TORONTO - Another television assembly operation in Canada is closing, leading to lost business for two custom molders. Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc. announced March 29 it will close its Waterloo, Ontario, television plant at the end of June. The firm's parent company, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., will move assembly to another subsidiary's operations in Braselton, Ga.
Norseman Plastics Ltd. of Toronto and Como Plastics Corp. of Columbus, Ind., will lose injection molding contracts in the move, according to Ernie Kuenzler, materials manager for Mitsubishi's Waterloo operation.
Mitsubishi's plan mirrors Hitachi and Sanyo programs of relocating TV production from Canada to lower-cost areas in the southern United States and Mexico. Matsushita Electric of Canada Ltd. of Toronto is the only other firm assembling televisions in Canada.
Recently, Camoplast Inc. of Richmond, Quebec, and Emco Ltd.'s Waltec Plastics division in Midland, Ontario, learned they will lose molding business when Hitachi (HSC) Canada Inc. closes its TV assembly plant near Mon-treal.
``We hate to lose any business, but this [closure] doesn't impact us much,'' Howard Walton, Norseman's president, said in a telephone interview. ``We're very busy anyway, on a seven-day, 24-hour schedule.''
Walton said his custom molding operation is diverse and includes U.S. customers.
A Como Plastics official said his firm molds for three Mitsubishi facilities, including one in Waterloo and one in Braselton, but he would not comment on Como's future molding relationship with Mitsubishi.
Kuenzler identified molders that will make cabinets and back covers for Mitsubishi's 1995 TV models. They include Munekata America Inc. of Dalton, Ga.; Industrial Molding Corp. of Emoryville, Calif.; Commerce Plastics of Commerce, Ga.; and Templasco of Carthage, Tenn. Commerce and Templasco are units of Manar Inc. of Edinburgh, Ind.
Kuenzler said the Waterloo plant made about 110,000 television sets last year. Norseman made 60,000 back covers for a 20-inch model Mitsubishi will no longer produce. It will buy that size TV from an undisclosed manufacturer.
Industrial Molding on April 3 opened a plant in Pendergrass, Ga. Kuenzler said IndustrialMolding made TV cabinets for Mitsubishi's Santa Ana, Calif., operation before Mitsubishi moved assembly of some TV models to Georgia. The Santa Ana plant makes large-screen, projection televisions.
Mitsubishi plans to transfer some of its TV engineering operations from Japan to a new center being built in Orange County, Calif., this year by Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America Inc. The center will employ about 100 and develop new TVs, VCRs and similar products for North and South America. The $11 million facility will have 40,000 square feet of engineering space and a 250,000-square-foot warehouse.