September 30, 2020
ATS Central July 2020
Finfrock Industries has evolved into a design-build firm that approached construction with a "manufacturing mentality."
ATS Central July 2020
NASA selected Blue Origin, SpaceX and Dynetics to design and develop human landing systems for its Artemis program, which aims to land astronauts on the moon - including the first woman - by 2024.

Central Florida Roundup

Finfrock Industries uses 3-D software to save time and money

Amy Keller | 6/25/2020

INNOVATION

Construction Made Predictable

When Allen Finfrock’s grandfather founded Finfrock Industries in 1945, the Apopka company supplied precast concrete components to general contractors. Seventy-five years later, the firm has evolved into a growing design-build firm that approaches construction with a “manufacturing mentality.”

Finfrock starts projects with SolidWorks, 3-D software that creates a model of the structure’s precast and pre-stressed concrete components, which are like giant concrete LEGO parts. The 3-D information is then transmitted to the manufacturing facility, where ceiling-mounted lasers project it down onto forms, showing workers step by step where to place each component of the building. To ensure the project stays on schedule, Finfrock uses a product management software called PieceTracker that shows the status of every piece of concrete.

Finfrock says the method saves time and money because it’s predictable. Having the company’s architects, engineers, manufacturing and construction professionals under the same roof allows Finfrock to offer a guaranteed price and delivery date.

“We wanted to take the ideas of the manufacturing world and push that into the construction world as much as is feasible to make a better product,” says CEO Finfrock.

AEROSPACE

  • Aerion Supersonic is moving its global headquarters from Reno, Nevada, to Orlando Melbourne International Airport, where it will manufacture luxury business jets that fly more than 1,000 mph. The company expects to employ an estimated 675 people at Aerion Park by 2026 in jobs paying an average salary of $105,000.

CONSTRUCTION

  • Blackton, a 66-year-old roofing and flooring supplier to home builders, has opened a third location in Leesburg.

NON-PROFITS

  • The Fairwinds Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Fairwinds Credit Union, donated more than $177,500 to eight regional organizations, including Seminole County Public Schools, the Central Florida Urban League, the Heart of Florida United Way, MicheLee Puppets, Stetson University’s EDGE Program, Junior Achievement of Central Florida, University of Central Florida’s Cent$ible Knight$ program and the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando.

REAL ESTATE

  • Dr. Phillips Charities is partnering with Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers to build a 135-townhome project on eight acres of Toll Brothers’ 202-acre Packing District development just west of College Park in Orlando. The three-story townhouses will sit across from a 27,000-sq.-ft. YMCA family center at the corner of North John Young Parkway and Princeton Street that’s scheduled for completion in 2021.
  • Demetree Global is suing the city of Winter Park for repealing a zoning ordinance plan that would have allowed denser, mixed-use development on 75 acres along Orange Avenue between U.S. 17-92 and Fairbanks Avenue. Demetree Global is the largest landowner in the corridor.
  • Orlando-based Boyd Development is seeking approval from Orange County for an 11-building apartment complex with 494 units along Avalon Road near SR 429 in the Hamlin Community in Horizon West.

RETAIL

  • Trulieve Cannabis has opened a dispensary in south Titusville, bringing its number of Florida locations to 46. The medical marijuana company is allowing patients to order online and schedule pick-up appointments to reduce their time spent in stores and maintain social distancing.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Violet Defense Group, an Orlando-based advanced photonics company, raised more than $10 million for its germ-killing business, Violet Defense, and its agricultural lighting business, Violet Gro. The bulk of the funding came from Kirenaga Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm with offices in New York and Orlando. Violet Defense’s patented ultraviolet light devices kill harmful bacteria and viruses. The company is also working with Koch Industries on mobile UV decontamination units that hospitals could use to clean masks and other personal protective equipment.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Bob O’Malley, the former vice president of corporate development for Virgin Trains, has joined Railroad Consultants — a railway, structural and civil engineering company — as vice president of corporate development and is opening an Orlando office for the Tennessee firm. O’Malley was one of 250 employees laid off by Virgin at the end of March amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 UPDATE

  • The GuideWell Innovation Center at Lake Nona’s Medical City has launched a COVID-19 Health Innovation Collaborative to identify ways to use technology to address gaps in the health response to the pandemic.
  • Orlando International Airport received $170 million in federal pandemic relief through the CARES Act Airport Grant Program. Orlando Sanford International received $22.7 million in federal relief funding, and Daytona Beach International Airport landed $21 million. Kissimmee Gateway Airport received $157,000.
  • The University of Central Florida received $51 million under the CARES Act. Valencia College received nearly $27.7 million and Rollins College in Winter Park was allocated close to $2.7 million. At least half of the funds must go to students as emergency financial aid grants.
  • University of Central Florida’s $175-million teaching hospital will open in early 2021, instead of at the end of 2020, because of COVID-19.
  • FoodFirst Global Restaurants, which operates Brio Tuscan Grille and Bravo Cucina Italiana, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • Construction of Universal Orlando’s Epic Universe theme park has been delayed, and the park is not expected to open until 2024.
  • The Orlando Economic Partnership launched an online business helpline, BRACEOrlando.org, to connect small and medium-sized businesses in Central Florida with recovery assistance.

 

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