Jones Plastic & Engineering Corp. will consolidate its custom injection molding business in an effort to stay a low-cost producer.
Jones Plastic will phase out molding at its Frankfort, Ky., facility, its largest, by December. General Manager Chuck Flaherty said his firm will relocate some of Frankfort's 60 or so presses to other plants and sell older machines. Jones Plastic also will sell old presses at other sites for an equipment upgrading program. It now has about 160 presses.
Jones Plastic bought the 250,000-square-foot Frankfort plant from General Electric Co. in 1990. It started running it as a captive molding operation but gradually switched it to custom molding for appliance, automotive, business machine and other industries, Flaherty said in a telephone interview from the firm's head office in Jeffersontown, Ky.
Jones Plastic will continue to operate two compounding lines at the plant that make talc-filled polypropylene for Jones Plastic and outside customers. It might sell the Frankfort building.
His firm has been having ``a decent year,'' but custom molding is a hypercompetitive business, Flaherty noted.
``You need to be proactive to be a low-cost producer,'' he said.
About 200 employees there will lose their jobs.
Jones Plastic's newest plant is at Camden, Tenn. It opened the 60,000-square-foot operation in July 1996 and runs 14 presses. Flaherty said officials eventually want to double the size of Camden. Its other molding plants are in Williamsburg and Leitchfield, Ky. The firm reported custom molding sales of $111.5 million for the year ended Sept. 30, 1996.