HOUGHTON — The Houghton-based MTEC SmartZone was recently awarded a $36,000 grant from the Business Accelerator Fund to assist a tenant company, Endres Machining Innovations, which develops innovative tooling products for the metal-cutting industry.

The BAF grant is going to help EMI launch their first product line.

The BAF is administered by the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC). It provides grants to business incubators to help them provide specialized assistance to early stage technology companies in their region that have high potential to create jobs.

EMI developed a rotary-tool system used for machining automotive powertrain components, including engine blocks, engine heads and differential carriers. EMI developed the tool system with marketing, sales and finance partner, Rotary Technologies Corp., located in California and Wixom.

EMI’s focus is on high-value, difficult-to-machine materials like titanium, nickel alloys, stainless steels, compacted-graphite iron, hardened steel, and highly abrasive materials like composites. EMI’s tooling products yield substantial productivity improvements to manufacturers around the world.

“I set out to develop game-changing, hard technologies that allow machines and the people running them to cut faster and with tools that last much longer,” EMI President Bill Endres said. “Our rotary tool system allows higher cutting speeds by reducing the thermal load on the cutting edge. The result is significantly higher material removal rates.”

EMI is using the BAF grant to cover the installation of and employee training for new, state-of-the-art machining and gaging equipment that will allow them to increase production significantly.

MTEC SmartZone Program Director Jonathon Leinonen worked with EMI to secure the BAF grant.

“The BAF is designed to help broaden Michigan’s capabilities in the technology-based industrial sector. This award provides EMI with the ability to demonstrate its advanced manufacturing capabilities to a global market, served from the Upper Peninsula,” Leinonen said. “This helps build the base of technology jobs to support Michigan’s long-term economy.”

In the past year and a half, MTEC SmartZone has successfully secured six BAF grants for local companies.

According to Phil Tepley, director of technology commercialization services for MI-SBTDC, “MTEC SmartZone continues to maximize the impact of the program by committing clients that make the most compelling case, and by executing ambitious BAF projects that establish and strengthen synergies between their clients, the university, and other established companies in the region.”

The Business Accelerator Fund is a two-year, $3 million fund available to participating business incubators statewide. It is funded by Michigan Economic Development Corp.

For more information about the Business Accelerator Fund, visit http://misbtdc.org. For more information about Endres Machining Innovations, visit http://endresmachining.com.


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