Manufacturers from around the world find room to grow in Northern Kentucky

By Susan Gosselin

Safran Landing Systems is a commercial and military aircraft wheel and brake components maker. In late 2016 it broke ground on a  $100 million expansion in Walton. It staffs  nearly 400 employees.
Safran Landing Systems is a commercial and military aircraft wheel and brake components maker. In late 2016 it broke ground on a
$100 million expansion in Walton. It staffs
nearly 400 employees.

More than a chamber of commerce slogan, “I made it in Northern Kentucky” is an accurate description of the growing momentum the manufacturing sector is experiencing.

MRNK-tag-artFrom January through October 2017, more than 400 manufacturing jobs were created and $360 million was invested in new and expanding manufacturing facilities in the eight Northern Kentucky counties alone, according to the state Cabinet for Economic Development.

“Companies looking for manufacturing locations have been taking a second look at Northern Kentucky,” said Jack Mazurak, communications director for the cabinet. “We have qualities employers are looking for: low cost of living, a great quality of life, a deep labor pool, favorable laws and regulations, and a solid base of aerospace and automotive companies already here. And with the Cincinnati airport nearby, companies who locate here can take advantage of the DHL Express (air freight) global hub. They can ship internationally, overnight in most cases.”

Since January 2017, three new companies decided to locate in Northern Kentucky, including Whitehall Inc., which is spending $40 million to open a Hebron-based plant to manufacture bread products and employ 81 workers; Cabot Corp., which is investing $89 million in a new chemical plant employing 32 in Carrollton; and MGPI of Indiana, which is investing $3.8 million to open a contract food and beverage company in Williamstown.

They add to the strong legacy of manufacturing in the region – one rooted in aerospace products, food service and custom machining.

For instance, Safran Landing Systems, a commercial and military aircraft wheel and brake components maker based in Walton is the world leader in aircraft landing and braking systems. The company staffs 380 employees, and completed a $100 million expansion in 2016. It is one of the reasons Kentucky’s largest export category is aircraft parts and accessories, accounting for 37 percent of the commonwealth’s total exports in 2016.

Northern Kentucky’s advantageous business climate has led many important manufacturers to call the region home, including sometimes Fortune 500 company General Cable, auto parts maker Mubea, Tyson/Hillshire Foods, Novolex, The Schwan Food Co., Robert Bosch Automotive Steering, Architectural Aluminum Products, and Evenflo Feeding, and L’Oréal.

Mubea is the area’s largest manufacturer, employing more than 1,300 workers producing heavy-duty products for lightweight construction.

“Mubea’s successful manufacturing operations over the years have been the 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, including the Governor’s Office, the Economic Development Cabinet, the Labor Secretary’s Office, Gateway Community and Technical College, the Tri-ED staff, the NKY Chamber, and the press,” said Doug Cain, CEO of Mubea North America. “In addition, the local government officials and services sector have always made us feel a valued member of the community.”

L’Oréal completed installation of the biggest solar power plant in Kentucky in summer 2017. The 4,140-panel configuration sits on a Kenton County rooftop and equates to over 1,000 metric tons of carbon that won’t be introduced into the air, according to L’Oréal USA Plant Manager Nicole Frey.

“Companies want to manufacture in the U.S.,” said Brian Papke, chairman of Mazak Corp. in Florence. “If you are making something simple, you make it offshore, but manufacturing is much more sophisticated than it has been in the past. Products are more complex and made with fewer parts. You need the equipment to make that, and you need people with skills to run them.”

Cutting-edge machine tool leader Mazak makes customized, advanced technology for other manufacturers, a high precision business requiring a large workforce of engineers, machinists and advanced manufacturing experts.

“We’ve been in Northern Kentucky for decades now,” Papke said. “And even though our company is privately held in Japan, Kentucky gives us a good base for growing our global reach. The proprietary knowledge you find here and the (advantageous) logistics costs of operating here make it a very attractive place to do business.”

Abrapower Inc.

Abrasive coated foam

Florence

abrapowerusa.com

Anderson Manufacturing

AR 15 Rifles

Hebron

andersonrifles.com

Angstrom Technologies

Electro optical UV detectors

Florence

angtech.com

AquiSense Technologies

LED devices

Erlanger

aquisense.com

Armor USA Inc.

Thermal transfer printer ribbons

Hebron

armor-tt.com

Atkins & Pearce Inc.

