With its R&D center in place, the firm will have testing and inspection operations on hand and be able to beef up its development expertise in Slovakia, the company said.
ContiTech, a division of Continental A.G., is adding the R&D center because "we want to be prepared for the developments in the Eastern European market and expand partnerships as well as develop expertise," the spokesman said.
In addition to the plant expansion and new center, access roads leading to the Dolne Vestenice facility have been expanded as part of the project.
"The expansion was necessary because new businesses were acquired and production was relocated from other sites to Dolne Vestenice," according to the spokes-- man.
He said the company is shifting some business units it acquired from Freud-enberg & Co. K.G. in 2012 to the Dolne Vestenice facility. No plants were involved in that acquisition.
ContiTech also is moving operations from a nearby plant that will be integrated into the expanded facility by the end of the year, the spokes-man said, adding that no job losses will occur because of the relocation.
Consolidating the units allows the company to focus all of its production at one factory in Slovakia "and create capacity for additional business," said Karl Armbrecht, technical director at the facility. Kai Fruhauf, who heads ContiTech Vibration Control, added that the investment will strengthen specific areas of the Dolne Vestenice site.
The factory manufactures products primarily for the European market and also works on projects for a global customer base, the spokesman said.
He said ContiTech has had strong growth forecasts for the coming years and anticipates the factory will experience an increase in sales during that period.
ContiTech began making products at the Dolne Vestenice plant in 1996, and the operation has been growing at a fast clip since then. It currently has a work force of 300.
In addition to producing automotive and industrial goods at the Dolne Vestenice facility, the company manufactures conveyor belts in Slovakia at a factory in Puchov, which employs about 120.
The expansion project at the Dolne Vestenice plant is the second major move ContiTech has made in a month.
On July 1, the firm's Northeim, Germany-based Conveyor Belt Group closed a deal to purchase Legg Company Inc., a manufacturer of a wide range of belting for the agricultural and industrial segments.
The transaction includes a 100,000-sq.-ft., six-plant campus Legg operates in Halstead, Kan., where it was founded in 1939.
The acquisition is the company's first conveyor belt manufacturing operation in the U.S.
Previously the firm operated only one belting facility in North America, a plant in Mexico.
Its purchase of Legg will double the company's capacity in North America, an official at the firm said.