Indiana Manufacturing Facts

The resurgence of manufacturing in America has certainly helped to stabilize the American economy, and some states have made more of an impact on the turnaround than others. One of the top ten most important states when it comes to manufacturing in the United States is Indiana. The home of Ashley Industrial, Indiana ranks seventh in the United States in terms of total manufacturing jobs. So what other facts about Indiana manufacturing are there that might be interesting?

  • In 2014, Indiana employed 523,200 in the manufacturing sector. This accounted for 17.3% of the nonfarm employment in Indiana. No state in America employed a greater percentage of its residents in the manufacturing field.
  • In 2013, Indiana manufacturers accounted for 30.06% of the state’s total gross state product.
  • The manufacturing output of $95.31 billion accounts for 1% of the world’s total manufacturing output, and would come in as the 18th largest manufacturing output in the world if it was a country.
  • The manufacturing output has rebounded greatly since the recession of 2009, with the 2013 output being 25% more than what it was in 2009.
  • There were 7,282 manufacturing firms aside from Ashley Industrial operating in Indiana in 2012.
  • Chemical products was by far the leading sector, accounting for $27.286 million or 28.6% of Indiana’s manufacturing output. Motor vehicles and parts was second at $15.458 million.
  • Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District, based around Fort Wayne, is the top district in the country when it comes to the manufacturers share of district employment. Ashley Industrial is located right in the heart of this district.
  • Manufacturing accounts for $34.93 billion worth of exports from the state of Indiana – which is 98.53% of the total goods exported from Indiana.
  • Manufacturing workers in Indiana average compensation of $70,333 annually, versus $43,709 for all nonfarm businesses.

Indiana will continue to be one of the country’s manufacturing leaders as the economy continues to rebound, and Ashley Industrial will continue to be a major contributor. We are happy to be able to provide residents of our great state with manufacturing employment opportunities, along with quality products.

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Getting a Quote for the Finest in FRP Products

Fiber-reinforced plastic, commonly abbreviated as “FRP,” is a composite material created out of a polymer matrix that is reinforced with various fibers such as carbon, glass, or basalt, among others. FRPs are used in almost every industry to include agriculture, aerospace, automotive, marine, and construction industries but are also employed to protect our service personnel in the form of advanced ballistic armor.

Sheet Compression Molding or “SMC” is a process of molding that uses hard tooling that is heated to compress customizable sheets of these fiber-reinforced plastic materials in order to form them into various products for the uses described above. The use of these advanced composites generally provide great advantages over typical metal parts, including much lower weight while still possessing material strength, extraordinary stiffness, greater styling control, and formulations that offer a superlative resistance to heat, corrosion, and wear. This all adds up to both lower finished part costs and the ability to create parts in high volumes on demand.

AIM is proud to claim our position as one of the premiere manufacturers of high quality compression molded parts. With our high tonnage, large platen presses, we are able to manufacture very large parts and provide the opportunity to consolidate multiple panels allowing for more flexibility in styling, continuity of lines, and reduced capital tooling and associated overhead costs. AIM’s smaller and mid-range presses ensure competitive pricing and support for parts of all sizes.

AIM is excited to discuss and entice product line conversion to an FRP material and would like to invite prospective customers to leverage our Advance Engineering group to explore solutions that meet your product needs. Please contact us to request a free quote from Ashley Industrial Molding by simply clicking here. AIM offers numerous in-house services ranging from Thermoforming to Reaction Injection Molding to Compression Molding and various Value Added Services to include Class-A Paint. AIM is always happy to answer any and all questions by simply giving us a call at (260) 587-9155 or you may drop us an email at

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Value Added Services for Your Industrial Needs

Ashley Industrial Molding offers Reaction Injection Molding (RIM), Thermoforming, Compression Molding, and a variety of assembly and finishing processes. From a services standpoint, we offer our customers soft and hard tool prototyping (rapid or production intent), Class-A painting, robotic or manual bonding, automated or manual multi-axis routing and water-jet processing, assembly, and error-proofing of the product.

 At Ashley Industrial Molding, we understand that your bottom line is important. With our value added services, we aim to help your company or business in any way we can. Whether your products are for agricultural, construction, industrial, forestry, or military uses, we have the right systems in place to provide ancillary components for your molding projects. As a leading molder in the U.S., and growing worldwide, we offer services as varied as our customer’s needs. When the needs of your business change, our value added services are able to change with your business.


Our capabilities for program services at Ashley Industrial Molding have a wide range, including: Engineering, Design, and Development (ED&D) services, advance engineering support, program management, and pre-launch builds with a dedicated program launch team. We also offer our value added services for material traceability reports, FARO scanning and layout capability and services, RFID tracking, and part marking.

Our goal at Ashley Industrial Molding is to provide excellent customer service while providing the highest quality molded products. With cross-functional team management to technical support to customer service, our services are streamlined to ensure your company gets what it needs when it needs it.

