Northern Kentucky’s robust manufacturers supply key global industries like aerospace, food

By Abby Laub

Bonfiglioli USA, located in Hebron, has a high tech process for manufacturing its planetary gearboxes for mobile machinery to support the construction, mining, agricultural and forestry industries.

Manufacturers and site selectors look for low cost of doing business, favorable laws and regulations, a solid base of existing manufacturers, talented workforce, proprietary knowledge, prime location and logistics – in some cases shipping overseas overnight – and other factors when determining where to produce their goods. Northern Kentucky checks all the boxes, and then some.

Many powerhouse American and international manufacturers have chosen to locate in Northern Kentucky, and many more have logistics and distribution centers including Perfetti Van Melle, Mazak Corp., Safran Landing Systems, L’Oreal USA, Tyson/Hillshire Foods, The Schwan Food Co., Evenflo Feeding, Architectural Aluminum Products, Road ID, Amazon, Bosch, Citi, DHL, Mubea, Cabot Corp., Indy Honeycomb and WILD Flavors.

In 2017 and 2018 alone, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development reported another $500 million in new manufacturing investments.

And the firms already in Northern Kentucky have long-term staying power, such as Blue Grass Metals Inc. In March 2018, the 25-year-old wire forms supplier to the automotive industry expanded its Boone County operation with an investment of more than $4 million and 15 new jobs.

And L’Oréal in April 2017 announced it would build the largest commercial solar array in Kentucky at its Florence-based manufacturing plant.

Mubea is the area’s largest manufacturer, employing more than 1,300, producing heavy-duty products for lightweight construction. CEO of Mubea North America Doug Cain says the company’s success is a “direct result of the hard work of our committed Northern Kentucky and tri-state employees combined with the strong and enthusiastic efforts of the entire business support network.”

Safran Landing Systems contributes heavily to the state’s large and growing aerospace prowess. According to the Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky’s aerospace exports increased 183 percent the past five years, and the state has seen a 63 percent employee increase in the private aerospace products and parts manufacturing industry since 2002.

Overall the state has a manufacturing workforce of 250,000, including more than 18,500 industry-specific workers.

Northern Kentucky’s automotive sector makes a massive contribution to making the state the nation’s number three vehicle builder – Kentucky is the top producer of cars, light trucks and SUVs per capita. Statewide, the sector employs nearly 95,000 people at more than 500 companies. In 2017, auto-related exports totaled $5.5 billion.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce understands what these numbers mean for the region and the state. Its Northern Kentucky International Trade Association hosted a seminar on Japan’s influence on the Kentucky auto industry. NKITA helps members achieve international trade goals through connections with global business resources and high-impact technical programming in the region.

Meanwhile, care is taken also with industrial waste processes in Northern Kentucky. River Metals Recycle in summer 2018 celebrated its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) certification for excellence in workplace safety. River Metals provides scrap-generating businesses a cost-effective way to market their recyclable resources.

Another priority is keeping the crucial manufacturing workforce pipeline flowing, a big job that’s done in large part thanks to the training efforts of the decade-old Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME). KY FAME has a Northern Kentucky chapter that includes Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties. KY FAME is a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement career pathway, apprenticeship-style educational programs that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers. Member companies include Bosch, Mubea, Linamar, Safran, HAHN Automation, L’Oréal, Zotefoams, Steinkamp Molding, Nucor, Skilcraft, Diversified Composites, Kraus Maffei, Steinert US and Perfetti Van Melle.

A O Smith Corp.

Porcelain enamel coatings for appliances, water heaters and boilers

Florence

Abrapower Inc.

Abrasive coated foam

Florence   

Active Radiator

Truck and industrial radiators

Dayton

Advanced Insulation Concepts Inc.

Cooler and freezer insulating panels and doors

Florence

ALM Media

Magazine & book publisher

Erlanger

Alpla Inc.

Manufacture and distribute plastic packaging for the beverage, personal care and home care industry

Florence

Analytical Solutions And Providers (ASAP)

Laboratory equipment to the forensic, chemical and petrochemical markets

Covington

Ancra International LLC

Cargo restraint strapping and other cargo containment equipment

Erlanger

Anderson Manufacturing

AR-15 Rifles

Hebron

Angstrom Technologies

Electro optical UV detectors

Florence

Aquionics Inc.

UV, water, air and surface purification systems

Erlanger

AquiSense Technologies

LED devices

Erlanger

Architectural Products Inc

Coping, gravel stop, gutter, downspout, fascia systems

Hebron

Aristech Surfaces LLC

Impact acrylic, general purpose acrylic, ABS composite sheet

Florence

Armor USA Inc.

Thermal transfer printer ribbons

Hebron

ATech Training Inc.

Automotive technology training devices

Walton

Atkins & Pearce, Inc.

