Bemis Co. Inc. will close a recently acquired packaging film plant and relocate production among several other facilities.
Bemis spokesman Robert Kleiber said the firm will close its Murfreesboro, Tenn., plant in March. It will transfer Murfreesboro's polyethylene film extrusion to undisclosed other facilities and move the printing operation to its Shelbyville, Tenn., plant. Shelbyville will move its film production elsewhere and focus on printing and conversion operations.
The 100,000-square-foot Murfreesboro facility, which opened in 1967, makes flexible packaging for such products as disposable diapers. Kleiber said the consolidation is designed to make the best use of Bemis' plant space and newer machinery.
Minneapolis-based Bemis acquired the Murfreesboro and Shelbyville plants in January when it bought Paramount Packaging Corp. of Chalfont, Pa., near Philadelphia. Kleiber said the Chalfont operation also is slated to close but he could not provide a timetable. Chalfont primarily is an administrative office and it does some rotogravure printing.
Officials had estimated Paramount's sales at about $130 million a year when Bemis said in late 1996 that it would buy the business. Kleiber said that after the purchase, Bemis put the former Paramount facilities into its Banner Packaging business unit. Banner is included in Bemis' PE packaging group, which in turn is part of the firm's flexible packaging division. Bemis started the Banner unit when it bought Banner Packaging Inc. of Oshkosh, Wis., more than a year and a half ago.
Bemis reported total film and sheet sales in 1996 of $804.3 million in Plastics News' recent survey. It ranked fourth among North American film and sheet producers.
Kleiber said 220 workers at Murfreesboro will be affected by the closure. Some may take 70 new jobs being added at Shelbyville, boosting employment there to 150. Workers also have the option of relocating to plants in Wisconsin or Texas. Those who do not accept relocation will be offered severance pay.