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About Us

Providing high quality molded products to customers in a variety of fields, Ashley Industrial Molding provides a team comprised of individuals with over 35 years of experience in the industry as well as new entries into manufacturing which in-turn offers creative ideas and solutions paired with industry expertise and methodology. Based out of Ashley, Indiana, our company was formed in 2001 when 10 key functional managers of the Meridian Automotive Group’s, Ashley, Ind. plant bought the facility and core business segment with a vision of providing high quality products with a partnership centric mindset to effectively serve our core customer markets. Understanding the necessity to improve processes and capabilities, significant time and money was invested in personnel, the existing plant, processing, and equipment. This overhaul proved successful as AIM is now a leading supplier to a variety of industries in the U.S., and rapidly growing our presence worldwide.

In 2009, Ashley Industrial Molding acquired an additional facility located in Oelwein, Iowa. This enabled us to increase our capability to include Thermoforming and add capacity to our Compression Molding, Paint, and Value Added Services. Further expansion of AIM came in 2011 with the addition of another facility in Kendallville, Ind., which consolidated our Reaction Injection Molding operation into a dedicated facility and reinforced AIM’s commitment and faith in the performance of this molding process. Resulting from the growth of AIM’s RIM product lines, in 2014 a new paint line was added to the Kendallville, Ind. facility.

With a commitment to providing customers with high quality products and superior customer service, Ashley Industrial Molding believes in establishing long lasting partnerships with its suppliers and customers. In an effort to effectively provide excellence within the company itself, AIM is dedicated to providing employees with quality training in all areas from operations to customer support to personal development and wellness opportunities.

In addition to striving to be the best in our field, AIM strongly believes in giving back. Our corporate stewardship includes: paid volunteer hours, financial and service investments to community programs, and a dedication to having a positive impact in and enriching the communities of which we are lucky to belong.

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What is Thermoforming?

Being known primarily as a manufacturer of specialized compression molded products, we enjoy sharing some of the different processes that we use to create products. One of our other core competencies and processes includes vacuum thermoforming; a process that involves heating sheets of material until they become pliable and can then be formed over soft or hard tooling into the desired product. Various substrates (ABS, TPO, HDPE, HMWPE, etc.) can be used in this process depending on the products strength, performance, and other requirements and is an excellent method for creating uniquely designed products with limited B-side features..

AIM’s thermoforming process is a great solution when product volumes do not warrant the cost of hard tooling of other molding processes. With medium and large rotary type vacuum thermoforming cells, AIM is able to provide unique rapid prototyping solutions for panels where cosmetic, display/marketing, and fit-up parts are desired. This process is greatly suited for development products (prior to reaching full production volumes) as well as full production volumes.

Additionally, this process allows for Class-A surfaces to be formed-in during the cycle through the use of korad capped material alleviating the need for post-mold paint; if necessary, thermoforming also offers a wide range of molded in color options to meet specific product needs.

Our Sales and Advance Engineering team can work with you from idea conception, product design, and process evaluation through the development of the best way to ship your product. Contact us to today to find out more about our thermoforming capabilities and services.

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U.S. Manufacturing Continues a Period of Growth

As global financial markets continue to fluctuate, the American economy is showing signs of strengthening, driven by manufacturing growth. While September had seen a brief pause in growth, with American manufacturing output dropping by 0.5 percent, the sector has rebounded in October back to the point it was at in August. Overall, this reflects the fact that U.S. manufacturing has demonstrated consistent growth in recent months.

The growth is measured through the purchasing managers index (PMI) as determined by the Institute for Supply Management. This is a survey of purchasing managers throughout the United States, across a variety of fields, and it is a general indicator for the health of manufacturing. A PMI over 50% indicates manufacturing expansion. The August and October readings of 59% were the highest readings in over three years.

There are a number of factors that are contributing to this ongoing growth. The primary factor is the “onshoring” of jobs. This refers to the idea of bringing jobs that had been sent overseas back to American soil. Some of this is due to the pursuit of increasing quality, while some is due to the rise of wages in emerging markets where American companies had been outsourcing work.

In addition to onshoring, U.S. manufacturing growth has been spurred along by the reduction in domestic energy prices. From an increase in natural gas production, to weakening of oil prices, to an increase in inexpensive renewable energy sources, American manufacturing is getting more out of each dollar used to provide energy for processes. Not coincidentally, the only industry reporting a drop in recent times has been Petroleum & Coal Products.

Finally, one of the factors that has contributed in the long-term expansion has been the increased push for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education over the last decade. This push is now coming to fruition, with increased research and development and rapid innovation.

