Morristown, Indiana – Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies celebrated the completion of its 20,000-sq.-ft. expansion in Morristown on 29 Sept.
The firm also celebrated the 50th anniversary of its plant in Shelbyville, Indiana, on the same date.
Morristown has experienced significant growth, the firm said, which dictated the need for the expansion. The $13 million (€11.5 million) project, launched in 2015, will help the company meet new customer requirements. Production is expected to increase about 30 percent in the next four years with 75 new jobs being added at the site, which currently employs 355.
The expansion includes new manufacturing space, a new product test lab, a tool fabrication shop and updated metrology areas.
“Shelbyville and Morristown are important facilities in our global network of manufacturing sites, and we are happy to honour them today,” Freudenberg-NOK President Matthew Portu said in a statement. “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.”
Morristown operates in three component areas—special sealing automotive, diaphragms and integrated moulded components. The firm said last year the site 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,” Morristown Plant Manager Stacy Flora said in a statement. “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.”
The Shelbyville plant opened in 1966 and by 1989 the facility was fully-owned by Freudenberg-NOK. The site produces automotive steering, driveline components, suspension boots and custom-blended rubber compounds. It employs 200.
Recently, the plant added state-of-the art robotics to its mixing capabilities, which supplies custom blended rubber compounds to Shelbyville and five other Freudenberg-NOK manufacturing locations. In 2015, the facility produced 4.9 million pounds of raw materials.
“Throughout its history, Shelbyville has successfully embraced a culture that promotes continuous improvement, lean, employee safety and community support,” Shelbyville Plant Manager Jeff Clark said in a statement. “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.”
Freudenberg-NOK is the Americans joint venture between Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, based in Germany, and Japan-based NOK Corp. Headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., the firm produced advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets, including aerospace, automotive, agriculture, appliance, construction, energy and pharmaceutical, among others.