Armstrong laying off flooring workers
LANCASTER, PA. — Armstrong World Industries Inc. announced Nov. 18 that it will lay off 750 salaried and hourly employees, mostly from its Floor Products Division.
The employees to be laid off equal about 4 percent of Armstrong's 10,400 employees worldwide.
The Lancaster-based company expects to take a pretax charge of $78 million in the fourth quarter. Approximately $29 million of the charge is to go toward severance payments to the laid-off employees, which will occur over the next 12 months; $40 million is needed to cover enhanced retirement benefits, according to a news release.
According to a company spokeswoman, about 410 employees at the Lancaster headquarters will be affected. Some 250 corporate administrative positions will be eliminated in departments including human resources, research and development, payroll and engineering.
At least 35 hourly employees who belong to the International Machinists Union will take early retirement packages, the spokeswoman said.
Of the remaining 340 employees to be laid off, the majority will be workers at the company's overseas plants.
The company expects that the savings from the work force reduction will allow recovery of the charges within about two years, the release said.
Armstrong is a leading manufacturer of cast vinyl flooring and other construction products.
Conn. molder faces $69,750 OSHA fine
DANBURY, CONN. — The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties of $69,750 against medical products molder Tenax Corp.
OSHA announced Nov. 17 that Tenax committed willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA inspected the Danbury company's plant June 11.
Tenax has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply with OSHA's report, to participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations. Tenax President Peter Kershaw said his company plans to comply and to contest the citations. He would not elaborate further.
The largest proposed penalty, $49,500, is for workplace noise violations. Other alleged problems included tripping hazards, failure to protect employees from injury and improper electrical connections.
Yushin opens technical center in Calif.
CRANSTON, R.I. — Automation system supplier Yushin America Inc. has opened its first technical service center in Yorba Linda, Calif., and plans to establish another in Indianapolis by May.
Yushin leased 2,400 square feet in August and held November open houses at the California site, demonstrating the operation of traverse models of both high-speed, all-servo robots and hybrid pneumatic/servo robots and a standard sprue-picking unit. Ronald Wiemer heads the center as sales manager for the 15-state Western region.
The center will offer training sessions and, within six months, also plans to operate end-of-arm robotic tooling for plastic parts, Rush LaSelle, sales engineer, said by telephone.
Yushin America employs about 100 and assembles custom downstream equipment at its main facility in Cranston.
Parent company Yushin Precision Equipment Co. Ltd. manufactures the equipment at three plants in Kyoto, Japan, and has distributed robotic systems through Yushin America for the past decade.
Jersey Plastic sets up clean machines
IRVINGTON, N.J. —Irvington-based Jersey Plastic Molders Inc. has invested $1 million to install a clean room with four Milacron Elektra all-electric molding machines.
The machines, two 110-ton and two 160-ton presses, began operating in August. They mold cosmetic and medical parts.
``We built 48-cavity molds for two machines running cosmetic parts and we're making three other molds for the medical industry,'' Gary Rokosny, vice president of sales and general manager, said in a telephone interview.
The equipment running cosmetic parts is producing lipstick lids and caps at a rate of 140 million in 13 months. Medical parts such as a blood tester, an ultrasonic contact lens cleaner and a medical dispenser will be manufactured in January. Jersey makes its own tooling.
Since the new equipment is fully automatic, no new employees were added. The 4,000-square-foot clean room is part of the company's 100,000-square-foot plant.
Jersey, in business since 1945, employs about 100. The custom molder serves industries such as display, sporting goods, cosmetic, hardware, consumer products and housewares and uses all kinds of plastic.
The company reported injection molding sales of $8.84 million for the year ended June 30, 1997.