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New Albany Company Expands After Quick Approval From Ohio EPA

Central Ohio will get more jobs during the next couple of months. A manufacturer for beauty industry products says it will add to its payroll to meet higher customer demand. The New Albany company was aided by speedy action at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. State environmental regulators fast-tracked pollution permits to allow expansion of Anomatic in New Albany. The 50-year old company produces aluminum products, shiny caps and lids for cosmetics, body lotions, and shower gels, mostly for L Brands, but also for Avon, L'Oreal, and Estee Lauder. During a tour of the plant, senior adviser Bill Rusch explained the chemical process for making the multi-colored cosmetic tops.

"We have raw aluminum and we're polishing it, chemical polishing with several acids, different types of acid. Now that makes the part bright and smooth and shiny," says Rusch.

He adds the lightweight metal part is also more durable after being soaked in acids. It won't chip, flake or discolor. Anomatic expanded in New Albany in part to speed delivery of its product to corporate customers. With the help of robots, an order can now be designed, filled, and shipped within a week. "So here, the robot is taking the metal part, six or eight at a time, putting them into the tooling platen, which is indexing. Then we detect the number of metal parts, then we glue them using a hot melt adhesive," says Rusch.

But, Rusch says the company can't automate everything so it will add about 50 new workers to its current workforce of 97. Entry level workers make about $12 per hour. Toolmakers are paid as much as $30 to $35 per hour. Anomatic is headquartered in Newark where it has an additional 680 workers. It's a privately held company started in 1965. Rusch declined to give numbers for annual sales or operating profit. Plant Gets Ohio EPA Approval The New Albany plant is situated in a light industrial park a little northeast of New Albany on Beech Road in what's known as a greenfield development. The chemical anodyzing process produces both air pollution, including nitrogen and sulfur dioxides and particulate pollution. The pollution permits were sped up. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director, Craig Butler, told company officials during the tour: "we don't want to get in your way." "From an EPA perspective we need to be talking with the business community about what our state and federal requirements are to make sure that we're protective of human health and the environment and we do that mostly through permitting and inspections," says Butler. The permit issued for Anomatic expansion requires nitrogen oxide and sulfuric acid to be "scrubbed" from the plant's emissions. Environmental scientist, Stephanie Booher, says wastewater from the plant goes to a Columbus treatment plant. Water discharges are monitored by both the company and Columbus city inspectors. "They actually sample with us twice a year and they do that four times. They do that four days in a row, twice a year. And then we split thos samples with them," says Booher. Back on the assembly floor, Rusch says the company is positioned to grow more. He contends cosmetic customers perceive higher value when a product is capped with metal. "Metal is a perceived value enhancement. It's an upgrade. A metal packaging, the consumer, they like the touch, the tactile response, the look, the high gloss. So the marketers, their theory is they'll pay a little bit more to put a piece of metal on their packaging than make it out of plastics. So you'd have to ask the Estee Lauders and Avons and Limited Brands of the world if it's working. We think it's working," says Rusch.