Indiana Adds to its Orthopedic Manufacturing Cluster

Iotron of Canada plans to build $15 million electron-beam treatment facility.

Port Coquitlam, British Columbia-based Iotron Industries Canada Inc. said it plans to build an electron-beam treatment facility in Columbia City, Ind.

The company will invest more than $15.3 million to construct a 54,000-square-foot facility in the Park 30 Business Center, a shovel-ready park near Fort Wayne. The new operation will create up to 20 jobs by 2012, according to the company.

Iotron is a provider of contract sterilization services to the medical industry, materials modification in the production of orthopedic products, and pest and microbial reduction for agribusiness. The company's electron-beam treatment process serves medical products and products used in the agribusiness industry. In addition, the company's technology is used for advanced applications such as composite curing in the defense and manufacturing industries.

"When Iotron commenced the process of expanding the company's operations, Indiana held a good deal of interest in this expansion due to the state's leading position in the orthopedic industry and its business-friendly environment," said Joseph Rangel, chief executive officer of Iotron. "Indiana enthusiastically supported our expansion into the Hoosier State, and Iotron looks forward to helping the state expand its competitive position and assist in attracting companies requiring electron beam processing of their products."

The company expects to break ground on the new Iotron Industries USA facility in early 2011, with major construction to be completed by late 2011. The company's hiring will begin in January 2011 to begin training selected Indiana-based employees in specialized electron-beam processing methods at Iotron's Canadian facilities before the Columbia City facility is operational.

'Orthopedic Capital of the World'

Iotron cited the industrial park's "multibillion-dollar orthopedic manufacturing cluster" as a factor in its decision to locate in the area.

"While the Warsaw region is already recognized as the orthopedic capital of the world, the addition of a sterilization facility in the region adds a key component to the existing value chain of our orthopedics industry," said Brad Bishop, executive director of OrthoWorx. OrthoWorx is a Warsaw, Ind.-based, industry, community and education initiative established to advance and support growth and innovation within the region's orthopedics device sector. "Iotron's location of a sterilization facility in northern Indiana adds an important capability to the cluster, as well adding new high-tech jobs for residents in our region."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) offered Iotron up to $200,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company's job-creation plans. Whitley County worked with three other counties to aggregate $7 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, as well as other local incentives at the request of the Whitley County Economic Development Corp.

Iotron says its electron-beam technology "can modify the physical, chemical, molecular and biological properties of materials and products, improving their usefulness and enhancing their value."

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