Alltrista Corp. of Indianapolis plans to close its injection molding plant in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, early next year.
The plant produces medical products such as blood-filtration devices on 14 injection presses.
The site, which employs 32, is part of Alltrista's Unimark Plastics Co. division, based in Greer, S.C. Company officials cited decreased demand for medical device products, the phaseout of a U.S. tax incentive and lower manufacturing costs elsewhere in the Caribbean and Pacific Rim as reasons for the closing.
``Exiting the Arecibo facility was done only as a last resort,'' Alltrista President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Clark said in a news release. ``We've tried for several years to make it a viable operation.''
Clark added the plant was not profitable in spite of having a good reputation for product quality, customer service, technical resources and high-quality employees. Plant customers included Baxter Healthcare and Sensormatic, a maker of theft-pre- vention devices.
Company spokesman Larry Miller said Alltrista originally put the plant in Puerto Rico to serve pharmaceutical companies that were taking advantage of tax incentive programs. As the programs have expired, many of those companies are moving to nearby countries such as the Dominican Republic, according to Miller.
When the Arecibo plant closes, Alltrista's Unimark division will have four injection molding facilities — two in Reedsville, Pa., and one each in Greer and Springfield, Mo. The Arecibo plant is the smallest of the five.
Unimark expects to reach $36 million in sales this year.
Alltrista has operated the 22,500-square-foot leased facility in Arecibo since 1989 when the company was part of Ball Corp.
Alltrista manufactures and markets plastic and metal products at 11 manufacturing sites. The company, which employs 1,100, posted sales of $239.6 million in 1997.