Against a backdrop of massive earth-moving equipment and stacks of structural steel, Indiana’s manufacturing base took another step forward at the ceremonial groundbreaking for MonoSol’s $72 million new plant in Lebanon on Sept. 12.
Portage-based contractor The Ross Group Inc. is coordinating the construction of the 150,000 sq. ft. structure, Monosol’s sixth manufacturing plant and its fourth in Indiana. Virtue Architects based in Porter designed the building.
MonoSol’s parent company is Tokyo-based chemical manufacturer Kurary Group, Ltd. The company makes water-soluble films for single-unit-dose laundry and dishwasher detergents, personal care, food ingredients and agriculture products as well as films that are used to improve manufacturing processes. MonoSol films are made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), a biodegradable, non-toxic film that dissolves in water.
Construction at the Duke Realty Lebanon Business Park site began early this spring. Company leaders and employees were joined by local and state officials to celebrate the groundbreaking. MonoSol president and Kuraray executive officer P. Scott Bening said in a news release that the project is designed to enhance the company’s proximity to its growing global customer base and provide a degree of geographic diversity.
Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry said MonoSol’s commitment is one of the largest in a string of new investments planned for the city in recent months.
“MonoSol was recently recognized amongst the nation’s best and brightest companies to work for and I am pleased that they have chosen to locate their first central Indiana facility in Lebanon,” Gentry said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing them thrive in our community.”
MonoSol joins a growing number of Japanese-owned companies in Boone County, said Molly Whitehead, Boone County Economic Development Corp. executive director. “MonoSol is a great example of the kind of manufacturer and international investment we are working to bring to Boone County. We look forward to a productive relationship with the company in the years to come.”
Rollie Helming, senior vice-president of global industry and trade at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), echoed comments about the state’s strong ties to international companies.
“MonoSol has been a great partner to the state for many years, and we are excited to help break ground on the company’s fourth facility in Indiana,” he said. “Indiana and Japan share a strong relationship because of companies like MonoSol and its parent company, Kuraray Group. We are grateful for their continued commitment to Indiana and look forward to the new, quality jobs they will create in Boone County.”
Company and local officials also participated in a traditional Japanese “Daruma” good luck ceremony. A Daruma doll is one of the most popular lucky charms in Japan and helps fulfill wishes. At the beginning of an important project, leaders paint one eye of the doll. Upon project completion, the other eye is painted in celebration of wishes being fulfilled.