LISBURN, England — Conveyor belts and rubber parts manufacturer Smiley Monroe has opened its first U.S. production center in Franklin, Ky., in response to growing demand in the region.
The 65,000-sq.-ft. site has been manufacturing two of Smiley Monroe's core products—hot vulcanized endless conveyor belts and Zip Clip replacement belts—since April, the Northern Ireland-based company said recently.
The U.S. operation is headed by Plant Manager Morgan Walker, who is helped by international Sales Manager Ryan Wright, responsible for North American sales and business development.
"Manufacturing in America, for America, was a natural strategic move, and having a base in Kentucky means we can offer just-in-time delivery to our American customers," said Chris Monroe, president of Smiley Monroe Inc.
The new plant is particularly focused on manufacturing Zip Clip replacement belts, to address machine downtimes and enable time and money savings for customers.
"The belts (are) made at the new Kentucky facility make it easy to maximize conveyor uptime, increase efficiencies and reduce running costs," said Marketing Director Tim Monroe.
Zip Clip belts, said Chris Monroe, satisfy volume demand for "high quality and competitively priced" chevron conveyor belting, which he said is often in short supply in the U.S. market.