Lemmerz plant closing costs 150 jobs
NORTHVILLE, MICH. - Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. will close one of its two plants that mold plastic air-intake manifolds, cutting 150 jobs and shipping the work to Mexico.
The shutdown of the Petersburg, Mich., plant is the result of a growing need to consolidate operations and reduce costs, Chief Executive Officer Ron Cucuz said in a July 12 news release. The work will move to a Hayes Lemmerz operation in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Hayes Lemmerz is based in Northville.
``It is never an easy decision, but the need to remain competitive in a very demanding and rapidly evolving industry requires us to take these measures,'' he said.
The supplier will ease workers out as contracts for existing products expire, said spokeswoman Marika Diamond. The actual shutdown is likely to take until the end of this year.
Illinois Tool closes power-drained plant
GLENVIEW, ILL. - Illinois Tool Works Inc. is closing a California injection molding and electronics packaging plant, citing uncertainty about California's electric power situation and the downturn in the computer industry.
Glenview-based ITW said July 13 that it will be moving all the equipment from its Redlands, Calif., plant to Houston by the end of the year. The plant employs about 160.
``If the sales were still strong, clearly the power issue would have been a major inconvenience,'' said ITW spokesman Mike Lynch. ``But with the weakening market and price pressures from our offshore competition, the power problems, particularly the lack of reliability, became the straw that broke the camel's back.''
The plant, known as Richmond Technology, faces a 50 percent increase in power rates and had to pay several hundred thousand dollars in penalties when it continued to operate after utility officials informed it that it had to shut down, Lynch said.
Like many California factories, the plant had been part of an interruptible power program that gave it discounted power in exchange for agreeing to shut down in power emergencies.
C-Tech files for Chapter 7 liquidation
VANCOUVER, WASH. - Custom injection molder C-Tech Plastics Inc. has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation and closed its plant, according to a Vancouver newspaper.
The Vancouver-based company had been growing, increasing employment to 63 workers, from 34 in 1997, and adding to its facility. In April, President Steve Cartier said the company planned to boost sales 20 percent in 2001 and grow to 100 employees.
But C-Tech ran into a financial wall when customers stopped paying bills, General Manager Paul Gardner told the Vancouver Columbian. One large, undisclosed customer - a snowboard maker that used C-Tech's molded bindings - owed C-Tech a large payment that contributed heavily to the cash crunch, Gardner said.
The company is owned by Nisku, Alberta-based Imperial Rubber & Urethane Corp. C-Tech injection molds parts for a variety of industries, including medical, electronics and sporting goods, and had foam injection molding capabilities. The company also has done tool repair and prototyping.
The plant closed June 27, according to the report, after employment shrank to about 40. The company plans to liquidate its assets but no date has been set, the report stated.
Waddington acquires Avon Plastics
COVINGTON, KY. - Waddington North America Inc. has expanded its Comet line of upscale disposable serving ware with the recent acquisition of Avon Plastics Inc.
Covington-based WNA bought Avon, including its CaterLine brand of disposable catering tray products, on June 29. Terms were not disclosed.
``It's these two companies that fit well together,'' WNA President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Evans said in a July 11 telephone interview. ``We share a lot of similar customers and similar processes. It's a good fit.''
WNA makes thermoformed and injection molded dinnerware, trays and serving bowls under the Classicware brand name. CaterLine products include thermoformed and injection molded serving trays for foodservice markets, using mainly polystyrene and polypropylene, Evans said. Fifty-year-old Avon also makes serving utensils, bowls, lids and beverage pitchers.
Evans declined to offer sales figures for either company.