Site Selection Manufacturing Feature


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Columbus as a manufacturing destination is featured in Site Selection's September 2012 issue. Article courtesy Site Selection,

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Site Selection Manufacturing Feature

  1. 1. A SITE SELECTION INVESTMENT PROFILE: Columbus, Ohio Made in Columbus Globally competitive manufacturers find the right mix for success in Central OhioW This fleet truck in Seymour, Ind., uses the hen DuPont needed to make b y R O N S TA R N E R Hybrid Drive System engineered and produced a plant location decision by Parker Hannifin, which just opened a new between Luxembourg and 125-worker plant in Columbus.Circleville, Ohio, in the Columbus Region, attributes that make this part of Ohio a Photo courtesy of Parker Hannifinthe site selection ultimately came down to globally competitive manufacturing center. says. “With our experience at DuPontone factor — who wanted it more. Nearly 1,800 manufacturers in the plants in Dayton, Akron, Toledo, Plain “We were able to work with state and Columbus area contribute $9.1 billion an- City, Fort Hill and other locations in Ohio,local officials to get some job retention tax nually to regional economic output. Within we tend to look at our existing sites beforecredits that made a huge difference,” says the 11-county region, the manufacturing going greenfield. Things like job retentionSteve Bonine, manager of global grants sector employs nearly 80,000 workers. incentives are very important to us. It is aand incentives for DuPont. “In fact, that The largest manufacturing employers big thing for us to have healthy plant sites.was the tipping point.” in the region include Honda of America The first place we look, when siting a new As a result, the plant in Circleville just (10,200 workers), Whirlpool Corp. (3,066), project, is at home.”south of Columbus employs 546 workers Abbott Nutrition (2,200) and Emerson The new operation in Circleville cametoday and continues a 58-year tradition of Network Power (2,000). on line in 2011 and reached full produc-advanced manufacturing in Central Ohio. “Besides the incentives, the Columbus tion in the spring of 2012. “We are a high-DuPont makes the Mylar film that is used Region had to have all of the other fac- technology company now with smarterin solar photovoltaic cells at the Circleville tors that DuPont seeks in a competitive people but not as many jobs as before,”plant, one of 13 facilities the global chemi- manufacturing location, including attrac- adds Bonine. “That is the future of indus-cal giant operates in the Buckeye State. tive construction costs, wage rates and trial manufacturing operations at DuPont “Everything else between Luxembourg other things,” adds Bonine. “We have been and in this country.”and Circleville was equal,” Bonine says. very pleased with the quality of the work“Incentives made the decision for the com- force here. They are hard working and Parker Brakes for Talentpany. It brought the project to Ohio.” well educated. We also need a work force For Columbus, the future is now. As DuPont is not the only advanced manu- that is flexible, and we have found that in global competition demands that manu-facturer making the decision to choose the Columbus.” facturers become more efficient, workersColumbus area. Throughout the region, The historic productivity of the work in Central Ohio have responded. Fromhigh-tech firms are betting big on the force at the Circleville plant was a key fac- 2001 to 2003, manufacturers in the regionwork force, transportation infrastructure, tor in the site selection, notes Bonine. experienced a 43 percent increase inlogistics network, job incentives and other “Ohio has been very good to us,” he productivity.SEPTEMBER 2012 S I T E S E L E C T I O N I N V E S T M E N T P R O F I L E : C O L U M B U S , O H I O
  2. 2. “The most important part in Columbus. “This has been a great city of any business is the people,” to do business with,” he says. “The Colum- says Shane Terblanche, gen- bus 2020 folks and JobsOhio folks have eral manager of Hybrid Drive been great to work with. They have intro- Systems for Parker Hannifin in duced us to suppliers. We have also done Columbus. “One of the most some work with the Ohio State University important site selection crite- and the Center for Automotive Research. ria for us is whether or not we We have great partnerships here.” can find the required talent in a particular area. The state of Honda Builds Engineering Hub Ohio and the city of Columbus Ron Lietzke, spokesman for Honda of provide us with a talent pool America Manufacturing, says that the for technicians, engineers and Japanese-owned automotive manufacturer management folks.” has been equally proud of its own Ohio On July 18, Parker Hannifin work force, including the 10,000-plus con- celebrated the grand open- centrated in the Columbus Region. ing of its new Hybrid Drive In the past 18 months, Honda has an- Systems plant on Gateway Honda of America is the largest manufacturer in the Columbus nounced more than $500 million in new Boulevard in Columbus. The Region, employing some 10,200 workers engaged in automotive production capabilities and upgrades to and engine assembly and automotive R&D. Photo courtesy of Honda 83,000-sq.