Flextronics to close Texas operation
SAN JOSE, CALIF. - Global contract manufacturer Flextronics International Ltd. plans to close the New Braunfels, Texas, operations of its enclosure systems unit.
Workers were notified May 6; the firm targets July 5 for the end of most operations. The cuts will not affect a technical services group within Flextronics Plastics. The separate group will remain in New Braunfels. In New Braunfels, Flextronics operates 53 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 50-1,000 tons and assembles integrated computer enclosures.
Local news outlets said Flextronics employs 1,100 there and is New Braunfels' largest private employer. The firm declined to confirm the number.
Flextronics Enclosure Systems' Web site said operations occupy more than 330,000 square feet in New Braunfels. Several facilities are involved. The company entered New Braunfels with its April 2000 purchase of Palo Alto Products International Pte. Ltd. of Singapore and, in August 2000, added Lightning Metal Specialties Inc. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., which had a separate New Braunfels plant.
Nasdaq-traded Flextronics reported a loss of US$153.7 million on sales of US$13.1 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31. Flextronics employs about 78,000 and is incorporated in Singapore with regional offices in San Jose.
Zeller Plastik expanding Illinois facility
PHILADELPHIA - The Zeller Plastik closures division of Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc. is enlarging its Libertyville, Ill., facility by 138 percent.
The expansion will add 112,000 square feet, cost about $6.8 million and be fully operational in February.
Zeller will dedicate 70 percent of the new space to warehousing, which it now outsources, and the remainder to more manufacturing equipment for injection molding and assembly, Tom Macuk, the division's manufacturing director, said in a May 8 news release. Zeller expects to reduce order-processing time and improve shipping efficiency.
In Libertyville, Zeller employs 150 and makes hinged dispensing closures for use with food, beverage, health-care, cosmetics, household and industrial containers. With the addition, the firm will have 193,000 square feet of space.
Zeller Plastik GmbH of Zell, Germany, expanded into the U.S. closures market in 1984 and was part of a major Crown Cork acquisition in 1996.
Philadelphia-based Crown Cork reported a loss of $972 million - including a tax loss, asset impairments, asbestos charges and bad debts - on 2001 sales of $7.19 billion.
Sunoco to shut down Texas PP line
PHILADELPHIA - Sunoco Inc. will close one of its three polypropylene lines in La Porte, Texas, in the third quarter, the company announced May 8.
The line turns out 200 million pounds per year. Sunoco now operates a total of six PP lines, with other operations in Neal, W.Va., and Marcus Hook, Pa. The company currently has total annual PP production capacity of 2.3 billion pounds.
Philadelphia-based Sunoco picked up its PP assets through the acquisition of Epsilon Products Co. last year and Aristech Chemical Co. in 2000, said Bruce G. Fischer, senior vice president.
LDM purchases Security Plastics plant
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - LDM Technologies Inc. has picked up part of Security Plastics Inc., paying $3.8 million to buy a plant out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
LDM announced in its quarterly report May 2 that it took over the assets and booked business of Security Plastics West - which comprises a plant in McAllen, Texas. Security Plastics West has annual sales of $12 million to $15 million and 130 employees. It injection molds parts for TRW Inc.'s seat-belt systems.
The business augments Auburn Hills-based LDM's other operations in Texas, said Chief Financial Officer Gary Borushko. LDM already was familiar with work at the location, he said, because LDM has a plant about 20 miles away in Harlingen, Texas, that also makes components for TRW.
``It was as easy a business as we've taken over,'' Borushko said of the February purchase. ``It's the same kinds of products, same customers, same area.''
Security Plastics Inc. of Miami Lakes, Fla., had filed for protection from creditors in August in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami. Work in McAllen continued uninterrupted, Borushko said.