Just one month after becoming the top executive at Van Dorn Demag Corp., Bill Carteaux has announced a restructuring that includes layoffs at the Strongsville injection press maker.
The machinery market remains soft, the company said as it announced the restructuring Aug. 23.
``Though we have begun to see some positive signs in certain segments, the overall demand for injection molding machines is still lagging,'' Carteaux said in a news release.
Van Dorn Demag will cut 7 percent of its work force. Company officials did not issue a specific number of job cuts, and they were not available for further comment after the Aug. 23 announcement. A recent story in Crain's Cleveland Business, a sister newspaper to Plastics News, said the company employs about 600 in Strongsville.
The press maker also runs two machining plants in South Carolina: in Duncan and Fountain Inn.
Part of the restructuring involves the engineering department, the company said. Carteaux said the company has created a system to develop new machinery and technology faster than in the past, which has resulted in some personnel changes. No other details about engineering changes were available.
Carteaux became president and chief executive officer July 16, replacing William G. Pryor, who retired. About one week after that, Van Dorn Demag and its sister company in Schwaig, Germany - Demag Ergotech GmbH - announced they were integrating fully their injection presses in the North American market. Demag Ergotech closed its separate U.S. headquarters and moved in with Van Dorn Demag.
Van Dorn Demag said the new alliance, along with the slumping machinery business, prompted the restructuring. Company officials are doing an across-the-board internal review of operations that ``includes assigning people to new responsibilities and departments and eliminating positions as a result of the restructuring and where there was duplication of responsibilities between Van Dorn Demag and Demag Ergotech USA.
The company will continue to monitor operations, how it responds to customers and industry trends, and make adjustments as needed.
Carteaux noted that other plastics equipment manufacturers also have laid off workers as sales have fallen.
``The timing is right for us to review how we operate internally and interact with customers, and look for ways to do it better and more efficiently,'' he said.
Van Dorn Demag and Demag Ergotech are units of Mannesmann Plastics Machinery AG, which is being acquired by New York buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.