Sonoco Crelin taps N.C. plant for closing
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Sonoco Crellin plans to close its Greensboro plant within 60 days, the firm announced Oct. 20.
Greensboro injection molds and extrudes textile tubes and cores from polypropylene, ABS and polystyrene. Sonoco Crellin probably will move most of the equipment and production to plants in Forest City, N.C., and Union, S.C., according to spokesman Dick Puffer. Officials did not disclose equipment details.
The closing is part of a rationalization begun in mid-1996 to improve productivity. The firm has been focusing production at various plants for longer runs. It also sold its Greenville, S.C., plastic and paper recycling operation to Brittain & Sons, which is running it with Sonoco as a customer.
Greensboro employs about 44. Sonoco Crellin has 11 operations in the United States and plants in Germany and the Netherlands. It is a business unit of Sonoco Products Co. of Hartsville, S.C.
Lear Corp. shutting auto parts facilities
SOUTHFIELD, MICH. — Lear Corp. said it plans to close an undetermined number of its automotive parts facilities to save costs.
The Southfield firm said Oct. 19 it will take a $125 million charge in its fourth quarter for plant consolidations and asset relocations. Lear operates more than 200 plants and distribution facilities around the world after several years of making acquisitions.
Lear spokeswoman Karen Stewart said it is too early to know which plants in North America might close, but Lear plans a major consolidation of its seat cover business in Europe.
Lear is building a new plant in Palmela, Portugal, where it will relocate most or all of its European seat cover manufacturing. The Palmela facility will contain more than 400,000 square feet of manufacturing, engineering and office space. Lear plans to open it next spring and expects to employ 4,000 there by 2000.
Lear reported sales of $6.2 billion and profit of $134.6 million for the nine months ended Sept. 26.
Creative Bath/M&M adding 10 presses
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York proprietary injection molder is adding 10 presses and exploring entry into the custom market for decorated upscale office accessories.
Creative Bath/M&M Molding Corp. of Central Islip by mid-November expects to begin operating the five Nissei hydraulic presses and five Van Dorn toggle machines, molding director Tim Hollis said in a telephone interview.
Each press has a clamping force of 300 tons. Star Automation servo-pneumatic take-out devices will go on seven of the new units.
Once wiring and plumbing work is completed, the additions will bring the firm's total to 55 presses including 40 with robotics. The presses have clamping forces of 80-1,000 tons.
The molder makes plastic products for kitchen, bathroom and outdoor home-related uses. Major customers include retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Walgreen Co. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
In a cost-saving move, the firm installed a $4 million, automated plating line in early 1997 to take control of work formerly delegated to outside shops.
Creative Bath/M&M employs 700, up from 600 a year ago, and generated 1997 sales of about $400 million from molding and assembly activities at its 350,000-square-foot facility. Until 1993, the firm was in Brentwood, N.Y.
3M Unitek buys Modcom's business units
MONROVIA, CALIF. — 3M Co.'s Unitek subsidiary of Monrovia has acquired most assets and all business segments of Modcom Inc. of Canby, Ore., and may cut some custom injection molding work.
Among its jobs, Modcom molds polyurethane in 27 colors to make elastomeric orthodontic ligatures and chains for a 3M Unitek dispensing system. The deal closed Oct. 1.
3M Unitek is leasing the Canby facility from a group of area residents and will drop the Modcom identification, Paul Klein said in a telephone interview. Klein of Lake Oswego, Ore., is an inventor and retired orthodontist who co-founded Modcom in 1968.
The Canby operation complements 3M Unitek's capabilities and ``should streamline the process of delivering products to our customers,'' Gary Wess said in a press release.
Wess is manufacturing operations manager for 3M Unitek, which was Modcom's largest customer.
3M Unitek will continue to make the orthodontic-related products but may discontinue other custom polymer processing work during the next six months.
Parent company 3M is based in St. Paul, Minn., and operates Unitek through its dental products division.