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Salina Bulk Solids Innovation Center Plans Unveiled

Todd Pittenger - July 31, 2013 10:43 am

K-Tron General Manager Todd Smith speaks Wednesday morning.

K-Tron General Manager Todd Smith speaks Wednesday morning.

A nearly $3.5 million project is expected to be a shot in the arm for Salina and for Kansas State University.

Officials Wednesday morning announced plans for the Salina Bulk Solids Innovation Center. The primary partners in the project are K-Tron of Salina and the K-State campuses both in Salina and Manhattan.

The facility will develop and utilize systems for bulk solids, things like loose, dry commodities or ingredients. Examples include sugar, starch, minerals, chemicals, and plastic granules. The science of dry bulk solids is not fully understood and is still developing.

The center will include a material properties test lab area, a full scale bulk solids test bay, additional research areas, and also a training and research 

Both faculty and students from K-State will use the facility, which will be strictly a research facility. It will be located along North Front Street, on land donated by K-Tron.

K-Tron General Manager Todd Smith tells KSAL News that the company has been in Salina for 60 years. They have seen great growth, and now have clients all over the world. Last year, one of their biggest vendors was in Saudi Arabia.  

Salina City Manager Jason said that the facility will create multiple “Premiere Jobs”. It will create 31 jobs, and K-State will also dedicate a faculty position to it. A “Premiere Job” in Salina has a minimum salary of $40,000, and benefits.

Companies including DuPont, Dow, and ADM will benefit from research at the new facility, and will help support it in various ways.

A large portion of the funding will come via a federal grant. Officials stressed Wednesday that they have received approval from the government to go forward with the grant process, but it has not received final approval.

 

B Koz

July 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I don’t know how big a facility they’re planning but it’s a shame they can’t use an existing building such as the one just off I-135 built years ago by John Graves.

B Koz

August 1, 2013 at 8:21 am

After reading the article in the SJ about this…and finding out they’re planning a 17,000 sq ft building, I did a little research. I learned that the 14 yr old building put up north of Russell’s restaurant is vacant and available for sale for about a fourth of what they’ll spend on this new building. AND….the existing building has nearly 3 times as much space….not to mention it’s much closer to KSU facilties. Seems to me they could have a lot better access for less money and maybe even put a few more people to work in the process. Could someone involved please explain how or why this isn’t being done?

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