Fritz Winter North America, a new iron foundry in Franklin, KY, has been operating since early last summer but the company recently staged an event to mark the opening. “After a construction time of not even one year, the first products rolled off the production line. This is a performance we can be really proud of,” stated Jörg Rumikewitz, managing director of Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG, a supplier of ductile and gray iron and CGI castings for automotive and commercial vehicle brakes, chassis, and motors, as well as hydraulic systems. These components are supplied as rough castings, pre-machined or fully machined parts.
According to reports, Fritz Winter Eisengießerei invested $110 million in the initial phase of the Kentucky project. The operation is casting and machining disc brake rotors with a reported capacity of 60,000 metric tons/year and a work force of 200, though the future expansion could raise the capital investment close to $200 million and increase employment to 300.
The long-term plan was indicated at the time of the project’s announcement in late 2015, but Fritz Winter has not detailed its development schedule.
Kentucky’s central location and proximity to domestic and transplant automakers were cited among the reasons for choosing the location, though it also benefitted from tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority worth up to $5 million. KEDFA also approved up to $690,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows Fritz Winter to recover sales and use taxes on construction costs, building fixtures, and equipment used in R&D and electronic processing.
And, Fritz Winter is available to access the Kentucky Skills Network, which provides no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training, and job training incentives.
“This company is making a long-term investment, as its nearly $200 million foundry demonstrates, and their presence in Franklin is already creating hundreds of jobs,” according to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, speaking at the opening event. “Fritz Winter’s Simpson County facility will prove to be a game-changer for countless families in the region. Kentucky is grateful for their strong vote of confidence.”