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Assets of 3 molding plants to be sold

By: Frank Esposito

September 20, 2013

The assets of two injection molding plants formerly operated by Plastic Systems LLC, and the assets of one Bourbon Plastics Inc. plant, will be sold off in online auctions later this month.

Plastic Systems closed its plants in Swartz Creek, Mich., and Kenton, Ohio, in June. CEO Steve Belleville said in a Sept. 13 phone interview that the closings occurred because his Romeo, Mich.-based firm “had a good chunk of capacity in the Midwest.”

“It made sense to right-size the Midwest,” he added. “It’s a good thing for the company. Our other plants [in Romeo and El Paso, Texas] are doing well.”

Both the Kenton and Swartz Creek plants primarily made injection molded parts for the automotive market. The Kenton plant employed 60 and covered 80,000 square feet. Plastic Systems acquired the site in 2007 from Innoplas Corp. just a few days before it was scheduled to close.

The 40,000-square-foot Swartz Creek plant employed about 20. It formerly was the site of PME International LLC before being acquired by Plastic Systems in 2006.

“It’s never a good situation when you affect people’s lives like this, but it’s the necessary thing to do,” Belleville said.

He added that Plastic Systems’ sales this year are on track to be flat with 2012 at just under $30 million, but prospects for 2014 look to be improving.

A dozen injection presses with clamping forces of 75-500 tons will be sold at auction Sept. 18-19 at the Swartz Creek plant. In Kenton, 20 injection presses — ranging in size from 50-800 tons — will be sold at auction Sept. 24-25.

Both auctions will be conducted by the Branford Group of Branford, Conn. Both auctions will include “a lot of good equipment in really good shape,” group partner James Gardner said by phone Sept. 13.

The Kenton auction also will include multiple pieces of support equipment, including robots, dryers, grinders and forklifts. Two tanker trailers and a pickup truck also will be sold. In Swartz Creek, the auction also will include dryers, grinders, a stretch wrapper and a 5-ton crane.

Bourbon Plastics, an injection molder serving the appliance market, closed its plant in Bourbon, Ind., earlier this year, Gardner said. Officials with the firm could not be reached. A phone call to the firm’s plant in El Paso, Texas, was not answered.

Bourbon Plastics’ annual sales were estimated at $5 million in Plastics News’ most recent ranking of North American injection molders. The court-ordered, online auction will take place Oct. 9-10 and will include 18 injection molding machines ranging in size from 55 to 1,100 tons.