AkzoNobel announces $3.7 million investment in Warsaw plant

Nate Norris, director of North America Supply Chain for AkzoNobel, speaks during an announcment at the Warsaw plant Thursday. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — AkzoNobel announced on Thursday it plans to invest $3.7 million in its plant in Warsaw.

The move is part of a $30 million investment in powder coatings manufacturing across the U.S. in an effort to increase capacity and better serve its customers in Indiana.

The investment is expected to unlock numerous benefits, such as increased production, efficiency and expanded application opportunities that will open up new markets, the company said Thursday.

The company (pronounced Axo No-bell) is also expanding its investment in Reading, Pa., Nashville, Tenn., and Monterrey, Mexico.

The company hosted a news conference with local media and local dignitaries for the announcement and tour of its facility on Leiter Drive.

The plant in Warsaw manufactures powder that is then shipped out to customers who use it to apply surface coatings for a variety of specialized products.

The company ships out about 750,000 boxes of powder coating materials each year.

New equipment will result in more output, the company said.

The  advanced technologies are providing solutions that offer improved durability, versatility and sustainability performance when compared to traditional coatings.

The improvements are expected to broaden its customer base, with the company already supplying across industries including automotive, architectural, customer electronics and aerospace.

The company has 35,000 employees globally including 100 employees in Warsaw.

The technology is also more environmentally friendly.

“From a regulatory standpoint, it’s the wave of the future, right,” said Nate Norris, director of North America Supply Chain. “There’s still niches for liquid, but (for) powder, we see a huge growth because of the sustainability factor, the regulatory concerns that go away with this.”

Warsaw City Council President Jack Wilhite represented the city at the meeting and applauded the move.

“We appreciate all that you do,” Wilhite said. “We don’t take you for granted, and what we do wish you continued success and growth.”

New equipment is expected to be installed this summer.

A company official said they expect to increase its number of local employees, but did not say how many.

The company currently has openings for operators with a pay rate of $20 per hour, the company said.