SHELBYVILLE, Ind. and MORRISTOWN, Ind., Sept. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The state of Indiana is a manufacturing powerhouse in America and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies' Shelbyville and Morristown, Indiana plants have helped build this success.
As the plants celebrated major milestones today – Morristown marked the completion of a 20,000- square-foot expansion and Shelbyville marked its 50th anniversary – dignitaries and company executives alike spoke at a joint ceremony to honor the achievements of the facilities.
"Shelbyville and Morristown are important facilities in our global network of manufacturing sites, and we are happy to honor them today," said Matthew Portu, President, Freudenberg-NOK. "Both of these facilities have prioritized continuous improvement, innovation, customer satisfaction, health and safety initiatives and community involvement in their plant cultures. Their collaboration with other plants has helped build our company's success."
The Shelbyville and Morristown facilities provide a variety of seals, boots, diaphragms, specialty components and custom-blended materials for the automotive and general industries. Both facilities are Competence Centers in the Freudenberg global network and support Lead Center and sister plants in Germany, Austria and Japan.
Freudenberg-NOK's Morristown facility has experienced significant growth and completion of the 20,000-square-foot plant expansion, launched in 2015, will help the company meet new customer component requirements. Production is expected to increase approximately 30 percent over the next four years and 75 new jobs will be added at the site. This expansion represents an investment of over $13 million dollars in facilities and equipment.
The plant expansion includes new manufacturing space, a new product test lab, a tool fabrication shop and updated metrology area. Employee amenities including a new cafeteria and locker room were also added during the construction.
Morristown is home to three component areas including Special Sealing Automotive, Diaphragms and Integrated Molded Components. The plant projects strong growth in all three areas driven by a strong automotive industry and emerging opportunities in several general industry segments. Last year, Morristown's 355 employees produced more than 100 million seals, diaphragms and other specialty components.
"We are happy to celebrate the completion of our expansion, and we look forward to the new business opportunities it will drive at our plant," said Stacy Flora, Site Manager, Morristown. "This is not only a bricks and mortar celebration, it's also a celebration of our people. Morristown's employees are the reason we are successful as both a business and community partner."
Morristown has embraced international collaboration, continuous improvement and technology innovations to evolve as an organization. It's progressive safety program, led by the hourly workforce, has been recognized and rewarded by Freudenberg-NOK. Employees are also active in a variety of local charitable organizations.
Freudenberg-NOK worked with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Shelbyville County Development Corporation and the City of Morristown to secure and complete the plant addition. The expansion is already up and running thanks to additional capital equipment investments at the site.
Freudenberg-NOK's Shelbyville plant opened in 1966. By 1989, the plant was 100 percent owned by Freudenberg-NOK. Shelbyville produces automotive steering, automotive driveline components, suspension boots and custom-blended rubber compounds.
Shelbyville's 200 employees have recently adopted new manufacturing processes and machinery to keep its cost competitive and quality driven. The plant has installed a new generation of proprietary injection molding machines and machine-based automatic inspection systems developed by NOK in Japan that will further improve part quality and lower defect rates.
Shelbyville helped found a global team that meets regularly in the United States, Europe and Japan to share best practices, business strategies and emerging industry trends. This international partnership has helped the plant produce 64 million components in 2015 alone.
In addition, the plant has added state-of-the art robotics to its mixing capabilities which supply custom-blended rubber compounds on a Just-In-Time basis to Shelbyville and five other Freudenberg-NOK manufacturing locations. In 2015, the facility produced 4.9 million pounds of materials.
"Throughout its history, Shelbyville has successfully embraced a culture that promotes continuous improvement, lean, employee safety and community support," said Jeff Clark, Site Manager, Shelbyville. "We are recognized by our customers, sister facilities and community as an important business and civic partner. I am proud of our employees and their achievements and look forward to the next 50 years of opportunities that their dedication will bring."
About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies runs the business operations for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) in the Americas. Being part of the global Freudenberg Group, the company is a leading producer 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. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is a joint venture between FST and NOK Corp. in Japan, is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit www.fst.com.
SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies