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UPDATE: SMC tripling space with Noblesville move

IBJ Staff
August 30, 2007
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The new SMC Corp. of America facility in Noblesville will encompass 825,000 square feet, more than three times the space that the maker of pneumatic automation equipment occupies now at 3011 N. Franklin Road on the east side of Indianapolis.

Mike Jones, who directs national distribution for the company, said today that all details of the move aren't known because the interior design phase of the project is underway.

I
t also isn't known how much of the $45.5 million facility, which will be located at 150th Street and Cumberland Road, will be occupied immediately and how much will be reserved for later expansion.

"We need space," Jones said. "We have aggressive sales goals."

IBJ
reported yesterday that SMC would make the announcement at noon today. Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman is scheduled to attend the event.

The Japanese-based company opened its North American headquarters in Park Fletcher in 1977, then moved it to the current location about 20 years ago. The Indianapolis location also houses engineering, design and distribution functions.

The president of SMC Corp. of America operates from offices in California, where the company also has a manufacturing facility.

SMC is the world's largest maker of pneumatic automation. Its equipment operates robots, packaging equipment and other machines in industries ranging from heavy industry to medical and food manufacturing.

T
he move is necessary because there is no available land to expand the current facility. The new building will be built on approximately 95 acres.

SMC considered other local sites east and north of Indianapolis, as well as possibly moving to Kentucky or Ohio.

"There's not that much bare ground to speak of" in Marion County, Jones said. "We just couldn't put it together here."

Staying close to the existing work force figured heavily into the decision to build in Noblesville, Jones said.

Although SMC plans to triple its space, growth in headcount will be more modest because of improvements in efficiency. About 275 workers will be added to the existing roster of 458.

SMC officials plan to move into the location in 18 to 24 months.
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