Construction has started in Franklin, KY, for Fritz Winter North America LP’s new ferrous foundry and machining complex, a nearly $200-million development. Representatives of Fritz Winter Group, together with state and local officials, attended the event.
“The installation of our new plant in Franklin is an important milestone in our globalization strategy,” stated Jorg Rumikewitz, CEO of the auto parts group based in Stadtallendorf, Germany. "This is the first time we have established a production facility out of the country. Some people thought this day would never come."
The Kentucky site was selected Fritz Winter due to its proximity to customers, the availability of skilled workers, and the infrastructure on the site.
The Fritz Winter Group produces nearly 800 different cast iron parts for automotive and commercial vehicle brakes, chassis, and motors, as well as hydraulic systems, in gray iron, ductile iron, and compacted graphite iron (CGI.) Components are supplied as rough castings, pre-machined or fully machined parts.
The Kentucky operation is designed to cast 60,000-metric tons/year of ferrous castings, and finish machine disc brake rotors of the North American auto industry. The first phase — a 182,433-sq.ft. and a 124,445-sq.ft. machine shop — is said to comprise more than $100 million of construction and new equipment.
Operations would begin in mid-2017, employing over 200 workers. The full, five-year development program will result in a complex with about 340 workers.
"We will grow this business and create jobs — safe jobs," stated Roland Reim, CEO of Fritz Winter North America.