Braided technical textiles

Covington

Avure Technologies

High pressure food processing

Erlanger

Baker Stamping

Tubular stamp and multi-slide parts

Wilder

Balluff

Industrial networking, object detection

Florence

BAWAC Inc.

Sub-contract, short run assembly, packaging, labeling and assembly labor

Florence

BBS Tech

Small diameter braided products

Erlanger

Beam Dental

Manufacture and ship smart toothbrushes

Erlanger

Beckman Coulter

Diagnostic tests/equipment

Florence

Belleview Sand & Gravel Inc.

Sand and gravel

Petersburg

Benda-Lutz Corporation

Blitz® bonded metallic powder coatings, Blitz® aluminum pigments

Independence

Best Sanitizers

Hand sanitizer

Walton

Beverly International Nutrition, Inc.

Nutrition sports manufacturer

Cold Spring

Blue Grass Metals Inc.

Wire forms and metal stampings

Independence

Blue Grass Quality Meats

Deli meats

Erlanger

BOGE Rubber & Plastics USA LLC

Rubber and metal bushings, engine mounts and plastics

Hebron

Bonfiglioli USA

Speed changer, industrial high-speed drive & gear manufacturing, USA headquarters

Hebron

Boone County Distilling Co.

Bourbon, rye, and other whiskey specialties

Independence

Boone Ready Mix Inc.

Ready-mixed concrete

Burlington

Braxton Brewing

Craft beer

Covington

BWF America Inc.

Dust collector bags, liquid filter cloths, spare collector parts

Hebron

Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.

Optical lab

Hebron

Celanese

Advanced polymer technology to produce high-performance plastic materials

Florence   

Cincinnati Ventilating Co. Inc.

Sheet metal fabricating

Florence

Clarion Corp. of America

Car audio, multimedia, information products

Walton

Clopay Plastic Products Company

Specialty films, extrusion coatings, custom-printing, engineered laminations

Augusta

Continental Building Products

Wallboard and joint compound materials

Silver Grove

Corken Steel Products Company

Sheet metal for heating, AC and roofing

Florence

Corrosion Resistant Reinforcing

Fabricate stainless rebar

Walton

Crane Composites Inc.

Fiberglass reinforced plastic panels

Florence

Crescent Paper Tube Co.

Paper tubes, paperboard products, cores, caps

Florence

Cummins Filtration

Filtration, coolant and fuel additive technology

Walton

Desma USA, Inc.

Tooling, rubber injection molds and injection molding machines

Hebron

Diversified Structural Composites

Pultruded composite products, carbon fiber equipment

Erlanger

Dixie Dew Products Co.

Ice cream toppings

Erlanger

DURO Bag a Novolex Brand

Paper bags

Walton

Dynatec Machine Inc.

Machine shop, welding, drilling

Florence

Eagle Manufacturing Co. LLC

Machined engine components

Florence

Eaton Asphalt Paving Co. Inc.

Asphalt and paving products

Walton

Ellison Surface Technologies

Engineered thermal spray coating

Hebron

Emerson Thermography Inc.

Printed materials

Florence

Emerson’s Bakery

Baked goods

Florence

Ernst Concrete

Ready-mixed concrete

Walton

ESCO Corporation

Construction attachments, mining, and conveyor products

Covington

ESTIC America Inc.

Fastening tools for auto assembly lines

Erlanger

Ethos Labs

Drug tests

Newport

Evenflo Feeding, Inc.

Infant equipment, baby care and juvenile products

West Chester

Fabritec International

Professional dry cleaning detergents, wet cleaning soaps and spotting chemicals

Florence

Fields Welding, Inc.

Structural steel fabrication, metal fabrication

Fort Wright

Fischer Special Manufacturing

Automatic screw machine products, produce specialty fasteners and inserts for the automotive industry

Cold Spring

Fives Machining Systems Inc.

Machining and assembly systems, aerospace and automotive production equipment

Hebron

Flint Group

Printing inks

Erlanger

Flottweg Separation Technology Inc

Decanter centrifuges, separators, belt presses

Independence

Forge Lumber

Roof and floor trusses

Erlanger

Fortress Interlocks Inc.

Safety access and control systems

Erlanger

Fuji Autotech USA LLC

Automative seat components

Walton

Galerie Candy & Gifts

Chocolate and specialty candy

Hebron

GameMaster

Louisville Slugger Instructional items and pitching machines

Erlanger

Gates Corporation

Belts, hose, hydraulics

Hebron

General Cable, a Company of the Prysmian Group

Copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable for energy, industrial, specialty and communications markets

Highland Heights

GES Inc.

Trade show exhibits and store fixtures

Hebron

Givaudan Flavors

Fragrance and flavor

Florence

Glier’s Meats, Inc.

German breakfast sausage

Covington

GorillaMaker

3D Printing

Florence

Graham Packaging

Plastic bottles

Florence

Grandpa Brands Co.

