Trend Technologies Inc. will close its San Diego plastics processing plant and relocate its equipment and work to a large Chino, Calif., facility now devoted to metal processing.
Trend announced the decision internally July 11 and indicated it plans to complete the transition within 60-90 days, Mark Brosius, vice president of development and technology, said in a telephone interview.
The consolidation reflects a desire to integrate the plants, as well as slowness in the market for telecommunications housings.
Chino will become Trend's sixth integrated site and the largest such enclosure plant on the West Coast, Brosius said. Trend integrates plastic and metal processing and assembly functions in making enclosures for computer networking and communications applications.
Recently, Trend San Diego had invested in automation systems to reduce labor and stabilize quality, General Manager Ted Duggan said in a June 28 interview at the firm's Mexport trade show exhibit in San Diego. Subsequently, Duggan resigned.
Trend San Diego employs 75, compared with about 150 a year ago. The plant has 17 robot-equipped injection molding machines with clamping forces of 35-500 tons. Most of the Engel robots have three-axis servos.
The 200,000-square-foot site in Chino was part of Cowden Metal Specialties Inc. before its November acquisition by Trend. The Cowden deal included six plants - three in California and one each in Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore. The acquisition made Trend one of the world enclosure industry's largest metal fabricators using numerical controls and soft tools, Brosius said.
The benefits of merging molding, fabrication and painting under one roof will be every bit as significant as those Trend has demonstrated by integrating molding and stamping, said Jeff Stump, Trend vice president of Western operations.
Trend leased the 66,280-square-foot San Diego facility in 1997 and began operations with six Engel presses.
San Jose, Calif.-based Trend Technologies operates 250 injection molding machines, 168 metal-stamping presses and 197 pieces of soft-tool and prototype metal-fabrication equipment. The firm has 16 plants in five states and five other countries. Eight locations have mold-making capability.
Trend has sites with integrated plastic, metal and assembly operations in Round Rock, Texas; Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Dublin, Ireland.
Trend will begin operations in September in a new, 102,000-square-foot integrated plant in Kunszentm rton, Hungary.
Private equity firm Doughty Hanson & Co. Ltd. of London acquired about 90 percent of Trend in March 2000.