While it is unlikely that this is a true manufacturing renaissance, as claimed by some, it is most certainly a transformation. At the very least, it is reinvigorating the manufacturing sector and our overall economy. Here at Ashley Industrial Molding, we are pleased to be part of the manufacturing growth and the United States, and we look forward to continuing to help spur it along for years to come.

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AIM Sheet Compression Molding

We at Ashley Industrial Molding (AIM) are able to provide you high quality, durable, Class A, B, or C compression molded parts; industries that are commonly supported by SMC are construction, military, agricultural, commercial goods, etc. Understanding the broad stroke, let tell you what SMC can do for you.

Sheet Compression Molding (SMC) is a process of molding that uses heated hard tooling to compress customizable sheets of resin, calcium carbonate, and glass fibers to create fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) products. The heating of the tooling supports the flow of the resin and glass while accelerating the curing of the material; the tonnage used ensures the density of the part. Compression molding is a preferred option for higher volume structural and functional parts as a result of the relatively lower piece price, heat resistance properties, durability and strength, and ability to support complex parts with significant geometry and/or B-side features.

AIM’s compression molding presses range from 400 to 4000 tons and currently mold a variety of standard and custom material formulations from bio-resins (soy-based) to vinyl-esters to poly-esters, etc. Our large press resources allow us to support very large parts or consolidate multiple panels where necessary allowing more flexibility for styling, continuity of lines, and reduced capital tooling costs and associated overhead. Our smaller and mid-range presses ensure we are able to remain competitive and support parts of all sizes.

Apart from primary molding operations, AIM also offers numerous secondary and value-added options. Secondary options include: CNC and robotic trimming, routing, and drilling; water-jet trimming and opening; manual and robotic bonding operations, fully-traceable operations (to raw materials); full 2K paint system (prim and top-coat) at all 3 facilities; CMM layout and digital laser scanning services; Engineering, Design, and Development support services; and all 3 facilities are ISO 9001-2008 certified.

To see examples of our work and to learn more, please visit our website.

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Did You Know? We Were Featured In Industry Today Magazine

Ashley Industrial Molding (AIM) is a well-known leader in quality custom molded plastic products and assemblies. Now, thanks to a 9-page feature in Industry Today Magazine, we’ve gained even more recognition for our capabilities.

In Volume 16, Issue 10 of Industry Today, Back to Life – Chrysler: Revitalized, you can read about Ashley Industrial Molding’s history and role in heavy equipment manufacturing. The story runs from page 48 to 57, and offers readers an in-depth look at how we came about and why we are leaders in compression molding, reaction injection molding, and thermoforming.

By adding plastic thermoforming to our offerings, AIM provides an economical alternative to other composite manufacturing options. Thermoforming saves customers time and money while providing a high quality finished product. At AIM, continuous improvement is central to our overall strategy, so we are constantly looking at new ways to produce the best results at the lowest cost for our customers.

One project highlighted in the Industry Today article was our work with an Oshkosh MWRAP all-terrain vehicle bumper light bar assembly, in which we replaced a part with a thermoformed version to meet the supplier’s needs. This is just one example of our ability to deliver the best products to suit any demand or requirement.

Overall, we are pleased to have caught the attention of such an esteemed industrial publication, and are grateful for the attention we’ve received as a result. Read the article here, and let us know what you think on Twitter. We look forward to connecting and hearing your thoughts.

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Who We Are and What We Do

As we launch an updated web presence and blog, we’ve decided to formally re-introduce ourselves to our loyal followers and new associates. As a leading manufacturer of quality custom molded parts and assemblies, Ashley Industrial Molding (AIM) has over 30 years of manufacturing experience. We primarily provide Sheet Compression Molding (SMC), Reaction Injection Molding (RIM), Thermoforming, and Value-Added services to include Assembly and Paint.

We assist customers through all stages of the manufacturing process, including prototyping and production, and are certified to ISO 9001:2008 for quality. Our core business involves fabricating large exterior body panels, structural components, and roof and hood modules for heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. AIM serves customers across a wide range of industries, including agriculture, general industry, construction, forestry, and defense. We’ve worked with top-tier manufacturers to ensure their equipment was durable even under harsh conditions – which is necessary for a number of the markets we serve.

Currently, Ashley Industrial Molding operates out of four locations – all of our manufacturing plants provide molding, assembly and Class A paint services and are located in Ashley, Indiana; Kendallville, Indiana; and Oelwein, Iowa; and a technical and sales office in Sao Paulo, Brazil. While the majority of our business is conducted in North America, we currently export to 12 countries, with a focus on South America and Europe.

Our continued growth can be attributed to a steadfast commitment to quality and service. We adhere to strict lean manufacturing concepts for more sustainable operations, and have a continuous improvement strategy to ensure we are always moving ahead in the industry.

To learn more about our leadership role in compression molded plastic composites, please feel free to browse our new website. You can also follow us on Twitter and let us know what you think of our new web presence.

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