Radial Engine Innovations making push in Canton

A local business hopes to begin production of radial engines for multiple uses. It could lead to more manufacturing jobs in the area.

Edd Pritchard
Repository staff writer
October 27, 2016 5:56 PM

CANTON—A local company hopes to begin building radial engines that could eventually power a variety of machines.

Radial Engine Innovations said it has teamed with Fredon Corp., based in Mentor, to produce nine prototype radial engines. All have been designed to meet federal regulations for cutting emissions and increasing fuel efficiency, specifically in heavy-duty trucks and large vehicles, company officials said.

The prototypes should be finished before the year ends, said C. Mitchell Boulton, founder and president of Radial Engine Innovations. Boulton started the company in 2012 and it’s now located in a business complex on Camden Avenue SW.

The company hopes it can move from building prototypes into full-blown production. Plans would call for a new factory in the Canton area, and upwards to 250 manufacturing jobs.

REI and Fredon, which does precision casting and forging, struck the deal in September to make the prototypes.

Radial engines were commonly used to power aircraft during the first half of the 20th century. Boulton has worked to redesign radial engines and make them more efficient and cleaner.

Three of the prototype engines will operate custom, hand-crafted motorcycles. Three others are pegged to operate multi-functional generators that could have residential, commercial, military and off-grid uses. The last three engines are for a “super truck program,” the company said.

The company’s goal is to market redesigned radial engines to several industries. The company has secured 21 patents for a continuously variable transmission and is working to secure additional patents that would allow it to compete worldwide.

“We know they are going to work,” James Babcock, corporate communications director for REI, said of the engine designs.

The company hopes to begin engine production in the Canton area. Sean Brookes, REI’s vice president, said the company will continue working with Fredon toward commercial production.

The partnership with REI provides Fredon with a “high growth opportunity” in the internal combustion engine market, said Alyson Scott, Fredon’s president. It’s also “a chance to be part of this highly efficient engine project offered to a wide variety of markets and customers at a time when fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility are of grave concern,”she said.

Article reprinted with permission, Copyright 2016, Repository, Some rights reserved.

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