Braided technical textiles

Covington

atkinsandpearce.com

Avure Technologies

High pressure food processing

Erlanger

avure-hpp-foods.com

Baker Stamping

Tubular stamp and multi-slide parts

Wilder

bakerstamping.com

Balluff

Industrial networking, object detection

Florence

balluff.com

Beckman Coulter

Diagnostic tests/equipment

Florence

beckmancoulter.com

Benda-Lutz Corp.

Blitz® bonded metallic powder coatings, Blitz® aluminum pigments

Independence

benda-lutz.com

Best Sanitizers

Hand sanitizer

Walton

bestsanitizers.com

Beverly International Nutrition Inc.

Nutrition sports manufacturer

Cold Spring

beverlyinternational.net

Blue Grass Quality Meats

Deli meats

Erlanger

bluegrassqualitymeats.com

Bonfiglioli USA

Hebron

bonfiglioliusa.com

Celanese

Advanced polymer technology to produce high-performance plastic materials

Florence

celanese.com

Clarion Corp. Of America

Car audio, multimedia, information products

Walton

clarion.com

Clopay Plastic Products Co.

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

Augusta

clopayplastics.com

Continental Building Products

Wallboard and joint compound materials

Silver Grove

continental-bp.com

Cummins Filtration

Filtration, coolant and fuel additive technology

Walton

cumminsfiltration.com

Desma USA Inc.

Tooling, rubber injection molds and injection molding machines

Hebron

desma-usa.com

Diversified Structural Composites

Pultruded composite products, carbon fiber equipment

Erlanger

diversified-composites.com

Dixie Dew

Ice cream toppings

Erlanger

dixiedewproducts.com

ESCO Corp.

Construction attachments, mining, and conveyor products

Covington

escocorp.com

Ethos Labs

Drug tests

Newport

ethos-labs.com

Evenflo Feeding Inc.

Infant equipment and juvenile products

West Chester

evenflofeeding.com

Fabritec International

Professional dry cleaning detergents, wet cleaning soaps and spotting chemicals

Florence

fabritec.com

Fields Welding Inc.

Structural steel fabrication, metal fabrication

Fort Wright

fieldswelding.com

Fives Cincinnati

Machining and assembly systems, aerospace and automotive production equipment

Hebron

metal-cutting-composites.fivesgroup.com

Flottweg

Decanter centrifuges, separators, belt presses

Independence

flottweg.com

Fortress Interlocks Inc.

Safety access and control systems

Erlanger

fortressinterlocks.com

Fuji Autotech USA LLC

Walton

fujiautotec.net

Galerie Candy & Gifts

Chocolate and specialty candy

Hebron

galeriecandy.com

GameMaster

Louisville Slugger Instructional items and pitching machines

Erlanger

gmasterathletic.com

Gates Corp.

Belts, hose, hydraulics

Hebron

gates.com

General Cable

Copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable

Highland Heights

generalcable.com

Givaudan Flavors

Fragrance and flavor

Florence

givaudan.com

Glier’s Meats Inc.

German breakfast sausage

Covington

goetta.com

Greif Inc.

Rigid industrial packaging, steel drums

Florence

greif.com

Griffin Industries

Animal rendering services

Cold Springs

griffinind.com

HBC-radiomatic Inc.

Radio systems for wireless control of cranes and machinery

Hebron

hbc-usa.com

Hahn Automation

Industrial equipment and technology

Hebron

hahnautomation.com

Hy-Tek Integrated Systems

Material handling solutions

Hebron

hy-tek.net

Indelac Controls Inc.

Quarter turn rotary electric actuators used for valve and damper automation

Florence

indelac.com

Indy Honeycomb

Engine seal, structural & other applications of honeycomb

Covington

indyhoneycomb.com

International Mold Steel Inc.

Steel for plastic & rubber molds

Florence

imsteel.com

Iofina Chemical Inc.

Select halogen specialty chemicals, iodine

Covington

iofina.com

J.A.C.C., Inc.

Custom machine safety guarding

Alexandria

Jack’s Glass Inc.

Home and auto glass solutions

Elsmere

jacksglassshop.com

J-Fab LLC

Florence

Johnson Controls Inc. – Power Solutions

Lead acid batteries

Florence

jci.com

Kellogg Snacks

Keebler Products

Florence

kelloggs.com

Kiswel Welding Products

Welding filler manufacturer

Florence

kiswelusa.com

Krauss-Maffei

Plastic fabrication

Florence
kraussmaffei.com

KRC Machine Tool Services

Fanuc and Siemens CNC retrofitting

Independence

krcmachinetoolservices.com

Lally Pipe & Tube

Structural & limited service steel pipe

Linamar

Automotive parts and components

Florence

linamar.com

Linkology

Security systems for parking garages

Newport

linkologyusa.com

Lohmann Corp.

