is a game changer for Crane in that it provides an internal research and development program and affords the flexibility to conduct research that might otherwise not be funded. Projects selected by the NISE panel pair senior scientists with junior scientists, and in the case of BHHS, student participants; creating the building blocks of future scientists and strengthening our Radius Indiana region. Radius applauds Crane and all the forward thinkers, entrepreneurs and inventors who will lead our next generation workforce.

Radius Indiana Visits Cleveland for Site Selector Trip

BEDFORD, Ind. (Sept. 7, 2018) — Radius Indiana traveled to Cleveland last week to meet with site selectors and share the advantages of doing business in the Radius region. This was Radius’s third site selector trip to Cleveland, and the organization is continuing its outreach program efforts that began in 2016.

Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle met with six site selectors during the trip. Agribusiness in the region was one of the topics of interest for the site selectors, Quyle was able to highlight the existing businesses and opportunities along the supply chain in the area.

Radius Indiana’s agricultural sector is a state leader in poultry production and grain processing. With abundant farmland and sites for commercial development the region has a well-established agriculture infrastructure that enables companies to set up operations and get products to market quickly.

“The Radius message was more fun to deliver than usual this summer because of the many positive project announcements and events we’ve had take place in recent weeks,” said Quyle.  “From Eagle Rail in Washington to Lehigh in Mitchell to SIMCO in Crawford County, or the Parklands of Jasper, there are visible signs of the pro-active spirit of the region.”

Radius Indiana will continue its outreach program efforts with more site selector trips to finish 2018 and into 2019. The organizations first international trip to Japan will take place this October, and is an opportunity to bring foreign direct investment to the Radius region.

“We continue to see a positive impact on our region through site selector trips,” said Quyle. “Being able to highlight different industry sectors that are important to our counties is something that Radius will continue to do as well as continuing to spread education about what we have to offer.”


ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.