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Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies plans to expand its Findlay, Ohio automotive sealing facility and hire new employees to meet increasing customer requirements for quality components.

The plant produces approximately 700 high performance plastic parts for customers including vehicle manufacturers and tier one and two suppliers. Company executives have announced the company will pursue a 43,000 foot factory expansion that could result in retaining 148 jobs and creating 25 new jobs at the plant. Final decisions are dependent on formal approval of all state of Ohio workforce and incentive programmes.

The company expects to spend US$8.6m on construction and equipment upgrades and the expansion and construction will be complete by winter 2015.

“Freudenberg-NOK’s Findlay facility is a benchmark for lean manufacturing and production of quality components so it is not surprising that escalating customer demand offers us tremendous new opportunities for business expansion in Ohio,” said Theodore Duclos, president, Freudenberg-NOK. “We are happy to invest in the success of this facility and the greater Findlay community with this construction. We anticipate that this expansion will help us better serve existing and new customers with quality sealing products.”

Freudenberg-NOK managers have worked with JobsOhio, state and local officials on incentives to support the expansion.

Findlay has become the company’s lead facility in the successful adoption of a new breakthrough manufacturing approach, single cavity net shape moulding. The single cavity approach uses compact, custom-engineered one cavity injection and compression moulding machines rather than multi-cavity machines to produce crucial thermoplastic parts. The process improves part quality and reduces scrap and waste.

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Findlay’s expansion will help the facility increase its compression and injection molding product production which includes seal rings, thrust washers, pistons and assemblies. The plant currently manufacturers 185m seals and related components annually and anticipates the new addition will increase production by approximately 25% a year.

Freudenberg-NOK will host a formal groundbreaking celebration in June.