Specialty adhesive tapes, precision die-cuts

Hebron

lohmann-tapes.com

L’Oreal USA-Florence Manufacturing

Hair care products

Florence

loreal.com

LSI

Menu boards

Florence

lsi-industries.com

Lyons Magnus

Flavorings and juices

Walton

lyonsmagnus.com

Mauer USA

Injection molded caps and closures for personal care products

Hebron

Mazak Corp.

Florence

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

Meritor Automotive Inc.

Axle, brake and suspension solutions

Florence

meritor.com

Mubea Inc.

Lightweight construction specialist providing heavy duty spring components and related products

Florence

mubea.com

National Band & Tag Co.

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

Newport

nationalband.com

North American Stainless L.P.

Steel

Ghent

northamericanstainless.com

Novolex

Paper products

Florence

novolex.com

Nucor Steel Gallatin

Hot band coils

Ghent

gallatinsteel.com

Pepsico

Snacks, foods and beverages

Erlanger

pepsico.com

Perfetti van Melle

Airheads

Erlanger

perfettivanmelleusa.us

PG LifeLink

Isolated power system design and manufacturer

Erlanger

pglifelink.com

Post Glover

Power resistors

Erlanger

postglover.com

R & R Design & Manufacturing

Conveyor & automation systems

Florence

rrdesignmfg.com

R.A. Jones & Co.

Packaging machinery

Covington

rajones.com

River Metals Recycling LLC

Scrap recycling

Fort Mitchell

rmrecycling.com

Road ID

Road ID Bracelets

Fort Mitchell

roadid.com

Robert Bosch Automotive

Steering columns

Florence

bosch-automotive-steering.com

Safran Landing Systems

Carbon brakes for airplanes

Walton

safranmbd.com

F.N. Sheppard & Co. Inc.

Specialty belting

Erlanger

fnsheppard.com

Skilcraft

Surgical products, production, medical devices

Burlington

skilcraft.com

A.O. Smith Co.

Water heaters, boilers and storage tanks

Florence

hotwater.com

Steinert US

Dry magnetic drum separator solutions and sensor sorting solutions

Walton

steinertglobal.com

Steinkamp Molding L.P. Mold & Tool

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

Erlanger

stkm.us

Sterling Cut Glass

Contracts with the PGA Tour

Erlanger

sterlingcutglass.com

Sterling Ventures, LLC

Limestone mine, crushed stone

Verona

Stewart Iron Works

Ornamental iron fencing and gates

Erlanger

stewartironworks.com

STOBER

Gearboxes

Maysville

stober.com

Studio Vertu

Italian marble products

Newport

studiovertu.com

Sweco

Industrial separation equipment

Florence

sweco.com

Tente

Casters that go on hospital beds

Hebron

tente.com

TOPAS Advanced Polymers Inc.

World’s leading maker of cyclic olefin copolymer

Florence

topas.com

Toyota Boshoku America

Automotive interior systems

Erlanger

toyota-boshoku.com/us/

Trivaco

Specialty valves, actuators, actuation controls

Hebron

trivaco.com

Tyson/Hillshire Brands

Meat, primarily cocktail weenies

Alexandria

tysonfoods.com/hillshire-brands.aspx

Paul Tuemler L.P. Gas Inc.

Propane gas service

Walton

paultuemlerlpgas.com

The Schwan Food Co.

Red Baron Pizza

Florence

theschwanfoodcompany.com

US Playing Card Co.

Erlanger

usplayingcard.com

ViaCord

Umbilical cord blood preservation

Hebron

viacord.com

The Waddington Group

High-quality disposable serving ware

Covington

wna.biz

Wagstaff

Capital equipment for molton aluminum industry

Hebron

wagstaff.com

Wild Flavors

Flavor technology

Erlanger

wildflavors.com

Willow Ridge Plastics Inc.

Oxobiodegradable additives for plastics

Erlanger

willowridgeplastics.com

Wolf Steel USA Inc

High end fireplaces, grills, HVAC

Crittenden

napoleonproducts.com

ZF Boge Elastmetall

Transmissions, steering systems, axles

Hebron

zf.com

Zotefoams Inc.

Cross-linked block foams, world leader

Walton

zotefoams.com

The C.W. Zumbiel Co.

Packaging

Hebron

zumbiel.com


Source: Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

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