Nordenia completes construction on new Jackson facility

Sunday, March 4, 2012
The inside of Nordenia's new facility in the Jackson industrial park is seen Friday. (Melissa Miller)

Now that construction is complete on Nordenia USA's new Jackson Industrial Park facility, crews are setting up equipment and gearing up to start production.

"It's all built for growth," said Reinhold Franke, Nordenia USA's new president and chief operating officer.

Franke replaces Bill Burke, who retired last week after heading the German company's American operations for nine years.

About half of the 183,000-square-foot building will be used for the manufacturing of flexible plastic packaging and the other half for storing both raw materials and finished products. About three football fields would fit inside it.

About two weeks ago, crews installed the first of five new machines that will help the company meet growing consumer demand.

"In the long run, this will help increase our production capacity 30 to 40 percent," Franke said.

The first machine, manufactured by Japanese company Totani, was shipped first to California and then came to Missouri via five railroad containers.

Nordenia crews trained on the machinery in Japan, and one Japanese mechanic is here now helping machinists as they test it.

Nordenia is investing nearly $20 million in machinery, Franke said. Some equipment now used at its plant near Procter & Gamble will also be moved to the new Jackson Industrial Park facility for a total of 12 machines on site.

Right now, only a handful of people are working at the new facility, but by summer about 100 will be there full time as production gets underway.

A group of 10 new employees will begin training this week, Franke said, with another 10 to 15 to be hired in the next few weeks.

Eighty-five employees will be moved from Nordenia's existing plant to the new facility, which includes a testing laboratory and conference room with live video feed capabilities in addition to its manufacturing and warehousing areas.

Nordenia's facility was built by Penzel Construction using steel from Nucor building systems.

"This is a green building," said Mike Ellis, district sales manager. "About 85 percent of this building is made from recycled steel."

Penzel completed the building in six months and also was responsible for the HVAC and electrical systems. The building must be kept at specific temperature and humidity levels necessary for manufacturing, said Phil Penzel, president of Penzel Construction. A special fire suppression system was also installed capable of pumping 2,400 gallons of water per minute.

About 160 workers were involved in the construction process, including Penzel employees and subcontractors.

Jackson received a $500,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development to construct road and utility infrastructure at the Jackson Industrial Park as part of the Nordenia project. Nordenia was awarded $350,000 in Missouri Quality Jobs program tax credits for creating 50 jobs over the next few years.

Nordenia opened its first facility in Cape Girardeau County in 1989 with five employees and now employs about 400 people. Its biggest customers include Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods and Nestle.

The company is seeing growth in the pet care and lawn and garden sectors of its business, Franke said.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

U.S. 61, Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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