Stillwater, Minn.-based custom injection molder UFE Inc. has changed course and is moving its operations out of California. President Martin Kellogg confirmed that the company originally had intended to move from its 45,000-square-foot Brea plant to a 61,000-square-foot building in Rancho Cucamonga that the company recently purchased.
But UFE now plans to consolidate its Southwestern operations, closing the Brea molding facility, selling the Rancho Cucamonga building and moving the molding production to UFE's 100,000-square-foot El Paso, Texas, molding plant.
The move is expected to be complete by the end of this month.
Capacity at the El Paso plant will be expanded to accommodate increased production. Most of the 20 presses in Brea are being moved to El Paso, with some of its presses going to other UFE facilities.
Kellogg said the company decided to create regional centers strong in engineering and technical support. El Paso will serve the Southwest, including Southern California.
``None of our significant customers have felt the need for the California facility, and [they] support our decision,'' he said.
UFE will maintain a sales office in Southern California. The company's Pride Interactive Media Accessories division also will move from Brea.
According to Phil Sykes, Pride general manager, that division will continue to ship to its customers uninterrupted from its stock warehoused at Rancho Cucamonga for the next 45-60 days.
No decision has been made as to where the proprietary products such as compact disc and videocassette cases will be molded, but an announcement is expected shortly.
The plant closing affects about 50 employees. All have been given the option to transfer to El Paso or one of UFE's other facilities, Kellogg said.
Although the El Paso plant primarily is a custom molding facility, plans call for expansion into mold making and additional value operations. The plant also does some assembly work and other contract manufacturing operations.
*The El Paso plant operates 16 injection presses and employs 47.