Monday, January 26, 2015

Latest technology coming to Anderson TWI expanding Noblesville operations

ANDERSON – A Noblesville company expanding into Anderson is bringing a 3-D printing manufacturer and will work in partnership with the Purdue College of Technology.

The company, TWI, is bringing a recent breakthrough in manufacturing to Anderson Innovation Center on 53rd Street, officials said.

The Anderson Board of Public Works on Tuesday approved a $100,000 grant to TWI and $50,000 to the Purdue College of Technology. The funding comes from food and beverage tax revenues.

Greg Winkler, director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said this is a great educational opportunity for students in Anderson and Madison County to see what the latest innovations in technology is capable of doing.

He said this is the first phase in the expansion of TWI that will hire two people with an annual payroll of $70,000.

“What we’re doing is leveraging the technology,” Winkler said.

Timothy Weatherford, vice president of TWI, said the company has been located in Noblesville for eight years and started 3-D printing four years ago. The company has 12 employees.

He said the company is supplying parts to Rolls Royce, GE and Cummins.

Weatherford said the 3-D printing manufacturing process builds products up and he displayed several items the company produced.

3D Printing or additive manufacturing creates products by placing thin layers of material on top of each other to create a finished shape based on a computer generated model.

“Anderson was a manufacturing intensive city,” Cindie Weatherford, CEO of TWI, said of expanding into Madison County. “We wanted to bring the latest and greatest technology back to Anderson. We want to make it a hub again for manufacturing.”

Winkler said a second phase could be announced in a few months.

The $50,000 grant to Purdue is for construction of a classroom and engineering lab at the Anderson Innovation Center, Winkler said.

Corey Sharp, director of the Purdue College of Technology at Anderson, said Purdue University wants to bring robotic and automation degrees to all its schools in the state.

“We want students to learn by doing,” he said. “This new manufacturing technology is the future for our students.”

Sharp said students will be working alongside engineers for the different companies in Anderson.

“This will be a recruitment tool to bring students to the Purdue College of Technology in Anderson,” he said.