Swiss plastics group Alusuisse-Lonza, which bought two ACI Rockware Ltd. plastics molding plants in August from BTR Industries Ltd., plans to close one and reorganize the second with a loss of 170 jobs.
The injection blow molding operation at Kingston upon Thames, England, and an extrusion blow and injection molding plant at Norwich, England, are part of Zurich, Switzerland-based Alusuisse's pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging division, Lawson Mardon Wheaton.
LMW will close the 50,000-square-foot Kingston plant because BTR decided to keep its real estate property, said Steve Isherwood, chief executive officer of U.K. rigid plastics in the Wheaton division. The plant employed about 100.
Injection blow molding machinery will be moved to the 150,000-square-foot Norwich plant.
To make room for the equipment, Norwich will be reorganized and 10 Bekum extrusion blow molding machines moved to the Lawson Mardon Fibrenyle molding plant at nearby Beccles, England, Isherwood said.
The changes at Norwich, which currently has 25 extrusion blow and 25 small injection presses, will result in the loss of 70 jobs, Isherwood said.
Integration of the Norwich extrusion blow molding lines at the Fibrenyle plant will involve a switch of operation from the current five-day-a-week shift to seven-day-a-week production, he added.
The Norwich factory space will be readied for the equipment from Kingston in the first quarter of 1998, with installation of the injection blow machines by the second quarter, Isherwood said.
The Norwich plant currently employs 170, and mainly custom blow molds PVC, high density polyethylene and polypropylene bottles, and also injection molds polystyrene.
The plant also has silk screening and other finishing equipment.
Fibrenyle offers injection stretch and injection blow molding and injection molding in its 150,000-square-foot plant. It has about 70 machines producing a range of PVC and PE pharmaceutical, cosmetic and agrichemical packaging. It also has 10 printing lines, according to Isherwood.
The LMW division, based at Millville, N.J., plans a major $3.22 million refurbishment of the injection blow molding machines at the Norwich plant. They include U.S. Wheaton-built machines.