Personal care products

Erlanger

Greif Inc.

Rigid industrial packaging, steel drums

Florence

Griffin Industries

Animal rendering services

Cold Spring

Hahn Automation

Industrial equipment and technology

Hebron

Halperns’ Steak & Seafood

High quality portion control beef products

Walton

HBC-radiomatic, Inc.

Radio systems for wireless control of machinery

Hebron

HDT Global

Military air conditioning, heaters, decontamination units

Florence

Henkel

Seal porosity in metal casings

Florence

Hennegan Co.

Offset printing

Florence

Hydra-Tone Chemicals Inc.

Specialty chemicals, detergents, lubricants

Hebron

Hy-Tek Integrated Systems

Material handling solutions

Hebron

Idaka America Inc.

Machines and machine parts

Hebron

Indelac Controls, Inc.

Quarter turn rotary electric actuators used for valve and damper automation

Florence

International Identification Inc.

Animal identification tags

Newport

Indy Honeycomb

Welded metallic honeycomb

Covington

International Mold Steel, Inc.

Steel for plastic & rubber molds

Florence

International Paper

Printing plant, packaging materials

Walton

Interplastic Corporation

Polyester resins used to make windmill blades

Covington

Iofina Chemical, Inc.

Select halogen specialty chemicals, iodine

Covington

J.A.C.C., Inc.

Custom machine safety guarding

Alexandria

Jack’s Glass, Inc.

Home and auto glass solutions

Elsmere

Jackson Tool & Mold LLC

Tool and mold, CNC machining, machine parts

Hebron

Jero Inc.

Stub ends, buttweld pipe fittings

Florence

J-Fab LLC

Florence

Johnson Controls, Inc. – Power Solutions

Lead acid batteries

Florence

Kellogg Snacks

Keebler products

Florence

Kiswel Welding Products

Welding filler manufacturer

Florence

KOI Precast Concrete Inc.

Precast concrete products

Burlington

Kona Ice

Premium tropical shaved ice

Florence

Krauss-Maffei

Plastic fabrication

Florence

KRC Machine Tool Services

Fanuc and Siemens CNC retrofitting

Independence

Kustom Blending LLC

Blended resins and solutions for graphic arts

Walton

Lally Pipe & Tube

Structural & limited service steel pipe

Liberty Plastics Molding Corp Inc.

Plastic injection molds, molding & prototypes

Bellevue

Linamar

Automotive parts and components

Florence

Lingo Manufacturing Co.

Custom permanent point-of-purchase displays

Florence

Linkology

Security systems for parking garages

Newport

LOGOMAT Automation Systems Inc.

LOGOMAT Pallet transfer systems

Hebron

Lohmann Corporation

Specialty adhesive tapes, precision die-cuts

Hebron

L’Oreal USA-Florence Manufacturing

Hair care products

Florence

LSI

Menu boards

Florence

Lyons Magnus

Flavorings and juices

Walton

MACH III Clutch Inc

Clutches and brakes, combination air set clutch/spring set brakes and mechanical friction torque limiters

Walton

Magni Industries Inc.

Corrosion resistant coatings

Independence

Mauer USA

Injection molded caps and closures for personal care products

Hebron

Mazak Corporation

CNC turning centers, vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, Multi-Tasking machines, 5-axis machines

Florence

Meggitt Polymers & Composites

Composite engine and aerostructure components

Erlanger

Meritor Automotive, Inc.

Axle, brake and suspension solutions

Florence

Meyer Tool Inc.

Precision aircraft parts

Erlanger

Metal Solutions Design & Fabrication LLC

DOT certified metal containers for nuclear waste & other hazardous products

Dayton

Mila International Inc.

Surgical devices for pets

Florence

Mubea Inc.

Lightweight construction specialist providing heavy duty spring components and related products

Florence

Mubea Precision Springs Inc.

Transmission springs and hose clamps

Florence

National Band & Tag Co.

Poultry leg and wing bands, bands used for wildlife, ID tags

Newport

New Riff Distilling LLC

Craft distillery

Newport

Newly Weds Foods Inc.

Cracker and bread crumbs, batter mixes

Erlanger

Nor-Com Inc.

Communications systems and A/V integrator

Hebron

North American Stainless L.P.

Steel

Ghent

Novolex

Paper products

Florence

Nucor Steel Gallatin

Hot band coils

Ghent

Obara Corporation USA

Resistance welding equipment

Erlanger

Pamarco Global Graphics

Cylinder bases for printing and converting industries

Walton

Paul Michels & Sons Inc.

Asphalt paving compounds

Hebron

Pepsico

Snacks, foods and beverages

Erlanger

Perfetti van Melle

Airheads candy

Erlanger

P L Marketing Inc.

