Contact lens maker Menicon Co., Ltd. (head office: Nagoya, Japan) today announced the latest step in its long-term effort to meet the vision needs of customers across Europe.
Construction is now underway on a new multipurpose facility at Emmen (140 km. NE of Amsterdam), that will craft and distribute made-to-order lenses to customers across the continent and beyond.
Slated for completion in July, 2013, the new 4,675 square-meter facility combines in a single structure the production, distribution, R&D, marketing and management functions for Menicon subsidiaries Menicon Holding BV (MHBV) and NKL Contactlenzen. In all, 125 people will work here.
“Having our office staff and production craftspeople work side-by-side is a reflection of our company’s roots and philosophy,” said Anatole Diep, CEO of MHBV. “Our founder, Kyoichi Tanaka, began in 1950 by crafting lenses with his own hands – and we are guided by his hands-on approach to quality. What’s more, the design of this structure reflects the fact that Menicon is all about vision. We’re using lots of glass so that visitors will be able to watch our lenses being made.”
The new facility will produce both Made-to-Order Rigid Gas Permeable (hard) and soft lenses that will be distributed (along with other Menicon products, such as disposable lenses and lens care supplies) Europe-wide by an on-site warehouse and logistics center.
Meanwhile upstairs, researchers will be at work on innovative lens designs, efficient production processes and the next generation of Easyfit software to support contact lens fitters all over the world. With an eye to possible future expansion, the structure will be at the front of the 13,000 square-meter site, leaving room for another building as needed.
“Emmen is an eminently suitable location for us,” Peter Nijhuis, joint managing director of NKL Contactlenzen said. “It’s close to the focal point of European logistics and the human resources are excellent – with plentiful technical and language skills. Best of all, we are enjoying close support and cooperation from the local community.”
Designed by the architectural firm Beltman, with engineering consultancy by Sweegers en de Bruijn and Bartels, the project is being managed by Nieuwenhuijse Arends Construction and Risk Management. Construction is being undertaken by Haafkens en Zonen, with electrical and mechanical infrastructure provided by Klein Poelhuis.
Site work began on November 1st and completion is expected by July 31st. Various Menicon functions will move into the new facility over the last five months of 2013.