Glas-Col: The touch of success

June 16, 2015

Glas-Col and Rose-Hulman Ventures have again teamed up to produce innovations for a laboratory setting.

Glas-Col, a long-time maker of laboratory equipment, has introduced promising new lab technology with the help of Rose-Hulman Ventures.

At a recent trade show in New Orleans, Glas-Col unveiled a “mid-range shaker” for mixing laboratory liquids that includes a new touch-screen control panel. The new screen makes more information visible to users than older-model control panels while introducing modern touch-screen technology to a time-honored lab device.

The company also has produced a new device for taking and recording multiple lab measurements—as many as 12 at one time. Unlike other temperature monitors, this one is compact and stationary, making it perfect for a lab setting, Glas-Col officials say.

“It’s ideal” for lab use, said Jim Jacso, director of sales and marketing for the Terre Haute-based company.

Both new devices raised some eyebrows at a recent industry tradeshow in New Orleans.

“They got some attention,” said Tim Voll, engineering manager for Glas-Col.

Jacso and Voll credit the company’s partnership with Rose-Hulman Ventures for the successful development of the new equipment. The company hired Ventures to make these ideas, which originated at Glas-Col, a reality—achieved with the help of a Ventures project manager and two Rose-Hulman student interns.

Glas-Col has enjoyed a decade-long relationship with Rose-Hulman Ventures, often using the design and development firm to lift projects from the idea stage to reality. Company officials value the seasoned experience project managers bring to each new idea; they also appreciate that student interns bring new perspective.

“[Student interns] are open to new ideas and to experiment,” Voll said. “Having some fresh, fertile minds to work with has been a plus.”

Rose-Hulman Ventures also has been a source of new talent for Glas-Col, Jacso said, noting that Ventures interns are sometimes hired for full-time positions.

“We get to see what their capabilities are firsthand,” he said.

Glas-Col started in Terre Haute in 1939 as Glas-Col Apparatus Co. with the introduction of an industrial heating mantle. This was not long after Rose-Hulman, then known as Rose Polytechnic Institute, moved to its present location along U.S. 40 from its original site in town.

Rose-Hulman Ventures was launched in 2000 with an initial $29-million grant from the Lilly Endowment. It occupies a 35,000-square-foot facility on a 180-acre campus on Indiana 46, five miles south of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus.