Ben Franklin to Invest $220,000 in Regional Economy

Ben Franklin to Invest $220,000 in Regional Economy

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors has approved the investment of $210,000 in manufacturers to support regional economic development. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation. Investments identified as continuation projects indicate that the client achieved pre-determined milestones and is receiving more funding to accomplish additional project work.


Cougle’s Recycling, Inc., Hamburg, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: $16,000
University Partner: Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center
Develop a technical and economic analysis of various process methodologies to convert waste plastic to hydrocarbon oil at this post-consumer and post-industrial recycler. There is a growing problem with the environmentally conscious handling of recyclable and non-recyclable plastics. This issue has been exacerbated by the limited demand in domestic and foreign markets. Cougle’s seeks an efficient and responsible method to manage the waste stream.


FMI, Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: continuation project $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Upgrade FMI’s Enterprise Resource Planning system to accommodate growth so the company can operate more efficiently and serve larger customers. FMI provides contract manufacturing for a wide range of clients in the skin care, personal care, hair care, and pet care markets. Its materials are sold throughout the world and comprise products in most major domestic retailers.


Heyco Metals, Inc., Reading, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: continuation project $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Analyze business processes and requirements, and then select and implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning system. Heyco Metals is a precision mill that produces copper and copper alloy coil and stainless steel strip to exacting specifications, primarily for electronic connectors and consumer electronics.


Lamtec Corporation, Mt. Bethel, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: continuation project $19,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete the design of a new material handling system and improve the company’s manufacturing changeover process. Lamtec is a global supplier of insulation vapor retarders and facings to leading manufacturers, laminators, and fabricators of fiberglass, rock wool, foam board, and tape.


Misco Products Corporation, Reading, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: continuation project $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Evaluate the current manufacturing process, office area, and warehouse operations to develop a facility master plan for projected space requirements that will handle current and future needs for the next five years. Misco products manufactures cleaning and maintenance chemicals for the industrial, food service, health care, and institutional markets.


PMA-13, Inc., Allentown, Lehigh County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research
Select a new Enterprise Resource Planning system at this producer of signage for government organizations, hospitals, and companies. The new system will streamline and simplify processes to accommodate anticipated growth.


Polytek® Development Corp., Easton, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Optimize space utilization for this manufacturer of liquid rubbers and casting resins based on specialty polymers including polyurethane, silicone, and epoxy chemistries. The work will increase throughput, improve efficiency and control of yield, and enhance distribution functions to address continued growth.


SOLO Laboratories, Inc., Kutztown, Berks County
Ben Franklin Investment: continuation project $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Increase capacity in the current facility and implement process improvements and quality measures to improve and grow this manufacturer of custom prescription orthotics and foot and ankle braces.


Tower Products, Inc., Palmer Township, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: continuation project $25,000
University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center
Complete implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system to meet customer requirements more efficiently at this manufacturer of environmentally sensitive offset and flexographic pressroom chemistry products.


About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by investing in and linking companies with experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. It is part of a four-center economic development initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.


BFTP/NEP’s strategy encompasses three key areas:


  1. developing and growing early-stage technology-oriented companies;

  2. supporting established manufacturers as they creatively apply new technology to help them succeed globally by producing better, cheaper, and faster;

  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that supports Pennsylvania’s business technology ecosystem.

Since beginning operations in 1983, BFTP/NEP has helped to create 18,536 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and to retain 37,328 existing jobs, to start 520 new companies, and to develop 1,935 new products and processes. Since 2007, BFTP/NEP clients have generated $1.5597 billion in follow-on funding. The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.90 to the state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program.


BFTP/NEP owns, manages, and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem. BFTP/NEP also owns and manages the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center. Applying more than 30 years of experience and two international awards for excellence in business incubation, BFTP/NEP leads a 13-member business incubator network that is among the largest in the nation.