Stewart/Walker Co., a Western blow molder with six U.S. and three Canadian facilities, has restructured production operations in the Southwest, including shutting down blow molding operations in La Palma, Calif. The realignment is intended to provide service to the Southern California market while recognizing that several end users have relocated operations out of the region.
David Watson, vice president of sales and marketing, cited cutbacks at RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp.'s Oxnard plant, which packaged Regina Vinegar products; Kraft Foods' Buena Park facility, institutional sauces and salad dressings; CPC International's Santa Fe Springs plant, Skippy peanut butter and Best Foods mayonnaise; and Refiners Marketing's Terminal Island facility, antifreeze for Shell, Peak and Texaco.
Now, RJR bottles the vinegar in Cambridge, Md. Kraft handles the sauces and dressings at existing operations in Garland, Texas, and Lehigh Valley, Pa. CPC processes the peanut butter in Little Rock, Ark., and the mayonnaise in Chicago. A Houston site packages the antifreeze.
Stewart/Walker operates 43 manufacturing lines on which it blow molds high density polyethylene, stretch blow molds PET and injection molds HDPE for dairy cases. The 30-year-old company serves a segment of the food, dairy, noncarbonated beverage, household and industrial chemical and storage container markets.
A northern California plant in Tracy is the company's largest at 160,000 square feet.
Other U.S. manufacturing facilities are located in Phoenix; Albuquerque; Seattle; and Vancouver, Wash. Stewart/Walker operates a Southern California distribution center in La Palma and, until April, manufactured products there.
Canadian plants in Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; and Winnipeg, Manitoba, manufacture a variety of dairy bottles as well as injection mold the dairy cases.
Dairy products and juice account for a quarter of Stewart/ Walker's sales.
Stewart/Walker employs 270 and projects sales of $57 million for the fiscal year that will end on Nov. 30.
Sales totaled $56 million for the previous fiscal year. Employees own about 60 percent of the company.