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El Paso Plastics Inc., a subsidiary of Engineered Products Co. of St. Louis, closed its doors and auctioned off its equipment Dec. 10.

El Paso Plastics had served maquiladora companies in the El Paso, Texas, area and neighboring parts of Mexico since 1987. The company served the small appliance and toy industries.

No one at Engineered Products would comment on the closing.

Industry members in the area said the firm recently lost a major portion of its business. Competition for molding contracts and employees is stiff in the region, where several large molders have opened plants in the past few years.

Winternitz Inc., an appraisal and auction firm in Northbrook, Ill., handled the auction. About 60 buyers attended. Twelve injection molding presses were offered, with several going to companies in Mexico and others staying in the United States. The machines were 10-15 years old, Winternitz said.