Rotek Plans Expansion, Will Add Ring Roller

Company is investing $82 million to capture wind energy and other business requiring large rings.

Rotek Inc., a subsidiary of Dortmund, Germany-based Rothe Erde, has announced a major expansion of its facilities in Aurora, OH. Rothe Erde is part of the ThyssenKrupp Technologies Group of Dusseldorf, Germany.

The investment program, which is pegged at $82 million, will grow the Aurora plant by 116,000 square feet and add new machinery, tooling and production lines, according to spokesman Matt Rhodes. Construction will begin at the end of this month, and the expanded plant is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2010.

The investment includes an order for a second ring rolling mill at the Aurora facility to meet the growing demands in the United States for large seamless rolled rings used in large diameter bearings, wind energy turbines, radar systems, tunnel boring machines, and rail vehicles.

Rotek also plans to invest $21 million in expanding its plant in Florence, KY. The company recently acquired another building adjoining the Florence plant.

In a press release, Rotek President Leonard F. Osborne said, ''The planned expansion is an integral part of the company's growth strategy. This significant investment represents our continued commitment to provide the highest quality products and customer service possible.''

Rotek received funds from the State of Ohio Department of Development for job creation and training, as well as machinery and equipment purchases. In addition, the city of Aurora offered the company property tax abatement and funds for road infrastructure improvements.

In a news release, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said, ''Rotek is developing and manufacturing components for several high growth industries, including wind energy, where Ohio has become a national leader with a strong competitive advantage. We welcome Rotek's growth and the 150 new jobs in the City of Aurora.''

The company said it will create 150 new full-time jobs within three years and retain the 215 existing full-time jobs in Aurora at the plant and local headquarters. Hiring is expected to begin in the fall.

In announcing the expansion, the company did not reveal who will supply the new ring roller, but its parent in Germany, Rothe Erde, operates four ring rollers supplied by SMS Eumeco of Germany. A further ring rolling machine was supplied by Eumeco for XREM, owned by Rothe Erde, in Xuzhou, China.

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