ARMSTRONG, Iowa – Art’s Way Manufacturing was awarded $500,000 through the Manufacturing 4.0 grant managed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The program was created following the pandemic in order to incorporate more technology into manufacturing. The strategic plan is to position Iowa companies for prosperity as we enter the 4th Industrial Revolution. They anticipate AI and automation to play a primary role in that future. The program requires a 25% company match of funds.
“Our Manufacturing 4.0 initiative focuses on one of Iowa’s largest industries, and will help them unleash new potential to grow their businesses,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “To maintain our economic vitality in this sector, particularly as we work to mitigate ongoing workforce shortages, these grants serve as a critical resource to support advanced manufacturing businesses. It is imperative that our businesses remain globally competitive and a step ahead of the evolving demands of the 21st century economy.”
Art's Way is using the grant money to purchase and integrate robotic weld cells into its production process. This includes robotic welders, tables, tablets, fixtures and personnel training. Partial use of the funds will also assist with a high def plasma and CNC break press addition. Additionally, we can upgrade our ERP system to use handheld scanners. Follow Art's Way on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) for updates as we work to launch this new equipment into our factory.
"We are able to implement robotics technology in key areas of the facility and replace some outdated machining and metal working equipment at a much quicker pace to take advantage of the improved quality and efficiency while filling the labor shortage gaps,” said Brian Wrightsman Vice President of Operations at Art's Way. “It is also helping us provide the training tools and material to benefit our operators while attracting new talent to the organization."
Integrating this new technology throughout our plant will create efficiencies for our dedicated staff. We are building through our largest backlog in history to meet the needs of our dealer partners and producers.