Wedtech Inc. is laying off eight of the 19 workers at its Dewey, Okla., plant. The move is part of an attempt to defer costs at the site, which, since opening its doors in 1993, primarily has done research and development in advanced plastics for rotational molding, said Wedtech President John Lefas.
Some of those specialty plastics, such as Rotolite foamable polyethylene, have required much more engineering and prototyping than the firm initially anticipated, resulting in delayed market penetration, he said by telephone from Wedtech's Brant-ford, Ontario, headquarters.
Securities and Exchange Com-mission filings confirm that ``repetitive monthly losses'' at the Dewey facility negatively affected the Brantford parent's earnings for the first three quarters of fiscal 1995, ended Sept. 30.
But Lefas said that, overall, Wedtech is ``doing extremely well,'' despite pressures on its plastics grinding business, including more competitors vying for market share, and more companies starting in-house grinding operations.
Besides grinding, Wedtech mixes masterbatches for resin makerS and supplies its own proprietary masterbatches to the North American film and molding industry. It also provides plastics molders at large with colored and specialty materials, such as those for rotomolding being developed at Dewey, including Superlink, a cross-linked polyethylene; Roto-tuff, a PE alloy; and Rotolite.
Lefas said Wedtech will try to find new jobs for the eight U.S. workers, perhaps in Brantford, which now employs roughly 120. Meanwhile, the Dewey outfit, known as Wedtech USA Inc., is restructuring and reassessing its direction, he said.
But the cutbacks are a setback for Wedtech, which originally projected it would create as many as 115 new jobs and meet payroll obligations of $2.5 million at that plant within a three-year period, to qualify for the state's Quality Jobs Program, according to Alan Leech, spokesman for Okla-homa's Department of Com-merce.
Since September 1994, Wed-tech has received $17,700 from the program for creating nine new jobs in Dewey, Leech said.
Lefas said Wedtech has tried to keep the small community of Dewey informed about restructuring at the plant, though a spokeswoman for the Bartlesville (Okla.) Chamber of Commerce said she did not know how many workers had lost their jobs.
To get Wedtech USA to locate its operation in Dewey, neighboring Bartlesville and Washington County together spent about $87,000 to build a spur that connects the company's 75,000-square-foot plant to a railroad, the spokeswoman said. She noted, however, that the spur accommodates an entire Wash-ington County industrial park, which also is home to four other firms.
Wedtech Inc. is a joint venture between Polyvector Corp., Lefas' holding company, and publicly traded Wedco Technology Inc., a custom grinder and compounder of plastic materials based in West Portal, N.J.
Wedco is owned by Ico Inc., a Houston firm that tests and reconditions equipment used in oil and gas production.