Springfield-based Paul Mueller Company plans to build a new facility in the Netherlands
The new facility in the town of Groenlo, expected to cost $21 million, will replace four separate locations the manufacturer currently operates in the country. It will be located about six miles from one currently operating in the town of Lichtenvoorde.
“Groenlo was chosen because of its close proximity to the current Lichtenvoorde location, easing the transition for the majority of the production employees,” Paul Mueller CEO David Moore said in a news release. “Working together in one location, our co-workers can better develop common goals and address customer needs.”
Groenlo is a town of about 10,000 in the eastern part of the country, not far from the German border.
The company — which fabricates stainless steel products for dairy farms and food, beverage and pharmaceutical uses — says the new facility will allow it to save money compared to the cost of operating four separate facilities.
Construction is expected to start this summer, with a forecast completion date of summer 2018.
Paul Mueller's operations in Europe date to 1969, when the company entered into a joint venture with a company producing dairy farm equipment. In 2008, Paul Mueller acquired several companies in the country.
"The Netherlands produces dairy farm equipment (storage and cooling), brewery equipment, plate heat exchangers and processing tanks," spokeswoman Christine Daues said in an email. "In most cases the product designs are different from the United States designs and are tailored to meet the needs of the market they are serving. Paul Mueller Company in The Netherlands primarily serves customers in Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia. The United States primarily serves customers in the North, Central and South Americas."
Paul Mueller also has two employees in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, that handle sales and management of production facility relationships in that country. The company produced its first milk coolers in Vietnam in 2012.
Daues said Paul Mueller has 868 employees — 511 in Springfield, 101 in Iowa, 254 in The Netherlands and two in Vietnam.
Paul Mueller posted a net loss of $2.3 million in 2016, according to financial results released Friday.
The company said the results were negatively affected by two events. First, the company began "significant roof repairs" on its Springfield facility, spending more than $1.6 million over the course of the year. Second, the company made lump sum pension payments totaling $13.8 million to 218 participants who elected to receive a settlement.
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