Kroger corporate branding products

Newport

PG LifeLink

Isolated power system design and manufacturer

Erlanger

Post Glover

Power resistors

Erlanger

Pratt Target Container Inc.

Corrugated “point of purchase” displays

Walton

Prestress Services Industries LLC

Precast & prestressed concrete products

Florence

Purestream Inc.

Sewage treatment equipment

Walton

R & R Design & Manufacturing

Conveyor & automation systems

Florence

R.A. Jones & Co.

Packaging machinery

Covington

Reis Concrete Products Inc

Ready-mixed concrete & precast septic tank; hauling

Alexandria

River Metals Recycling LLC

Scrap recycling

Fort Mitchell

Road ID

Road ID Bracelets

Fort Mitchell

Robert Bosch Automotive

Steering columns

Florence

Romi Machine Tools Ltd.

Industrial lathes, machine tools

Erlanger

Ronan Engineering Co.

Measuring equipment, radiation gauges and measuring instruments

Florence

Rotek Inc.

Roller bearings, slewing rings–large diameter

Florence

Round Paper Packages Inc.

Fiber cans, tubes and converted paper products

Erlanger

Safran Landing Systems

Carbon brakes for airplanes

Walton

F.N. Sheppard & Co. Inc.

Specialty belting

Erlanger

Sherwood Midwest LLC

Bedding, mattresses

Walton

Skilcraft

Surgical products, surgical device production, contract medical device manufacturing

Burlington

A.O. Smith Co.

Water heaters, boilers and storage tanks

Florence

Smyrna Ready Mix

Ready-mixed concrete

Wilder

Southern Graphic Systems

Packaging artwork production

Florence

SpecTape Inc.

Pressure sensitive tape

Erlanger

Starrag USA Inc.

Machine tools for milling, turning, boring and grinding

Hebron

Steinert US

Dry magnetic drum separator and sensor sorting solutions

Walton

Steinhauser Inc.

Packaging, pressure sensitive labels

Newport

Steinkamp Molding L.P.

3-D rubber/metal & plastic injection molds, blow molds, foam molds

Erlanger

Sterling Cut Glass

Contracts with the PGA Tour

Erlanger

Sterling Ventures LLC

Limestone mine, crushed stone

Verona

Stewart Iron Works

Ornamental iron fencing and gates

Erlanger

Studio Vertu

Italian marble products

Newport

Summit Fire Apparatus Inc.

Custom metal, aluminum and steel fabricating; welding and fire truck bodies

Edgewood

SWECO

Customized industrial separation equipment

Florence

Target Marketing Inc.

Publish foldout & map booklets

Florence

TeeSpring Inc.

Custom tee shirts

Hebron

Tente

Casters for hospital beds

Hebron

Thompson Enamel Inc.

Powdered glass colors

Bellevue

TMK IPSCO Tubulars Kentucky Inc.

Steel pipes for oil and gas industry

Wilder

TOPAS Advanced  Polymers, Inc.

World’s leading maker of cyclic olefin copolymer

Florence

Total Display Solutions LLC

Re-manufactures LCD panels for computer video displays and television LCD panes

Erlanger

Toyota Boshoku America

Automotive interior systems

Erlanger

Trivaco

Specialty valves, actuators, actuation controls

Hebron

Tressa Inc.

Professional hair products

Erlanger

Trophy Awards Manufacturing Inc.

Awards, crystal awards, acrylic awards, trophies, plaques, corporate awards, gifts, promotional items

Wilder

Tyson/Hillshire Brands

Meat, primarily cocktail weenies

Alexandria

Paul Tuemler L.P. Gas Inc.

Propane gas service

Walton

The Schwan Food Company

Red Baron Pizza

Florence

US Playing Card Company

Playing cards

Erlanger

Valcom Enterprises Inc.

Custom commercial interior and exterior metal, and drywall partitions

Wilder

ViaCord

Umbilical cord preservation

Hebron

W B Jones Spring Co. Inc.

Compression, extension and torsion springs

Wilder

W J Baker Co.

Metal stampings and tubular spacers

Wilder

The Waddington Group

High-quality plastic, disposable cups, plates, cutlery, serving ware

Covington

Wagstaff

Capital equipment for molton aluminum industry

Hebron

Wild Flavors

Flavor technology

Erlanger

Wilder Hot Mix Asphalt Plant

Hot mix asphalt paving mixture, construction services

Wilder

Willow Ridge Plastics, Inc.

Oxobiodegradable additives for plastics

Erlanger

Wolf Steel USA Inc.

High end fireplaces, grills, HVAC

Crittenden

Zenith Motors

Electric shuttle and cargo vans

Wilder

ZF Boge Elastmetall

Transmissions, steering systems, axles

Hebron

Zotefoams, Inc.

Cross-linked block foams, world leader

Walton

The C.W. Zumbiel Company

Packaging

Hebron

Source: Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. This list may not be exhaustive.

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