Canadian pipe extruder Big `O' Inc. in recent months has closed two plants in Ontario and sold two others - in Alberta and British Columbia. Big `O' of Exeter, Ontario, makes corrugated, high density polyethylene pipe and tubing in diameters of 2-36 inches. The firm serves the municipal water and sewer and building and construction industries.
Big `O' Vice President Bill Kime explained that the firm closed the plants in Ontario as part of a restructuring of the organization. This leaves Big `O' with six extrusion plants - four in Ontario and two in Quebec. Those plants have a total of 18 lines.
``We consolidated the manufacturing into three other plants, Woodstock, Orangeville, and Forest, Ontario,'' Kime said. ``The decision to reorganize in Ontario was a strategy to be closer to our end-use markets.
``We started with six manufacturing facilities in Ontario. It's dropped to four.''
Though the firm's Comber, Ontario, plant remains open as a distribution facility, the manufacturing division that operated two extrusion lines there closed in December. It now has four employees, down from 12. The 6,000-square-foot building sits on a 10-acre site.
The 20,000-square-foot Hensall, Ontario, plant, which had four extrusion lines and 40 employees, closed in January.
The firm sold its Abbotts Ford, British Columbia, and Taber, Alberta, plants in February to Polytubes Co. for an undisclosed amount.
Polytubes, based in Abbotts Ford, continues to operate the two-line, 16-employee plant in its headquarters city, but decided to close the Taber plant. Under Big `O', that facility had one pipe extrusion line and 12 workers.Polytubes President Rob Miller declined to comment on the ac-quisitions, production or staff.
Big `O' now has a total of 220 employees at its six plants. It reported extrusion sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 27 of US$31.44 million.