MEDC’s Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grant program provides companies with 50 percent reimbursement for qualifying I4.0 technology implementation costs
LANSING, Mich. – Twenty-three small manufacturers around Michigan have been awarded a total of nearly $500,000 to help them adopt Industry 4.0 technologies, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday. The funds are from the first round of awards as part of the $3 million Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grant program.
Grants will be reimbursement-based and will cover up to 50 percent of eligible technologies, including additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics and automation, and more. The amount of increased revenue as a result of implementing these technologies will be approximately $29.9 million, with an estimated 93 jobs created and 283 jobs retained.
“Michigan has always been ahead of the curve, from putting the wheels on wheels to Motown and creating the snowboard among other innovations. These grants are yet another way that we demonstrate our innovation spirit as we help prepare manufacturers to adopt new and innovative technologies for the future,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “By working with Automation Alley, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, our local partners, and communities, we are strengthening advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship, thereby creating jobs in this innovative sector for future generations of Michiganders.”
In April, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $3 million in awards for six nonprofit organizations to administer the implementation grants statewide. In addition, these organizations were tasked with promoting existing statewide resources to support Michigan small manufacturers with Industry 4.0 awareness and preparedness.
Grants were awarded to the following companies:
Bay Motor Products, based in Traverse City, manufactures gas fireplaces, ovens, refrigerators, drinking fountains, and more. Working with Networks Northwest, the company was awarded a $25,000 I4.0 grant that it plans to use to add a collaborative robot to a cell where an employee currently works, allowing that person to be reassigned to a more value-added manufacturing process.
“We greatly appreciate the generosity of the matching grant we received. We had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Manufacturing Technology Center on an I4 0 assessment, with the support of the MEDC,” said Bay Motor Products President Andy Robitshek. “Richard Wolin at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and his team helped our organization understand the opportunities available for us to grow our business and our team. This project will propel our future growth and success.”
Clips & Clamps Industries is a Plymouth-based metal forming manufacturer that provides full tooling design and build capabilities to its customers. Working with the Manufacturing Growth Alliance, the company received a $25,000 grant that it plans to use to automate several manufacturing processes needed for a new program – a project that is anticipated to create two new positions, as well as solidify 15 positions, and secure an additional $3 million in revenue.
“Clips & Clamps Industries is extremely grateful to have been selected to receive a 2022 Industry 4.0 implementation grant on behalf of the MEDC,” said Clips & Clamps President Jeffrey Aznavorian. “Continuing to focus on advancing technology and growing during these times of extreme supply chain and inflation volatility has been very challenging. This award will play a key part of our future success in implementing the manufacturing technologies of today and tomorrow.”
Grant applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are allocated. To learn more about the requirements of the program and to view the grant application, visit: michiganbusiness.org/industry4-0/grant.
The funding is part of an MEDC-led effort to ensure that 50 percent of Michigan manufacturers – or 6,200 businesses – are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025. Through the Industry 4.0 initiative that MEDC launched in 2020 in partnership with Automation Alley and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, the state aims to help small and mid-sized manufacturers prepare for the future of manufacturing. The initiative includes efforts to drive awareness statewide on the importance of Industry 4.0 readiness and technical support to help small- to medium-sized manufacturers. Industry 4.0 is defined as the convergence of digital and physical technologies, including artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, the Cloud, and cybersecurity.
In the first year of the state’s Industry 4.0 initiative, the program exceeded initial goals by reaching more than 1,400 businesses through programming, events, training, and technology assessments.
“Through these grants, we are providing much-needed financial assistance to help small manufacturers in every corner of the state adopt Industry 4.0 technologies that will prove critical to their future success and growth,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Small Business Solutions Natalie Chmiko. “We’re confident that by implementing these solutions, manufacturers can transform their culture for the future of manufacturing while also making positive impacts to operational processes, labor utilization or energy consumption.”
The Industry 4.0 initiative aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus area of advanced manufacturing and extends Michigan’s rich manufacturing heritage and technological know-how to develop the innovative, high-tech products of the future. With the fifth-largest advanced manufacturing workforce in the country and more than 13,000 workers employed in industries related to Industry 4.0 and automation – the most in the nation – this effort also secures continued opportunity and stability for Michigan’s manufacturing workforce for years to come.