Black & Decker moving some production
TOWSON, MD. - Black & Decker Corp. plans to cut expenses by moving some production to lower-cost operations in Mexico, China and the Czech Republic.
The power-tool major's plans include relocating corded power-tool production from Easton, Md., to Mexico and closing three U.S. facilities that are not plastics-related. The latter plants manufacture faucets in California, recondition power tools in Tennessee and make power-tool accessories in Wisconsin.
Easton, Md., will lose 450 jobs. About another 1,950 positions in the United States and England will be eliminated and partly offset by the creation of 1,900 new jobs in low-cost plants. Worldwide, the Towson-based company will cut about 25 percent of its total manufacturing space.
Black & Decker's plant in Spennymoor, England, expanded its injection molding capacity in the late 1990s while the firm was closing four other production plants around the world, including one in Canada.
The company relies on purchased and in-house molded parts at many of its production operations.
The company said Jan. 29 it will take a charge of about $100 million for the restructuring during the fourth quarter.
Excluding charges, Black & Decker recorded profit of $57.6 million for the quarter, although sales fell 3 percent to $1.2 billion.
British Vita acquiring Nolato Elastoteknik
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - British Vita plc, a plastic sheet, foam and compounding group, is expanding its thermoplastic elastomer operations by acquiring compounder Nolato Elastoteknik AB of Amal, Sweden, for £5 million ($7 million).
Elastoteknik is a noncore operation for parent Nolato AB of Torokev, Sweden, which has international injection molding operations serving the automotive, telecommunications and electronics markets.
Elastoteknik's three lines produce TPE compounds primarily for injection molded components for the medical, electronics and automotive sectors.
The company reported 2001 profit of about $780,000 on sales of $7 million. It employs 34 at its single plant, according to Manchester-based British Vita.
British Vita already has its Vita Thermoplastic Polymers, known as VTP, in Manchester, England. That operation employs 65 and runs three lines producing Vitaprene-brand compounds, mainly for extrusion.
``We have been looking for some time to develop TPE compounding, which offers a major growth market. We have a pan-European market vision, and this area has great growth potential,'' said Calvin O'Connor, British Vita's industrial polymers director.
He pointed to the growing substitution of such compounds for rubber and other materials.
The Swedish business will be renamed Vita Elastoteknik.
GE Plastics cutting 170 jobs in Indiana
MOUNT VERNON, IND. - GE Plastics will cut almost 170 jobs at its Mount Vernon plant by mid-2002 as a result of decreased demand for its engineering resins.
``Taking this step is based on the economy,'' GE Plastics spokesman Jay Pomeroy said. ``Our orders are off and we expect 2002 to be as tough as 2001.''
Production at the site, which ranks as the Pittsfield, Mass.-based firm's largest North American polycarbonate plant, will not be affected by the job cuts, Pomeroy added.
The 166 cuts, representing about 11 percent of the Mount Vernon work force, will come from all areas including production and administration.
GE Plastics will try to use early retirement to handle as many of the cuts as possible.
Late last year, GE Plastics cut about 50 jobs from ABS resin and compounding plants in Parkersburg, W.Va., and Ottawa, Ill.
North American PC sales were down by at least 10 percent in 2001, according to industry estimates.
In addition to PC, GE produces polyetherimide, polybutylene terephthalate, PC/PBT compounds and PC sheet and film in Mount Vernon.
Sales at GE's materials unit - which includes plastics - fell 12 percent to $7 billion in 2001, while its profit fell 20 percent to $1.6 billion. The unit represented 6 percent of sales and 11 percent of profit for its parent General Electric Co. last year.