Sterling Plumbing Group is relocating its plastic injection operations from Morgantown, W.Va., to Sheridan, Ark., where the Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based faucet manufacturer has an existing assembly plant. David Brown, the Sheridan plant manager, said in a recent telephone interview that the Morgantown plant will be closed because Sterling is moving away from brass castings and ``no longer needed the West Virginia foundry.''
He said closure of the facility is largely the result of government regulations over lead content and will affect 300-400 people.
Sterling, a subsidiary of Kohler, Wis.-based Kohler Co., produces a variety of plastic parts used in the manufacture of metallic and nonmetallic faucets. A spokesman said the company is moving 20 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 40-300 tons from Morgantown to Sheridan. The equipment includes five HPM machines, three Shinwas, nine Nisseis and three Boys. It will be housed in a $2 million, 40,000-square-foot plant across the street from Sterling's main assembly facility.
Construction of the new plant is expected to be completed in January and operations are set to begin by April. It initially will employ about 75.
According to Brown, Arkansas offered training programs and other incentives to Sterling to move its plastic injection business to Sheridan, a small community 35 miles south of Little Rock.
The company operates three other plumbing manufacturing plants in Arkansas.