Engine testing company to open facility in Purdue Research Park, create 30 jobs

Published: April 11, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Automotive Robotics Proving Labs Inc. and Purdue University officials on Wednesday (April 11) announced plans to open a nearly 50,000-square-foot engine test facility and create 30 jobs in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

The $10 million facility will be built on a five-acre site in the Purdue Research Park, north of Kalberer Road. A groundbreaking is scheduled for late spring, and the facility is expected to be complete and operational in mid-2013. The structure will house several test cells and prototype build areas that will facilitate testing and analysis of existing and new engine designs for Caterpillar Inc. like the engines produced at the company's facility in Lafayette, Ind. It will be owned and managed by the Peoria, Ill.-based Automotive Robotics Proving Labs, a company that specializes in the engineering services and natural gas and diesel engine testing.

"We are excited about expanding our relationship with Caterpillar on this important project and to develop a significant presence in the state of Indiana." said Ravi Gudapati, president of Automotive Robotics Proving Labs. "This new facility supports Caterpillar by performing state-of-the-art testing on engines that meet tough new emission and fuel economy requirements."

Indiana, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and Purdue Research Foundation officials have worked with Automotive Robotics Proving Labs and Caterpillar representatives from Lafayette for several months to bring the facility to the Greater Lafayette area.

"The realization of this new facility epitomizes the strong commitment we have to facilitating collaborations among industry and Purdue," said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation. "The project also will help leverage the research and development strengths of Automotive Robotics Proving Labs. They are the first high-tech company to build in the Phase 3 section of Purdue Research Park. In addition to the five acres to be developed for the facility, another five to 15 acres is available for future expansions."

The 725-acre Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette is the largest university-affiliated incubation complex in the country. Earlier development of Phase 1 and 2 in the park now supports about 160 companies and 3,200 jobs. The average annual wage for employees in the park network is $63,000.

"The opening of Automotive Robotics Proving Labs in this area is the fruition of several months of collaboration among several groups including the state of Indiana, Tippecanoe County and Purdue Research Park," said John Dennis, mayor of West Lafayette. "This facility creates high-quality jobs and opportunities for residents in the Greater Lafayette area."

Dan Hasler, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, said the state of Indiana works diligently to create an environment conducive to economic development.

"Automotive Robotics' decision to locate its newest facility in Indiana is testament to the magnetic effect Indiana has on innovative companies," Hasler said. "With the collaborative efforts of many partners, Indiana is able to provide the most advantageous business climate in the nation for nurturing emergent companies."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Automotive Robotics Proving Labs up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. Combined, Purdue Research Foundation, the state of Indiana, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County provided incentives totaling about $4.5 million in the form of training grants, land acquisition, sewage development and infrastructure construction to bring the project to Tippecanoe County.

Contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Sources:

Matt Hallam, 309-691-2533, mhallam@autorobinc.com

Joseph B. Hornett, 765-588-1040, jbhornett@prf.org

John Dennis, 765-775-5100, mayor@city.west-lafayette.in.us

PHOTO CAPTION

Automotive Robotics Proving Labs Inc. will open a 50,000-square-foot facility in the Purdue Research Park's Phase 3 land development area. Testing on existing and new engine designs for Caterpillar Inc. will be conducted in the facility. The structure is slated to open in 2013 and will support 30 new jobs. (Purdue Research Park image)