Wisconsin-based Manitowoc Foodservice plans to expand manufacturing and add a new operating complex at its Americas Ovens division in Cleveland, Ohio, with plans to create more than 100 jobs.
"The consolidation of our Americas Ovens manufacturing and related business activities in one location is a unique step forward in the foodservice equipment industry," said Mike Kachmer, president of Manitowoc Foodservice. "We are proud to be the first foodservice equipment manufacturer to establish a facility of this magnitude which brings great benefits to our customers all over the world. Through this consolidation and our on-going investments in Cleveland, Manitowoc will improve the service we provide to our customers with easier mixing of products for shipment, consolidated business operations, and greater reinvestment in product development."
The new 30,000 square foot Americas Ovens headquarters operation at East 179th St. in Collinwood, a suburb east of Cleveland, will significantly strengthen Manitowoc's ability to provide integrated product and service solutions for their foodservice customers, which include leading global chain restaurants, regional chains and independent restaurants, and hospitality and institutional foodservice facilities worldwide, he said.
Improvements to the Cleveland operations include new quality systems, computerized work instructions, lean workflow systems, and state of the art warehouse operations. When this transition is completed later this year, the Cleveland facility will produce the firm's Cleveland Steamers, Garland convection ovens, Convotherm combi ovens, and Lincoln conveyor ovens. The Cleveland-based Americas Ovens group will also market and distribute Manitowoc's Merrychef brand speed ovens, which are manufactured in a recently expanded global manufacturing facility in Sheffield, England.
The firm said its new regional headquarters building will also include an expanded state of the art commercial kitchen, used for expanded customer support such as menu development and training, equipment testing, and sales training. The new kitchen will have video and audio capabilities for remote instruction and demonstrations, along with recording capabilities to support Manitowoc's growing use of web based information solutions. The firm did not disclose the amount of its proposed investment.
As part of the consolidation, Manitowoc said it will cease manufacturing operations at its Fort Wayne, Indiana facility over the next several months. To provide continuity of support services, Manitowoc is also investing in a satellite office in the Fort Wayne area, where the Lincoln customer service and technical support teams will continue to provide support services to resellers, end users, and service agencies.
"We look forward to providing enhanced services to our customers under this new operations strategy and will continue to provide top notch service and support for all their equipment needs," said Phil Dei Dolori, executive vice president of Manitowoc Americas Foodservice Cooking Solutions.
As an incentive the firm received a 60 percent tax abatement on new construction, and 55 percent income tax credits from the state. In addition the city of Cleveland provided a $430,000 loan to help the assist the firm in upgrading its equipment and other purposes. The loan will be forgiven, if the company meets hiring quotes and adds at least 100 people to its workforce in 5 five years.