Advance Dial must relocate operation
ELMHURST, ILL. — Advance Dial Co. plans to shut its injection molding operation in Boca Raton, Fla., because the operation's main customer, Motorola Inc., has been moving manufacturing out of the area.
Advance will move Boca Raton's molding and assembly work to Chihuahua, Mexico, Elmhurst and Phoenix. Of the 240 employees in Boca Raton, Advance will keep only a handful there for undisclosed operations.
The company leases two buildings totaling 45,000 square feet in Boca Raton. It has about 30 injection presses there, said Chris James, chief financial officer.
The presses mold housings for pagers, telephones and keyless door locks and some automotive parts such as manual seat controls.
Advance started cutting work in Boca Raton in September. By February, it will have only a skeleton crew there.
Based in Elmhurst, Advance reported custom injection molding sales of $72 million for 1999.
OSHA fines Bayer for safety violations
BAYTOWN, TEXAS — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Bayer Corp. $135,900 for violations at its plant in Baytown.
The company, which was rated the second-safest chemical manufacturer by the American Chemistry Council in 2000, was cited Dec. 20 for seven health and safety violations. The citations include failure to ensure that employees wear appropriate protective clothing, failure to establish regulated areas and failure to alert employees of an emergency.
OSHA began its investigation July 6 after a contract worker reported that employees were exposed to the regulated carcinogen methylenedianiline. The exposure occurred after a spill.
"It was during the cleanup process following the incident for which they're citing us," said David Reeder, a spokesman at the company's headquarters in Pittsburgh.
The firm can contest or settle during the next 15 working days, said OSHA spokeswoman Diana Petterson.
"If they settle, they also have to make the recommended changes or abatement as stipulated in the citations," she said.
The company manufactures polyurethane, coatings and paints at the facility.
"We're still reviewing the citation, and we'll make a decision within that time frame," Reeder said. "We have worked and cooperated fully with OSHA, and we will continue to address the agency's concerns."
Bayer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer AG. The Baytown plant employs 1,200, plus about 1,300 contract employees.
GenTek, Prettl team up in appliances
HAMPTON, N.H. — GenTek Inc. and Prettl Group are pooling resources to supply control panels to the appliance industry.
The firms plan to injection mold panel components and assemble the components and wiring to save appliance manufacturers a few steps.
Prettl, based in Neuruppin, Germany, will contribute injection molding capabilities in Neuruppin; Opalenica, Poland; and Cerkezkoy, Turkey. GenTek's Noma division will contribute a development center in Southfield, Mich.
GenTek and Prettl are doubling the size of the plant in Poland. The partners also plan to open a new facility in Queretaro, Mexico, in the first quarter of 2001, but the plant will not begin injection molding until it builds sufficient sales volume, said GenTek spokeswoman Gia Oei. GenTek is based in Hampton.
Publicly traded GenTek said the PrettlNoma venture will start with annual sales of about $70 million. Through the venture, GenTek will gain access to the European market while Prettl will be able to penetrate North American markets.
Prettl's four business groups are automotive, appliance, high-tech and consumer. It had sales of 195 million deutsche marks ($106.4 million) in 1999. Noma is a major producer of wiring for consumer and industrial applications.
Producers of clothes dryers, washing machines and other major appliances will be able to reduce costs and assembly time by outsourcing panel modules from PrettlNoma, according to GenTek.
Traditionally, appliance makers have bought discrete components and have done all assembly in-house.