For more than 25 years, Tri-Area Electric has been crucial to the growth of the Youngstown Business Incubator, starting with its first building that was once home to the former Reichart Furniture Company.
The latest project in this long-standing partnership consisted of Tri-Area helping transform a former Youngstown Vindicator building into YBI’s new additive manufacturing headquarters, also known as Tech Block Building No. 5, or TBB5.
“This building was a complete renovation,” said Michael Johnson, Tri-Area project manager . “The electrical system is entirely new, basically designed and formatted for a large-scale industrial facility.”
Along with 480 and 208-volt electricity going into the building, Tri-Area had to implement a variety of European voltages that many of the additive manufacturing equipment requires.
“We’re working with 3D printers that are designed and manufactured all over the world and brought to Youngstown,” Johnston said. “We’re conforming our voltage and building requirements to meet these needs.”
Tri-Area has also worked with many YBI portfolio companies, including JuggerBot 3D LLC., who designs and manufactures additive manufacturing equipment.
In need of an additional 1,500 sq. ft of space to build new equipment, JuggerBot enlisted Tri-Area for a recent renovation.
“Tri-Area has been a big help with this expansion,” said Zac DiVencenzo, JuggerBot’s chief operating officer. “We’ve been able to get this project underway with great timeliness and efficiency. And their craftsmanship has given our office a modern feel.”
The YBI’s newest portfolio company, Fitz Frames, is thankful Tri-Area was able to get its new space up and running.
“Tri-Area has been a fantastic partner throughout this whole process,” said Gabriel Schlumberger, co-CEO of the company.
As a start-up company based out of Los Angeles who 3D-prints custom eyeglasses for children designed from a smartphone app, Schlumberger says Fitz Frames was initially concerned about the quick timeframe needed to build out its production space.
“Tri-Area truly understood our complicated needs,” he said. “They got us into the space about a week earlier than expected, which was already an ambitious schedule.”
Barb Ewing, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator, believes Tri-Area consistently exceeds YBI’s expectations, and truly understands the unique requirements of additive manufacturing equipment.
“They really understand our overall needs, the sophistication of the technology coming in, and what their technical needs will be,” she said. “From the type of electricity needed to backup support, they’ve been a great community partner and technical resource for us.”
And for Tri-Area, there is a tremendous amount of pride to have helped YBI grow throughout the years.
“We love the fact that they’ve renovated these old facilities,” Johnston said. “They’re breathing life into them for many years and future generations to come.”
Tri-Area Electric is a member contractor of NECA-IBEW Electricians, an association of signatory Mahoning Valley electrical contractors and IBEW locals in Youngstown and Warren.