Tech Group Inc. will close its Oregon injection molding plant and, by the end of March, relocate presses to two Arizona facilities.
The move reflects ``a weak demand for custom molding in the Pacific Northwest,'' Cindie Hubiak said by telephone.
``We are trying to adjust our current and future manufacturing capacity to meet customer requirements,'' said Hubiak, director of administration at the corporate office in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Tech Group's custom molding division opened the 38,000-square-foot Tigard, Ore., plant in January 1995 with 14 Van Dorn Demag HT 170-ton molding presses. Mostly, the facility serves the electronics market. The decision to close was communicated internally in early January.
The plant employs 45 and is building inventory to achieve ``a smooth move for the molds involved,'' Hubiak said. Some employees will transfer to Arizona.
Hewlett-Packard Co.'s relocation of work to Singapore and Guadalajara, Mexico, has rattled the Pacific Northwest molding community. Puget Plastics Corp., TriQuest Precision Plastics, SPM Inc., Nypro Inc., IMC Plastics and Fleck Co. also have operations in the region.
Tech Group will move the presses to its Phoenix molding plant and a recently upgraded Scottsdale engineering center.
Privately held Tech Group ranked 33rd in Plastics News' 1998 survey of North American injection molders, with $137.2 million in sales. Tech Group's markets include medical, consumer and technology.