German manufacturer targets central Indiana for new plant

German-based manufacturer Variotech announced plans Friday to spend $2.2 million to upgrade and equip a production facility in Fishers, creating up to 22 jobs by the end of 2023.

The Nordhorn, Germany-based manufacturer, which makes trays for the automation industry and medical devices, plans to install state-of-the-art thermoforming production lines in the 2,000-square-foot facility at 9900 Westpoint Drive, north of 96th Street and west of Interstate 69. The site has an Indianapolis mailing address but is located in Fishers.

Some of the employees will come from Variotech’s North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, The company currently ships everything from Germany.

The expansion will allow the company to start U.S. manufacturing, shortening customer delivery times.

“We wanted to be in a location with short distances to our customers and great infrastructure,” Variotech CEO and President Benedikt Fleig said in written remarks. “In our selection process, we quickly realized that Indiana would fulfill all our needs. It was challenging setting up a facility from abroad, during a pandemic; but we received great support from the state of Indiana and felt welcome from the beginning.”

The company employs 80 team members across its offices in Atlanta and Nordhorn. It said it will begin hiring shift leaders and shopfloor workers locally this month.

Based on the company’s job-creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. committed an investment in Variotech of up to $150,000 in conditional tax credits and $75,000 in conditional training grants. The city of Indianapolis helped support the project in partnership with Develop Indy.

According to the IEDC, Indiana is home to more than 130 German-owned business locations, employing about 18,000 Hoosiers. Since 2017, the IEDC has worked with 21 German-owned businesses to locate or expand their operations in Indiana, committing to add 1,368 new jobs and $928 million in capital investment.

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