Key plant closing, another losing jobs
Key Plastics LLC will close one plant and lay off 71 people at another site as part of a continuing restructuring.
The auto supplier informed the Michigan Department of Career Development on May 31 that it will close its plant in Port Huron, Mich., affecting 158 employees. Layoffs are set for Key's molding operation in Chesterfield, Mich.
Both actions are part of new owner Carlyle Management Group's reconfiguring of the operation it bought out of Chapter 11 last year, executives said.
Novi-based Key had operated under protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for about a year before Carlyle, a Dallas investment group, purchased the assets for $175 million in March 2001. The injection molder has about $525 million in annual sales to the auto industry.
Ex-owner buys second MedSource unit
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - Donald Rochelo has repurchased a Pittsfield mold-making shop from MedSource Technologies Inc.
Rochelo acquired the 12,800-square-foot tool shop June 8 for undisclosed terms. He has renamed the 25-employee business Almega Tooling Inc. and appointed Anthony Liporace as operations manager. MedSource had invested in the tool shop and added a wire electrical discharge machine, Rochelo said by telephone.
As previously reported, Rochelo also repurchased an adjacent injection molding business April 22. He had sold both businesses to Plymouth, Minn.-based MedSource in early 2000. MedSource, publicly traded since March 27, has been consolidating selected manufacturing operations into its existing sites.
Separately, Rochelo said he may form a rapid-tooling company.
``We will buy more equipment and utilize some equipment now unattended,'' he said.
The injection molding business, Apex Engineering Corp., plans to order two 200-ton Niigata presses for ``consistent, repeatable processing for a testing and medical device'' and other work. Apex operates 13 presses with clamping forces of 40-385 tons.
VPI Mirrex to launch calendering line
SHEBOYGAN, WIS. - VPI Mirrex Corp. will start commercial production in July on a new calendering line at its Salisbury, Md., film and converting division.
The new line can make light-gauge flexible films with polished and matte finishes for labels, decals, graphics products and other applications.
It can produce film wider than the 60-inch industry standard and in roll thicknesses of more than 40 inches, according to commercial development manager Barry Seldomridge. Vinyl films will be its chief output.
Sheboygan-based VPI acquired the Salisbury plant as part of American Mirrex Corp. in 1997. VPI had film and sheet sales of $174 million for the year ended Sept. 30, 2000.
German court mulls Peguform solvency
FRASER, MICH. - Automotive injection molder Venture Holdings LLC is working with U.S. and European officials with the intent of maintaining all of its companies, including the German operations of Peguform GmbH.
German courts are deciding whether to declare the seven German Peguform plants insolvent - a move that could damage all of Fraser-based Venture, since the facilities represent about 40 percent of its annual sales.
In a brief news release June 13, Venture executives said they were confident they will ``keep the group together as it is, to maintain a global presence.'' The company also quoted Jobst Wellensiek, who is overseeing the insolvency determination, as stating he is ``realistically optimistic'' about Peguform's continued existence.
The statement does not specify, however, if Peguform will continue under its current operating structure.
Venture, with nearly $2 billion in annual sales, produces interior and exterior molded components and modules. It purchased Peguform of BÃ¶tzingen, Germany, in 1999.
Four managers of Peguform filed a claim seeking insolvency for the German facilities last month, following the loss of a credit line.