Lisburn, UK – Conveyor belt producer Smiley Monroe is opening a manufacturing facility in Franklin, Kentucky, the Irish company announced 1 Oct.
Due for start-up in January 2020, the facility will create 30 local jobs and “safeguard jobs” at the company’s headquarters in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.
The $2-million (€1.8 million) investment project was assisted by Danske Bank and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, according to the press statement.
The move is in response to growth in the US customer base as well as increasing political uncertainty, export restrictions, the company explained.
“With the political uncertainty both in the UK and beyond, protecting our export sales is paramount to growing the business and safe-guarding jobs in Northern Ireland.’ comments Chris Monroe, the group’s global sales director.
“Having a base in the US will shorten lead times for customers and help us be more competitive in the tough US market. Removing barriers to trade will fast track our ambitious growth plans to increase turnover by 50% over the next three years,” he added.
Smiley Monroe manufactures customised endless conveyor belts and rubber and plastics parts for the mobile equipment sector. Its customers include Powerscreen, Terex, Wirtgen, McCloskey and Sandvik.