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9/11/2017 6:54:00 PM
Cal-Comp in Logansport to add 70 jobs as work is shifted away from China

Sarah Einselen, Pharos-Tribune News Editor

A California video services firm has announced it is contracting with a Logansport company to make its video event recorders — a move that shifts about 70 jobs from China to Logansport and is expected to result in $50 million invested in the local manufacturer.

Lytx, which makes video event recorders for commercial and government applications, announced Monday it is contracting with Cal-Comp USA to have those recorders manufactured at Cal-Comp's Logansport plant.

The San Diego, California-based company plans to fine-tune processes starting next month and begin full production in Logansport by March 2018.

In a press release issued Sept. 11, a Lytx executive explained manufacturing the recorders in Logansport made more sense than having them made in mainland China.

"With this move, we're actually able to reduce our costs by limiting import tariffs and avoiding overseas transport costs, while still paying above market wages to Logansport factory workers," said Jim McDaniel, Lytx's senior director, operations and supply chain. "Indiana is also home to many of our clients and lies within the heart of commercial transportation."

Cal-Comp USA's corporate vice president and chief operating officer said in the release that those at Cal-Comp had "worked extremely hard" to get the Lytx contract.

"We look forward to a long partnership with Lytx," Ron Rehberger said. "Lytx's event recorders are the essence of sophisticated technology and our staff in Logansport has a solid track record of producing high reliability products, making this a perfect fit between our organizations."

Officials with the city of Logansport and the Cass-Logansport Economic Development Organization are working on an incentive package that CLEDO Director Bill Cuppy believes played a part in Lytx's decision to move manufacturing to Logansport.

Cuppy estimated about 200 are currently employed at the Logansport plant, identified as Cal-Comp Indiana.

Cal-Comp had laid off about 100 employees in 2016, Mayor Dave Kitchell announced at the time. It's unclear whether any have since gone back to work at the company. Just over 400 worked there previous to the 2016 layoff, Kitchell said at the time.

Cuppy said he wasn't aware of any layoffs at Cal-Comp during that time and added employment at the plant had remained relatively stable with some growth since 2010, according to his records.

A message left with Charles Brown, director of operations at Cal-Comp's Logansport plant, was not immediately returned.

Cal-Comp Indiana manufactures electronic assemblies for industrial, medical, aerospace, security and automotive markets. It operated as Total Electronics from 2003 until it was purchased by Cal-Comp in late 2010. The plant was known as Controls Inc. from 1974 to 2003.

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