PWR NORTH AMERICA LOOKS TO EXPAND INTO VEHICLE ELECTRIFICATION, AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES AND AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE.
C&R Racing built its more than 33-year reputation as a specialty machine and fabrication shop serving the IndyCar industry. When its close affiliation with Australia’s PWR brought it under the PWR umbrella in 2015 as PWR North America, the Indianapolis-based business took on a global reach with a larger, 46,000 square foot facility housing state-of-the-art manufacturing. Business grew to include a broad scope of engineering and design services for not only competitive race teams, but also niche performance and industrial vehicles with on-site manufacturing of high-performance aluminum radiators, oil coolers, intercoolers, supercharger heat exchangers, bare cores and cold plates.
ONSHORE MANUFACTURING AND POSITION THE COMPANY FOR EXPANSION. The intended technology investment involved integrating machine-vision verification techniques with an advanced laser cutting system. The effect would be to combine multiple manufacturing steps and quality validation into a streamlined, proprietary process that is truly “smart manufacturing” and provides PWR North America with a distinct and exclusive competitive edge. The parent company was onboard with underwriting the investment, and plans for additional personnel and training were being formulated. And then the pandemic happened.
Matching grants were available to Indiana companies willing to make operational investments to integrate smart technologies and processes that improve capacity, as well as companies willing to invest in health care manufacturing technology to support critical COVID-19 response. PWR’s integration of machine vision verification techniques with an advanced laser cutting machine met the requirements.
CREATE NEW EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: PWR NORTH AMERICA HIRED AN IN-HOUSE LASER MANUFACTURING EXPERT.
The technology investment added to the company’s personnel ranks, as well. The first new hire was a young engineer from Purdue University, whose primary job is to become the in-house laser manufacturing expert. As such, he will develop protocols for the equipment use and maintenance. He also will be responsible for recruiting and training the production operators, the individuals who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the equipment.
That, said Rasso, has been a real morale boost throughout the company. “People see that the company is still investing even during these certainly very scary times. We’re investing in expanding our business and [we want our employees] to feel good about where they work and know that we’re leaning into it and they ought to be leaning in, as well. We’ll succeed as a team.”
“We’re on the gas, and we’re not going to lift. And you know, the laser is really the first step on a much, much bigger plan for us to really grow capability here in Indianapolis. And then we’ll be off to the races.”
General Manager at PWR North America