Kimura Foundry America Inc. plans to build a manufacturing plant in Shelbyville, IN, to be in operation by December 2018. The plant would produce castings and molds for domestic customers in automotive and pump manufacturing. Groundbreaking for the 35,200-sq.ft. operation is scheduled for October.
The Kimura Group operates three foundries in Japan, producing iron castings for dies for stamping and diecasting, machine tool beds and frame structures, automotive engine parts, pumps, compressors and energy industry components. It also operates three pattern shops and three specialty-machining operations.
According to its website, “Kimura has established a Development Department and is engaged in thoroughly researching improvements in quality and in developments of new products. This approach has enabled us to introduce positive techniques in the casting industry, which used to depend only on workers' experience and good sense. The results of these research outcomes are fed back to our foundries.”
Kimura developed and applied for a patent on a new technology that combines “full mold casting” and “direct molding” processes: “This technology has enabled us to produce complex large scale castings of max. 30 t, with a min. wall thickness of 3 mm. Mainly, the technology could be applied to the manufacturing of casting parts for large diesel engine application. This technology has taken away some of the design limitations (such as undercut, wall thickness, etc.) and providing wider options for designer prioritizing the efficiency of products.”
Kimura’s Japanese pattern and mold-making operations incorporate 3D-printing technologies for complex designs, like diecasting and stamping dies, which it indicated would be installed at the U.S. plant as well.
No specific 3D-printing process or other foundry equipment has been indicated for the project.
Kimura opened a U.S. sales office in suburban Chicago in 2014. The Indiana plant will be its first U.S. production facility.
“When we were searching for our first U.S. manufacturing partner, Indiana offered exactly what we were seeking,” stated Yoya Fukuda, Ph.D., president of Kimura Foundry America. He credited the state’s transportation network and skilled manufacturing workforce, and “long history of welcoming Japanese companies to the state”.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state’s business development agency, incentivized the Kimura Foundry America project with up to $225,000 of tax credits and up to $25,000 in training grants. These credits are conditioned on the company’s job-creation plans, and are not redeemable until employees are hired.
Kimura Foundry America has indicated it plans to hire 20 workers for the new plant.
The local city council also granted the project a five-year tax abatement, covering 100% of taxes on the 10-acre site.
“Indiana is a global destination for companies from around the world looking for a place to locate, grow and add new jobs,” stated Jim Schellinger, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “Kimura’s decision continues a long trend of international companies, including many from Japan, choosing to make Indiana their U.S. home. … we’re excited to welcome our friends at Kimura Foundry America to Indiana.”