Triton

Triton Metal Products planned to start construction this month on a $1.5 million expansion of its Hamilton plant that will increase its space a little more than 20%.

In addition to 20,000 more square feet, the 93,000-square-foot facility will get $8.1 million in new equipment to increase its production capacity and position it for business growth, which is expected to increase the size of its workforce more than 10%.

The new equipment — from laser cutters to robotic welders — will be installed in a way that helps streamline production as it implements a plan developed with help from Purdue University Fort Wayne to improve efficiency through the use of technology and automation systems.

“Almost all that is involved in helping to automate processing in some way, shape or form,” John Freudenberger, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.

“All of our customers are growing and expecting more of us,” he said. “We find that anybody can go out and purchase more machines, but not everybody can go out and find the best solutions and bring the best practices and best talent together.”

Triton is building a best-in-class company culture with a goal to establish itself as the best place to work in the state, and it is looking to attract top talent, Freudenberger said.

It expects to exceed an incentive agreement with Indiana Economic Development Corp. to increase its workforce by 13 positions in the next five years as well as a local incentive agreement calling for five of those positions to be added within the next year, he said.

“The incentives from state, regional and local sources create a tremendous opportunity for us,” Freudenberger said in a statement.

“At Triton, we’re all about making a meaningful difference in the lives of our team, our community and our customers. These funds help us to do just that,” he said.

“It is a privilege to invest the money back into our team, to provide our Tritons the best wages, the best training, the best culture and the best work environment. We live by our brand positioning ‘Minds + Machines’ to attract the very best talent.”

The town of Hamilton has offered the company $178,651 in tax abatements and the IEDC. has offered up to $90,000 in conditional tax credits, which Triton will be able to claim as its workforce grows.

Northeast Indiana Works also has offered help with talent recruitment and training, including computer workshops.

“Indiana leads the country in manufacturing jobs per capita, and businesses like Triton Metal Products are what keep that reputation strong by growing and creating more great career opportunities for Hoosiers,” Elaine Bedel, IEDC president, said in the statement.

“This expansion will ensure the company’s continued contributions to northeast Indiana, and I’m confident that our state’s 21st century workforce will enable Triton Metal Products’ success for years to come.”

Hamilton wants to help grow existing business as well as attract new employment to the town, and its support of the Triton project fits that economic development strategy, Brent Shull, town manager, said in the statement.

“Triton does a good job of investing in their employees, and providing more training helps them retain employees and raise their wages, which is good for the community,” he said.

“We’re always excited when we can facilitate a company’s expansion,” Isaac Lee, Steuben County Economic Development Corp.’s executive director, said in the statement.

“It’s gratifying to be able to couple a state grant with local tax abatements. Those two together are great encouragement for our local companies to expand.”

Triton makes metal parts for original equipment manufacturers in industries including agriculture, boating, construction, emergency response, food processing and health care.

In addition to production workers, the family business owned by three Freudenberger siblings plans to hire more engineers, customer service representatives and managers.

It expects to complete construction on the expansion this fall.

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