ANAHEIM, CALIF.-Plastiflex Co. Inc. will shut down its plastic tubing operation in Centralia, Ill., and consolidate equipment at its other extrusion facilities. When the leased, 134,000-square-foot plant closes Oct. 31, 43 full-time employees and 13 temporary workers will lose their jobs, according to a Plastiflex news release.
The company has been manufacturing tubing in Centralia for about five years, said spokeswoman Carolyn Lake.
The firm's Whippany, N.J., plant, acquired earlier this year, will get six of Centralia's 11 extruders; four will go to the firm's Anaheim headquarters plant, and one to Orangeville, Ontario, Lake said.
The firm has offered its Centralia employees, most of whom are hourly workers, time and a half to stay on there through October.
Plastiflex acquired the Whip-pany plant when it bought the FPI Thermoplastic Technologies plastic profile and tubing business Feb. 12.
The firm also operates a former FPI plant in Santa Ana, Calif. Plastiflex makes flexible-plastic tubing and profiles used in various industrial and commercial products, including vacuum cleaners and swimming pool and sump pump hoses, Lake said. Its 1995 sales were $30.2 million.
PK USA expansion costs $31 million
SHELBYVILLE, IND. - PK USA Inc., a Shelbyville injection molding and thermoforming firm, is using a $64,000 state grant to expand its 247,400-square-foot plant.
The $31.4 million project will add 47 employees to the staff of 500. Besides nearly 70,600 additional square feet, the firm has added a full assembly area. PK USA recently bought a 1,500-ton metal stamping press and added a paint line.
The company injection molds and vacuum forms polyethylene and polypropylene interior and exterior parts for the automotive industry. PK USA has eight injection presses with clamping forces of 250-2,500 tons. It also has two vacuum formers for full door assembly.
PK USA has eight plants and is a subsidiary of Japanese firm PKK.
Mayflower jilted in Clevite acquisition
HOUSTON - Tenneco Automo-tive outflanked a rival bidder when it purchased Clevite Elastomers - maker of engine mounts and suspension components - for $300 million.
The deal embarrassed May-flower Corp. plc, a High Wycombe, England, supplier that earlier announced it had bought Clevite for $266 million. Last week, a Mayflower spokesman said the company was evaluating the situation.
For its last-minute switch, Clevite has agreed to pay May-flower an $8.5 million penalty.
Tenneco makes a variety of parts, including shock absorbers through its Monroe division. With Clevite's suspension bushings, linkages and control arms plus Monroe's shock absorbers, Hous-ton-based Tenneco now can design entire suspensions for automakers.
Based in Milan, Ohio, Clevite employs 1,900 workers in Ohio, Indiana, Mexico and Brazil. With sales of $288 million last year, Clevite's operating profit margin topped 15 percent.
Tenneco's last-minute bid came as a surprise to Clevite President James B. Gray, who said his company was told about the change in plans June 17 - the same day it was announced. Gray praised the deal, calling Clevite's fit with Tenneco ``very good and very obvious.'' With Monroe supplying the shock system and Clevite supplying the bushings, arms and linkages, ``together it is a very powerful package,'' Gray said.
Topcraft offering faster production
WARMINSTER, PA. - Warminster-based injection molder Topcraft Precision Molders Inc. has added what it calls a quick-turnaround tool shop and an engineering center.
The tool shop will increase capacity and capability, said Vice President Bob Piazza.
Topcraft has 30 full-time toolmakers, up from about eight a year ago. The tool shop will build molds that will be qualified by the engineering center and sent to the production facility, he said.
The engineering center, which will cost $500,000 to $1 million, is to be completed this summer. It will design products, sample materials and test prototypes.
``Right now for our tooling capability, we quote a standard lead time. We let our customers know an accelerated rate is available. If they want it, we calculate the cost to bring the lead time to half of the original quote,'' Piazza said.
With accelerated production, Topcraft now can build a prototype and small to medium-size production tools in two to eight weeks.
The company's toolmakers work nine to 10 hours a day. Topcraft reported sales of $11.6 million last year. Its markets include the automotive, medical-disposal and small-appliance industries.