WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (July 8, 2008) - M4 Sciences, a developer of precision computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining technology, is beginning beta-testing on its TriboMAM drilling device ahead of its anticipated commercial launch of the product in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The state awarded the start-up a more than $1.5 million grant from the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund in 2007 to commercialize its precision drilling technology. Since receiving funds from the state, M4 Sciences has secured more than $1.3 million in follow-on funding from private investment and from the National Science Foundation.
"The 21st Century Fund is a powerful tool aimed at growing new and innovative companies like M4 Sciences that are working to bring cutting-edge technologies to the marketplace," said Governor Mitch Daniels.
Based at Purdue Research Park, M4 Sciences currently employs seven associates and projects to create as many as 50 new advanced manufacturing jobs over the next five years as its products enter the market.
The company's modulation-assisted-machining (MAM) technology, attachable to commercial CNC lathes, is the first of its kind in the industry. A machine accessory, which holds the drill cutting tool, superimposes a low frequency oscillation on the drill tool to allow for quicker, more accurate drilling. M4's first TriboMAM product line will be compatible with the "Swiss" type CNC lathes, with additional product lines anticipated in following years. Swiss lathes are often used in the automotive, hydraulics and orthopedics industries to manufacture precision components with drilled holes ranging from 0.5mm to 7mm in diameter.
"Current drilling technology has nearly reached its potential in terms of ease and speed of the process," said James Mann, chief executive officer of M4 Sciences. "We feel like we are taking the next possible step by introducing the TriboMAM product. As we come close to commercial reality of our product, we feel confident that our initial technology and future follow-on products will be a success."
A former manufacturing engineer and business manager with Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc., Mann co-founded the company in 2005. Mann estimates that M4 Sciences' technology could save lathe users more than $8,500 per week in production costs. Further, the company estimates that with approximately 50,000 operational Swiss class CNC lathes worldwide and annual new machine sales around 10,000 per year, the market potential for TriboMAM will be plentiful.
M4 Sciences is one of 170 companies operating in the Purdue Research Park system, about 90 of which are high-tech companies. Expanded in the late 1990s to spur economic growth in Indiana's high-tech sector, the park is operated by the Purdue Research Foundation and creates an opportunity for companies to share innovation and a highly skilled workforce.
"The TriboMAM product of the M4 company is another excellent example of how a company can take a discovery at Purdue University and Discovery Park and develop it through the Purdue Research Foundation's technology transfer program and then deliver their product to the public," said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation, which manages the Purdue Research Park.
M4 Sciences is a West Lafayette-based company that specializes designing and developing new technologies and systems for ultra-precision machining. M4 Sciences' technical expertise and business experience will help accelerate Indiana to the forefront of the rapidly expanding micro/meso mechanical manufacturing (M4) industry. For more information visit www.m4sciences.com