The heart of American manufacturing is beating strong in Findlay, Ohio, where Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies plans to expand its automotive sealing facility and hire new employees to meet increasing customer requirements for quality components.
Freudenberg-NOK's Findlay plant produces approximately 700 high performance plastic parts for customers including vehicle manufacturers and tier one and two suppliers using state-of-the art manufacturing processes. Company executives officially announced the company will pursue a 43,000-foot factory expansion that could result in retaining 148 jobs and creating 25 new jobs at the plant. Final company decisions are dependent on formal approval of all State of Ohio workforce and incentive programs.
The company expects to invest approximately $8.6 million in construction and equipment upgrades and the expansion and construction will be complete by winter, 2015.
"Freudenberg-NOK's Findlay facility is a benchmark for lean manufacturing and production of quality components so it is not surprising that escalating customer demand offers us tremendous new opportunities for business expansion in Ohio," said Dr. Theodore G. Duclos, president, Freudenberg-NOK. "We are happy to invest in the success of this facility and the greater Findlay community with this construction. We anticipate that this expansion will help us better serve existing and new customers with quality sealing products."
Freudenberg-NOK leaders have worked with JobsOhio, state and local officials on incentives to support the expansion.
Freudenberg-NOK and its Findlay operations are considered a top employer in Hancock County, and the plant was a finalist in the IndustryWeek 2014 Best Plants competition last year. The competition annually recognizes the best manufacturing plants in North America.
"Freudenberg-NOK's decision to expand its Findlay facility and workforce demonstrates how companies throughout the world view Ohio as a great investment," said JobsOhio Managing Director Glenn Richardson. "JobsOhio and the Regional Growth Partnership look forward to working closely with Freudenberg-NOK as they expand their presence in Hancock County."
"Freudenberg-NOK's decision to expand the Findlay operation is true testimony to the positive business climate and outstanding workforce in Findlay and Hancock County," said Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Director Anthony Iriti. "We are proud to be a part of their success and continued investment in our community."
Findlay maintains nearly perfect statistics in the areas of quality, delivery and customer retention.
Equally important, Findlay has become the company's lead facility in the successful adoption of a new breakthrough manufacturing approach, Single Cavity Net Shape Molding. The single cavity approach uses compact, custom-engineered one cavity injection and compression molding machines rather than multi-cavity machines to produce crucial thermoplastic parts. The process improves part quality and reduces scrap and waste.
"This project is a tremendous testament to the skills of our people and the success of our processes in Findlay," said Roy Schroeder, Lead Center Manager, Fluid Power Automotive, Findlay. "This plant expansion will allow us to continue our pursuit of world-class manufacturing processes and products and expand our markets. We are all excited about the opportunities this addition will bring to our facility, and we are looking forward to its completion and the addition of new employees to our plant family."
Findlay's expansion will help the facility increase its compression and injection molding product production which includes seal rings, thrust washers, pistons and assemblies. The plant currently manufacturers 185 million seals and related components annually and anticipates the new addition will increase production by approximately 25 percent a year.
Freudenberg-NOK will host a formal groundbreaking celebration in June at the Findlay facility. Media and community residents will be invited to attend the event.
About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a leading producer – through its Automotive, Merkel, Process Seals and Simrit sales channels – of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets including: aerospace; agriculture; appliance; automotive; construction; diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit www.fnst.com.
About the Freudenberg Group
The Freudenberg Group is a family-owned company offering customers technologically advanced and support-intensive products and services. The Group develops and manufactures seals, vibration control technology components, filters, nonwovens, surface treatment products, release agents and specialty lubricants, medical technology and mechatronic products. Freudenberg also develops software solutions and IT services primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises. Consumers enjoy Freudenberg's state-of-the-art household products marketed under the vileda®, O-Cedar®, Wettex®, Gala®, Marigold® and SWASH® brands. In 2014 the Freudenberg Group had 40,456 employees in 57 countries and generated revenue of more than 7.0 billion euros ($9.3 billion). More information about Freudenberg is available on the internet under www.freudenberg.com.
JobsOhio is a private, non-profit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts.