It’s official: New factory coming to Markland Business Park

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The Switzerland County Economic Development Commission and the Indiana Economic Development Commission have announced that Process Systems and Services, an industrial plastics company, has purchased land in the Markland Business Park for the construction of a factory here.

The announcement was made jointly by Jon Bond of the Switzerland County Economic Development Commission and Blair West of the state agency.

“We’ve been working with these guys since March,” Jon Bond said. “But that’s really fast-moving. These guys came in quickly. Of course it’s a smaller project, but this is a family-owned business and we are really excited about these guys. They’ve been great to work with and we’re excited to get going.”

Process Systems and Services is a central Ohio-based company which specializes in thermoplastic tanks, piping, exhaust, filtration and other industrial plastic and process systems. The company plans to invest nearly $350,000 to construct a 10,000 square-foot facility at the Markland Business Park site, which is a state-certified shovel-ready site.

The new facility will be Process Systems and Services’s first out-of-state plant.

“Attracting a company like PSS to Indiana is a significant victory for our state and particularly important for Switzerland County,” said Mitch Roob, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “We look forward to supporting PSS’s growth as they bring new jobs and investment to southeast Indiana.”

Primarily serving the steel finishing, chemical, pharmaceutical, utility and process OEM markets, PSS plans to begin hiring and training additional fabricators and service technicians in 2010.

Once the plant is fully operational, it expects to have about 20 employees.

“We have purchased the property, and we are finishing up the engineering details of the facility,” Kurt Volk, general manager of Process Systems and Services, said this week in a phone interview. “After that we will go through the permitting process, then construction begins.”

Both Kurt Volk and Jon Bond said that the company is expected to break ground in the spring; and if all goes well, the plant will be fully operational next summer.

Kurt Volk said that the company has several customers along this region of the Ohio River Valley, including Gallatin Steel, North American Stainless, and Dow Corning. The company also works with other steel mills along the Ohio River; as well as customers in the pharmaceutical industry in areas such as Louisville and Lexington.

“We do a lot of work along the Ohio River,” Kurt Volk said. “We were looking for a bigger facility to do some of our fabrication there. Being in Switzerland County allows us to be much closer to our customers then where we are based right now; and we will also be closer to Cincinnati.

“We didn’t want to get too far away from the city where our supplies come from, but we wanted to be closer to our customer base, which is why we chose Switzerland County. It’s ideal to be in a business park in the early stages of development.”

Process Systems and Services generates between $1 and $2 million in sales per year; and deals with industrial plastics, according to Jon Bond.

“They call it ‘plastic welding’,” Jon Bond said. “It’s designed to join together industrial plastic piping so that hot or toxic chemicals can be safely moved through a plant. It’s a pretty specialized field. There aren’t many companies doing this in the world. That’s why they were so attractive to us, because they are going to spend the time to train their employees.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Process Systems and Services up to $8,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. Up to $25,000 from the state’s “Industrial Development Grant Fund” will be made available to Switzerland County for water, road and sewer improvements necessary for site development.

“After studying numerous potential locations along the Ohio River and tri-state area, we decided on Switzerland County because of its proximity to key customers, access to regional workforce and a pro-business attitude among county economic leaders,” Dieter Volk, PSS President and father of Kurt Volk, said in a press release from the State of Indiana. “We are calculating that, as economic and manufacturing conditions hopefully improve, having a permanent base of operations in southern Indiana will allow us to more efficiently and cost-effectively serve our industrial plastic and process equipment customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and other surrounding states.”

PSS, a 15-year-old firm, began as a mechanical construction company and after operating a steel pickling acid regeneration facility for numerous years, it recognized the need for local expertise in servicing corrosion-resistant industrial plastic and process equipment. Through investment in training and equipment, the company has evolved to focus exclusively on industrial plastic and process systems. Today the firm also provides field services including installations, inspections, maintenance and emergency repairs.

In addition to a manufacturing facility in Hamilton, Ohio, which will also continue operation; PSS has a satellite office in Warsaw, Kentucky, that is used to communicate with area customers.

Jon Bond said that the factory will be located near Bud Ballard Road. He said that the Switzerland County Economic Development Corporation was still developing the infrastructure of the business park in preparation for PSS’s arrival; and that once the drive is constructed to the site next year, PSS will have its own road and traffic is not expected to flow past the houses.

Switzerland County purchased the property for the 100-acre Markland Business Park in 2007. Since that time the project has gone through extensive design and permitting with state and federal agencies. The extension of utilities to the site began in 2008 and has continued through 2009. The site has been certified as “Shovel Ready” by the State of Indiana.

Switzerland County is currently pursuing a Federal grant to construct the needed infrastructure for the remainder of the property, including a new entrance drive and storm drainage system.