Owens Corning is closing the main production plant for its OC brand of vinyl siding and relocating those operations to three other vinyl siding facilities. About 160 workers could lose their jobs in the move. OC has outgrown the Fair Bluff, N.C., plant and is looking to streamline operations by having fewer plants that are larger in size, spokesman Chuck Hartlege said in a telephone interview from the company's Toledo, Ohio, headquarters.
The plant will close April 6. Fair Bluff has been the leading production plant for OC-brand siding since October 1997. The company already is looking for a buyer for that plant, Hartlege said.
The decision fits OC's goals of cutting costs and bringing products closer to its customers, he said.
When the plant closes, three of its six machines will be transferred to vinyl siding plants in Atlanta; Joplin, Mo.; and London, Ontario. The other three lines will remain in the closed plant until they are needed, Hartlege said.
OC said it plans to help the 160 employees at the Fair Bluff plant get jobs at other local companies, and probably will interview some for positions at other OC plants. A job fair has been organized and severance packages will be provided for all affected employees, Hartlege said.
The firm has composites plants in North and South Carolina, and a new manufactured-stone plant in South Carolina.
"There's a chance that some of the employees could go to those facilities," Hartlege said.
The shutdown marks the end of OC's consolidation of its vinyl siding business, he said.
"We've moved to where we want to be," Hartlege added.
In related news, OC also sold its Falcon Foam Corp. subsidiary to Meridian, Miss.-based Atlas Roofing Corp.
OC had acquired Falcon's Byron Center, Mich., plant in 1995 and later bought the Los Angeles plant in 1997, Hartlege said.
Falcon manufactures expanded polystyrene foam insulation, a product that did not fit with OC's line of extruded PS home insulation, he said.
"We want to focus more on our core products and systems. Expanded polystyrene we don't feel is that close to our core system. Extruded [foam] is," Hartlege said.
Falcon's sales topped $65 million last year.
Expanded PS insulation commonly is used in recreational vehicles, garage doors and commercial packaging.