DOWA Investing Close to $10M in BG
BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo Business Journal) - Dowa THT America, Inc. has undertaken a major expansion in Bowling Green. The company is constructing a 38,000 square foot facility as part of its existing manufacturing plant.
“Dowa has broken ground for their new addition and construction is under way. This is an important project with significant investment and new jobs for our community,” stated Sue Clark, executive director, Bowling Green Community Development Foundation.
Dowa’s expansion will provide 19 new jobs at the manufacturing operation.
“These jobs will be put in place over the next several years and will all be in place by 2015,” advised Dowa’s Alan Chute. The company is expanding its operations with additional production space and new equipment.
The new building is expected to be completed by April 2013. The new equipment will be installed over a two-year period.
Dowa THT America is a subsidiary of Dowa Holdings Company located in Japan. The Bowling Green facility was opened in 1998 and was one of four Japanese companies that put operations in Wood County.
The Dowa America operations are part of the company’s Thermotech Group. This business unit provides heat-treating of parts and components designed to improve their strength and provide other capabilities. Dowa’s operations in Bowling Green are focused on producing parts that go into the auto industry. The US business operations also installs and maintains furnaces for heat-treating customers located in this country.
Dowa THT America is a major supplier to the Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio. This is the largest customer for the Bowling Green plant. Dowa’s facility expansion in Bowling Green will support additional growth from Honda. However, growth with parts for Toyota is supporting part of the need for additional capacity. Dowa’s business with General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford is also driving the need to expand.
The Bowling Green plant currently has 17 gas-fired furnaces that heat-treat these parts. It also currently has 3 washers that clean these parts after they complete the heat-treating process. Dowa advises that its heat treatment process improves the wear resistance of metal surfaces on these auto parts.
The company also has a gas soft nitriding process for improving fatigue resistance of metal parts. The company has a TD process for improving wear and seizure resistance of metal dies. In addition, Dowa has a low-temperature sulphurizing process for improving fire resistance.
The current expansion project will result in 10 new furnaces being installed in the Bowling Green facility. At the conclusion of the project, the plant will have 27 heat-treating furnaces to support customer business. The project will also result in the installation of 3 new washers being installed in the facility. At the project’s conclusion, the Bowling Green operations will have 5 washers to support the 27 heat-treating furnaces.
Dowa’s Thermotech Group not only provides heat-treating services for metal parts, but the group also designs and manufactures specialized furnaces that are used to do heat-treating. In Japan, Dowa is constructing each of the new heat-treating furnaces in one of its facilities that will be installed in the Bowling Green plant. The current expansion will add new furnace and washer equipment for heat-treating customer parts.
An estimated $2.5 million is being invested in the construction of the new building that will house most of the additional equipment. The total capital investment being placed by the company is budgeted at over $9.6 million that includes not only the building construction, but also the new furnaces and washers, and the installation costs of this equipment and support capabilities. This figure would have been significantly higher if the company had to purchase this equipment from outside suppliers. Dowa’s internal capability to manufacture the new Bowling Green heat treating furnaces in its operations in Japan have resulted in a lower level of capital cost needed for this project.
“The only economic development incentive involved in this project is a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) program incentive. This will provide property tax abatement and is structured for a ten year period,” stated Clark.
The Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program is an economic development tool administered by municipal and county government that provides real property tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.