MICHIGAN CITY — After moving into the Haskell Building on Cleveland Avenue this past summer, tool and die manufacturer Marbach America Inc. welcomed the public for a look at its facility Wednesday.

Guests took factory tours and learned about processes like lasering and milling, die-making, rubbering, embossing and foiling, and more.

Brian Kray, production manager at Marbach’s Michigan City plant, was happy to introduce his company to the local community, and showcase the ways in which it impacts the packaging industry.

“We chose Michigan City because of its location in the Midwest,” he said. “We have a lot of Midwest customers, and it’s easy access to transportation and airports. Also, Indiana has been very welcoming. The town of Michigan City has been very welcoming to us with anything that we need.”

Marbach headquarters was founded in Heilbronn, Germany, in 1923, but expanded to the U.S. in 1997 with a thermoforming tool service site in Elkhart. In 2012, the company established a full-range plant in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We’re the world leader in manufacturing-based tooling,” Kray said. “About a third of what we do happens here; but in Germany and Poland, we have thermoforming, rotary die-cutting. … We’ve got a big world presence, and we’re starting to expand. Our footprint is getting bigger.”

And in June, the full-range Michigan City plant opened, bringing with it 18-20 new jobs. Kray said the plan for the next 3-5 years is to add a second shift and double the number of employees.

Jobs at Marbach’s Michigan City location range from administrative and customer service positions to CAD, machining, welding and other specialties.

“There’s a computer aspect, machining aspect and manual aspect to everything we do here,” Kray said.

Since setting its sights on Michigan City, Marbach has been working with local vocational schools, like the A.K. Smith Area Career Center and Ivy Tech Community College, to introduce its company and industry to local students.

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