International Manufacturers Drive Growth In Indiana

International manufacturing expansions create more than 160 jobs, $57M in Indiana; plus manufacturers get $2.8 million in tech grants.

Aisin Drivetrain Inc. (ADI), a Japan-based manufacturer of automotive and heavy equipment parts, will expand its Jackson County, IN operations, creating up to 141 new jobs by the end of 2024. The expansion will support Aisin’s initiative to accelerate the electrification of vehicles to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions as steps to improve the environment.

“Companies like Aisin Drivetrain continue to drive our mission of bringing Indiana to the world and the world to Indiana,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “We’re committed to providing the best business environment and high-quality talent pool to ensure the company’s growth here for generations to come.”

Aisin Drivetrain IndianaThe company, a subsidiary of Japan-based Aisin Corporation, will invest more than $55 million to expand its 353,799-square-foot manufacturing operations in Crothersville. ADI, which manufactures automotive components and systems such as industrial transmissions, commercial transmissions and power steering columns, will renovate and purchase new equipment in order to accommodate design changes for the Toyota Large Capacity Hybrid electric rear axle assembly (e-Four) and electric water pump (EWP).

“ADI is proud to be an active member of the Crothersville community and appreciates the continued support from Jason Hillenburg and the town of Crothersville,” said Scott Shade, president for Aisin Drivetrain. “We strive to provide a stable, competitive and comfortable workplace for our members while providing our customers with ‘best in class’ products.”

Aisin Corporation employs more than 120,000 associates worldwide, including 422 in Indiana at its Crothersville facility. Since 2008, ADI has invested nearly $96 million into its Indiana operations.

“This is tremendous news for the Crothersville community,” said Crothersville Town Council President Jason Hillenburg. “We are excited and gratified that ADI has chosen to expand and grow its business here. For nearly 25 years, we have partnered with the Aisin companies in our community, and it is gratifying to see that partnership continue to grow, producing jobs and quality Aisin automotive products.”

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in Aisin Drivetrain Inc. of up to $1.4 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits. The town of Crothersville approved additional incentives.

ADI is one of more than 300 Japanese business establishments in Indiana that employ more than 56,000 workers. Among all U.S. states, Indiana has the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita. Last year, 36 foreign-based companies committed to locating or growing in Indiana, planning to create 5,228 new jobs for Hoosiers.

German-based Variotech Picks Central Indiana For First U.S. Manufacturing Site

Variotech, a German-based producer of trays for the automation industry, will establish a new U.S manufacturing site in central Indiana creating up to 22 new jobs by the end of 2023.

“As a global company, Variotech could have expanded anywhere, but they chose Indiana, which is a testament to our business-friendly environment and high-quality workforce,” said Jim Staton, SVP and chief business development officer for the IEDC. “We’re grateful Variotech is choosing to grow in central Indiana, developing innovative products that are used across the globe, while furthering our mission of bringing Indiana to the world and the world to Indiana.”

Variotech will invest nearly $2.2 million to upgrade and equip a 2,000-square-foot facility in Indianapolis with state-of-the-art thermoforming production lines, while integrating a portion of the company’s current Atlanta-based workforce. This expansion will enable the company to begin more manufacturing the products in the U.S., shortening customer delivery times and increasing the service offerings to customers on-site and developing world-class customized solutions in close partnership with its U.S customer base.

“We wanted to be in a location with short distances to our customers and great infrastructure,” said Variotech´s CEO and President Benedikt Fleig. “In our selection process, we quickly realized that Indiana would fulfill all our needs. It was challenging setting up a facility from abroad, during a pandemic; but we received great support from the state of Indiana and felt welcome from the beginning.”

The company employs 80 team members across offices in Atlanta and Nordhorn, Germany and will begin hiring shift leaders and shopfloor workers beginning this month.

Founded in 1998, Variotech specializes in producing trays for the automation industry, medical devices and currently ships everything from Germany. In 2019, the company established a sales office in Atlanta making the first steps into the US market and has since been working to grow its U.S. customer base.

“We are thrilled to welcome Variotech to Indianapolis,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Our strong quality of life, combined with a robust business and manufacturing ecosystem, continue to pay dividends as we attract jobs and grow our local economy. We’re glad to have Variotech be a part of that growth.”

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the IEDC committed an investment in Variotech of up to $150,000 in the form of incentive-based tax credits and $75,000 in conditional training grants. The city of Indianapolis supports the project in partnership with Develop Indy.

Indiana is home to more than 130 German-owned business locations, employing roughly 18,000 workers. Since 2017, the IEDC has worked with 21 German-owned businesses to locate or expand their operations in Indiana, committing to add 1,368 new jobs and $928 million in capital investment. Last year, 36 foreign-based companies committed to locating or growing in Indiana, planning to create 5,228 new jobs.

Manufacturing Readiness Grants Support Smart Technology

The IEDC, in partnership with Conexus Indiana, a Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiative, recently announced a fourth round of awards totaling more than $2.8 million to 34 Indiana businesses. The Manufacturing Readiness Grants will support a projected $17.4 million in technology-based capital investment in Indiana.

“Hoosier manufacturers are preparing now for the industries of tomorrow,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Through the Manufacturing Readiness Grants program, these forward-thinking companies are modernizing their operations to set themselves up for a successful future, creating high-skill, high-wage jobs for Hoosiers in all parts of the state and propelling the long-term growth of Indiana’s strong manufacturing sector.”

The Manufacturing Readiness Grants program was launched in 2020 to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing sector. Based on the program’s success, the Indiana General Assembly appropriated $20 million in additional funding to the two-year state budget that runs through June 30, 2023, to help position Indiana operations for future growth and prosperity. Availability of the new funding on July 1, 2021, has enabled a total of 122 awards to date totaling nearly $9.7 million in grants to companies in 50 counties, supporting technology-based capital investment projected to be more than $68.6 million.

The 34 grant recipients in this round include companies from 22 Indiana counties and cover a wide range of specialties, including aerospace and defense, automotive, custom electronics and medical devices.

“We continue to be impressed with the applications that demonstrate more and more Indiana manufacturers are embracing and implementing smart technologies to succeed in an increasingly tech-focused environment,” said Mitch Landess, vice president of innovation and digital transformation at Conexus Indiana. “As a partner with the IEDC on these grants, Conexus Indiana and its panel of Smart Manufacturing Fellows review all applications, and we are excited to see technologies such as digital twin, additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, and IIoT being implemented and impacting both job and business growth.”

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