Taking part in the Aisin Chemical Indiana expansion groundbreaking were Tim
Arnold, Department Manager of Engineering & Maintenance; Yoshiaki Yasui,
President of ACIN; Hideto Nakagawa, Senior Director of Aisin Chemical Co in
Japan; Masayasu Saito, president of Aisin Holdings of America; Scott Turpen,
president of Aisin Drivetrain; and Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson
County Industrial Development Corporation.
Ground was broken Friday morning for a $6 million expansion at Aisin Chemical Indiana’s plant in Crothersville’ industrial park south of town.
The additional 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space will be filled more quickly than anticipated and create more jobs than earlier anticipated, according to company officials.
The company will be installing a new production process to reduce materials imported from Japan, said Hideto Nakagawa, senior managing director of the company’s parent firm, Aisin Chemical Co. of Japan.
ACIN makes friction material components for automatic transmissions, liquid sound dampening material and anti-corrosion paint. The company employs 65 workers. The expansion will create five new jobs next year.
Plant General Manager Tim Carter said the more rapid ramp of production will mean an investment of between $8 million and $10 million, which means more production equipment and more jobs.
Nagawaka said the company also plans to expand its customer base with the addition to the 70,000-square-foot plant.
“Our current customers are Japanese companies,” Nagawaka said. Those customers include Toyota, AW North Carolina, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Denso, Hino Manufacturing, Nissan and others.
Nagawaka said the hope is to gain customers from U.S. businesses such as GM, Ford as well as others.
Masayasu Saito, president of Aisin Holdings of America Inc., which oversees the company’s manufacturing in North America said he likes Crothersville High School’s mascot, which is a tiger.
“The Tiger is very aggressive,” Saito said. “That is what Aisin companies want to be in producing our products for the world.”
Saito said Aisin now has 18 plants in North America and it’s not surprising that three of them, Aisin Chemical, Aisin Drivetrain and Aisin U.S.A. Manufacturing, are located in Jackson County because the community support here is strong and there is a solid workforce.
Yoshiaki Yasui, Aisin Chemical Indiana’s president, said sales have continued to grow since the company was founded in 2006. Sales for this year are projected to be $52 million.
“Crothersville and Seymour have been good for Aisin companies. We have hard workers who are friendly and dedicated,” he said.
Aisin Chemical began in Jan. 2006 inside neighboring Aisin Drivetrain and completed its current 70,000 square foot facility in December 2010. In just three years the company is expanding again.
“We have come to expect this kind of growth from Aisin Companies here in Jackson County,” said Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp “But it still amazes me.”
He added that strong Aisin leadership and a turn around in the economy have helped jumpstart the company’s larger than expected expansion.
To celebrate the expansion, Aisin Chemical Indiana made $2,000 contributions each to Crothersville High School for the school’s dual degree program and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education programs operated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Seymour Police Department.