-ft. facility will em- plants in East Liberty, Marysville, Anna ploy 125 workers upon full capacity. locations in Ohio, and we had three other and Russells Point, Ohio. Parker makes the system that allows divisions already in the Columbus area.” These new capital investments repre- work trucks to capture enough braking Terblanche says Parker liked Columbus sent a continuation of the legacy of auto- energy to propel them from a standstill for many reasons. “Columbus is a large motive manufacturing that began when completely off stored energy. The principal city, the fifteenth largest in the U.S.,” he Honda opened its first North American benefits of this technology are improved says. “We don’t have traffic problems. The plant in Marysville in Central Ohio on fuel efficiency, lower carbon emissions, less standard of living is high, but the cost of Nov. 1, 1982. wear and tear on brakes, and overall lower living is low. For example, I drive twice the “The infrastructure here has always operating costs for fleet managers. UPS, distance that I used to drive in Chicago been very good,” says Lietzke. “The FedEx, Purolator and several municipal but I do it in half the time.” roads, highways and railways form a great refuse truck fleets are Parker customers. He adds that “the overall environment, transportation network in this region. This The site selection process took eight facilities and resources that are available in has become the hub of Honda’s North months to a year to complete, notes Columbus are very good, and it is a great American manufacturing operations. Terblanche. “Three place to raise a family.” North American purchasing and logistics different states were The deal-closer, however, was the talent. for Honda are based here, and our majorPhoto courtesy of Parker Hannifin considered. We “About 50 percent of the employees we automotive engineering center is now here looked at things like have in Columbus now are engineers, and in Ohio as well. We now do the engineer- talent, resources, cost that will eventually change as we add more ing of the global models for the Odyssey, of living, proximity to assembly technicians on the shop floor,” Accord, Civic, CRV and Fit here.” our corporate head- Terblanche says. “It will take about a year Lietzke says the long-term plan is for quarters in Cleve- or two to get to full production. We are Honda to transition more global engineer- land, and proximity looking right now at the proximity of our ing work to its Central Ohio hub. “We will Shane Terblanche is general manager of to suppliers,” he says. suppliers. Some of them may move closer continue to grow to take on new leader- Hybrid Drive Systems “The I-75 automo- to us or perhaps even move right into our ship roles for the region and the world,” at Parker Hannifin. tive manufacturing building. That will create even more jobs he adds. “The key to all of this is our work corridor is literally on our doorstep here in in our area.” force. We have implemented the team Columbus.” He notes that “we have been successful concept. People collaborate here and work The two finalist locations — Columbus in hiring top-level talent for our manufac- together as teams. We have a highly edu- and Ann Arbor, Mich. — squared off turing operations in Columbus. We have cated work force with a strong work ethic much like their famous Big Ten counter- seen quality results far higher here than at in the Columbus Region.” SITE parts Ohio State and Michigan do every other places. Because of this, we are start- autumn on the football field. ing to see repeat orders. Customers that This Investment Profile was prepared Terblanche downplayed the college have had vehicles outfitted with our system under the auspices of Columbus 2020. For town rivalry, noting instead that “we really for 18 months to two years are contacting more information on the Columbus Region, took a look at the state of Ohio versus the us to replace other vehicles. The City of please contact Kenny McDonald at km@ state of Michigan. The incentives in Ohio Miami has already ordered vehicles from or 614-225-6063. On were superior. The area around Columbus us twice.” the web, go to made a lot of sense. Parker has over 30 Terblanche also credits the leadership S I T E S E L E C T I O N I N V E S T M E N T P R O F I L E : C O L U M B U S , O H I O SEPTEMBER 2012