December 5, 2017

Stanley Black & Decker to open advanced manufacturing center in downtown Hartford

Jim Loree is president and CEO of New Britain-based Stanley Black & Decker Inc.
HBJ File Photo
One Constitution Plaza (foreground) and 100 Constitution (background).

New Britain toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker will announce Tuesday it plans to launch an advanced manufacturing center in downtown Hartford, in what will be the global manufacturer's first presence in the Capital City.

Called "Manufactory 4.0," the 23,000-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence will be located at One Constitution Plaza and employ approximately 50 industry professionals, the Hartford Business Journal has learned.

Stanley's Hartford office space is expected to open in the second quarter of 2018.

As part of the new Hartford site, Stanley has made a three-year commitment to partner with a startup accelerator, Techstars, to launch the STANLEY+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator.

Stanley's Hartford presence represents a significant win for downtown Hartford, which has been undergoing a revitalization in recent years with the opening of new apartments, the debut of Dunkin' Donuts Park and UConn's relocation to the former Hartford Times building.

This would also be the second accelerator to open downtown in recent months. An insurance technology accelerator, Hartford InsurTech Hub, recently launched at the Stilts Building, 20 Church St.

"Strong urban cores, and in particular a vibrant capital city, are essential to Connecticut's ability to thrive, which is why we decided to locate this important new initiative in Hartford," said Stanley CEO and President Jim Loree, adding that he worked closely with Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin on the project.

Of course, Hartford's progress has come against a backdrop of fiscal challenges for both the city and the state. Hartford was nearing insolvency before state lawmakers stepped in recently to provide the city with some additional financial aid.

Loree, in a written statement, referenced the state's fiscal challenges and the need to continue with progress in solving them.

"With the budget now passed, the hard work can begin to solve some of the state's structural fiscal challenges and put the state on a more sound economical path. We cannot lose the sense of urgency and must recognize that the state is at a critical juncture," he said.

Industry 4.0

Both the advanced manufacturing center and the accelerator are designed to accelerate what Stanley calls its "global industry 4.0 smart factory" initiative. Sudhi Bangalore will lead Stanley's new manufacturing tech center, serving as vice president of Industry 4.0. He was formerly with Indian technology company WIPRO.

Industry 4.0 is the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" – the automation of manufacturing that includes the internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics and advanced materials, said Stanley CFO Don Allan.

Stanley currently operates approximately 30 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., including three in Connecticut, with more than 100 manufacturing facilities globally. The company has three locations designated as "Lighthouse Factories," that have partially implemented Industry 4.0 across their facilities from manufacturing execution systems (MES), to 3D printing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

"Additive manufacturing is a field that is constantly evolving and will significantly change the manufacturing environment of the future," said Corbin Walburger, Stanley's vice president of business development. "[The] accelerator demonstrates our commitment to this emerging industry."

The mentorship-driven, entrepreneurial accelerator program will identify 10 startups in the additive manufacturing space to participate in the program in the program's first year, with the application process beginning in January.

Companies will co-locate at the Hartford accelerator site and have access to mentoring and resources to grow their ideas into viable businesses, and bring new technologies to market. Similar programs will be run in 2019 and 2020, with 30 potential startups completing the process.

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