Nypro Inc. is consolidating its Southeast injection molding operations.
The Clinton, Mass., firm will close its Albany, Ga., facility during the next two months and is laying off about a quarter of its staff in Dothan, Ala. Its Marietta, Ga., plant will absorb work affected by the closure and layoffs.
Nypro spokesman Al Cotton said the cutbacks are part of the firm's plan to establish regional facilities that encompass a range of services, from design and tool building to molding and assembly. Nypro first announced the program in November 1999. At that time it eliminated 20 jobs in Clinton as the first step in the program.
Cotton said until the Southeast cutbacks, Nypro has been making small adjustments through its regional program. He said it is too early to say what other steps the firm will take as part of the strategy.
The Albany and Dothan plants originally were built just to do molding. "We want multipurpose facilities," Cotton said in a telephone interview.
The Albany plant employs 65. Dothan has 110 employees but will cut 30. The Marietta plant, a multipurpose facility, has about 200 employees. Marietta will receive some of the presses from Albany.
Nypro told Dothan employees about the layoffs April 24, a week after it announced it is buying two molding operations in China. The company also is building another molding plant in China and plans additional manufacturing locations in Malaysia, France and Ireland. Its offshore growth reflects a trend among global companies to transfer work from the United States to offshore areas, especially to Asia and Latin America. Nypro currently runs 27 plants in 10 countries.
Cotton said the Albany plant mainly serves electronic and consumer markets. A lot of electronics work is moving to Asia and more consumer products are being molded in Mexico.
Plastics News obtained a daily production report that indicates Dothan's capacity is severely underutilized. The report for April 24 showed that of 32 presses, only eight were in production that day and only 18 percent of available molding capacity was used. The report also stated the operation lost nearly $9,500 that day. Most of the plant's work was for electronics companies.
Cotton said he could not confirm figures in the report, but he cautioned against extrapolating such numbers to discern actual losses over a longer period.