Italian robotics manufacturer coming to Delaware County
An Italy-based manufacturer of robotic finishing machines is establishing its North American headquarters in Delaware County, officials announced Tuesday. Trebi will set up its initial office space in the Innovation Connector complex in Muncie. Delaware County Director of Economic and Municipal Affairs Bradley Bookout says while the financial investment in the company’s plans is undetermined, Trebi is definitely looking at growth in the county with future plans for warehousing and manufacturing space.
“They will be first setting up a sales office at the Innovation Connector in Delaware County for purposes of showing their product and starting to introduce their product to different corporations and companies around North America,” Bookout said.
Trebi manufactures robotic equipment used to automate production processes typically considered to be dangerous or dirty jobs.
The company is based in Brescia, Italy, and Bookout said about 40 people work at that location specifically to manufacture the robotic equipment, which is built one at a time.
“That takes a lot of training to have those people in place,” he said. “So, their intentions are fully to duplicate that over time in the United States. They want to have a facility of equal size and equal stature and equal employment opportunities here, employing skilled people in technical positions.”
The effort to bring Trebi to Delaware County has been several months in the making and included a visit by county officials to Italy last October to tour the Trebi facility.
Bookout credited what he called the aggressive work by the Delaware County commissioners to attract international business to the county as the primary reason for Trebi’s decision to set up shop in Muncie.
“This is not an incentive-based driven project. We don’t focus as much on waving the biggest check to land the company. It’s more about a relationship based business attraction effort that we work on in Delaware County.”
Trebi also has plans to work in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College’s campus in Muncie, which operates a robotics training facility with the goal of finding skilled workers to eventually manufacture the robotic equipment in Muncie.
“It’s very encouraging that Trebi will work with Ivy Tech Community College, a great resource, in establishing its local presence,” Delaware County Commissioner James King said in written remarks. “Being able to watch Trebi grow its customer base, knowing that they call Delaware County home is a win for the company and our community. The need for their product from coast to coast is exponential.”
Bookout said Trebi has a business development manager that will begin his work in Muncie next week. Ultimately, he said the goal is for the company to have a 20,000-30,000-square-foot space that will serve as a warehouse for existing equipment coming from Italy before ramping up into its own U.S. manufacturing operation.
Muncie is already home to several Italy-based companies, including Muncie Power Products, a subsidiary of Interpump Group, and Filtrec, which detailed plans last year to establish its North American HQ just south of the city.