Wichita, the ‘lubrication capital,’ grows with advanced plant

Lubrication Engineers owner Scott Schwindaman on the manufacturing floor.
Lubrication Engineers owner Scott Schwindaman on the manufacturing floor. Eagle file photo

Wichita-based Lubrication Engineers is joining with a Japanese company to form a joint venture that will operate an advanced manufacturing plant in Wichita.

Lubrication Engineers, which makes a variety of industrial lubricants, and Kyodo Yushi USA are creating a new company, Kyodo Yushi Manufacturing Americas, according to a news release issued Monday.

The new company’s headquarters and manufacturing plant would be at 29th Street North and Mead. The joint venture will make lubricants for the automotive industry.

The new company will create five jobs and 30 contract jobs and will make $35 million in investment.

This will give the city four lubrication manufacturers.

The company will renovate the plant at 29th Street North and Mead, which was Cargill’s innovation and research center before it moved downtown several years ago. It will start construction on a 115,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing plant next year.

The city has granted the company a 76.5 percent tax abatement on the property tax on the buildings for five years, with the likely renewal for a second five years.

“The more we talked, the more we realized our two companies share a similar culture of quality and innovation,” Scott Schwindaman, president and CEO of Lubrication Engineers, said in a statement. “We look forward to being part of this new venture, and we’re excited about it for the community too because of the growth, diversification and potential for advanced research.”

Founded 80 years ago, Kyodo Yushi is one of the leading grease manufacturers in the world.

“This announcement demonstrates how foreign direct investment partners can bring new opportunity to our community,” Karyn Page, CEO and president of Kansas Global Trade Services, said in a statement.

Dan Voorhis: 316-268-6577, @danvoorhis