Catasauqua Press

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ben Franklin Tech approves $292,260 in area investments

Friday, April 14, 2017 by The Press in Business Showcase

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP-NEP) Board of Directors has approved the investment of $292,260 in support of regional economic development.

The following are in the Lehigh Valley or partnered in the Lehigh Valley.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investment. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers.

FMI, Allentown. University Partner: Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center. Ben Franklin Investment $25,000 to upgrade FMI’s Enterprise Resource Planning system to accommodate growth so the company can operate more efficiently and access new opportunities with larger customers. FMI provides contract manufacturing for clients in the skin care, personal care, hair care, and pet care markets.

Interstate Building Materials, Pittston, Luzerne County. University Partner: Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center. Ben Franklin Investment $25,000 to develop labor-time standards that will allow the company to develop more accurate labor costing at this manufacturer of custom windows and doors made from vinyl and composites.

JSM, Kutztown, Berks County. University Partner: Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center. Ben Franklin Investment $25,000 to Increase productivity in the laser imaging department at this full-service marketing communications company. The work will enhance manufacturing and technology processes designed to improve quality and customer return on investment in various print and mail campaigns.

Spray-Tek, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County. College Partner: Northampton Community College Emerging Technology Applications Center. Ben Franklin Investment $25,000 to complete development of a new encapsulation process at this provider of contract spray-drying for consumer goods companies. Spray drying transforms liquid suspensions into a free-flowing, ultra-fine powder by drying with a hot gas in less than 20 seconds. The method is utilized in the production of many thermally sensitive materials such as foods and pharmaceuticals.

Unicast Company, www.unicastco.com, Boyertown, Berks County. College Partner: Northampton Community College Emerging Technology Applications Center Ben Franklin Investment $17,260 to conduct an energy assessment of the operation at this custom manufacturer of grey iron castings and provide environmental assistance. Energy is a significant cost for foundries, so energy reduction and other cost savings measures will help Unicast to remain globally competitive.

Wacker Chemical Corp., Allentown. University Partner: Lehigh University Enterprise Systems Center. Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 to employ advanced analytics tools to create a predictive maintenance system to improve manufacturing operations at this producer of polymeric binders and additives. These products are used in a variety of products including paint, adhesives, and textiles. The predictive maintenance system will provide the company with significant savings.

Since beginning operation, BFTP-NEP has helped to create 16,986 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 23,761 existing jobs, to start 482 new companies, and to develop 1,433 new products and processes.

Since 2007, BFTP-NEP clients have generated $1.4243 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

BFTP-NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator-post-incubator facility at Lehigh University, Bethlehem. BFTP-NEP also manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center, Bloomsburg, Columbia County.