Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. will close its Sparta, N.J., tubing plant by February.
The Sparta facility makes silicone tubing and molded tubing assemblies for medical and pharmaceutical industries. It employs about 40.
The company notified New Jersey officials that it will lay off workers beginning Oct. 8. Spokeswoman Marylou Desimone confirmed the shutdown and layoffs. Workers will lose jobs as equipment is transferred to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plants in Beaverton, Mich., and Taunton, Mass., she said in an interview from the firm's head office in Wayne, N.J.
Markets served by the Sparta operation generally are strong, but the leased facility is ill-suited for upgrading or expansion, said Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics spokesman Bill Seiberlich. Sparta does not have a clean room, whereas the firm's operations in Beaverton and Taunton do, he said in a telephone interview.
``The other plants will require minimal capital investment to take on Sparta's production,'' Seiberlich said.
Sparta, Beaverton and Taunton make up the manufacturing plants for the Health Markets business unit of the fluid systems sector of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. Closing Sparta will improve the cost structure and competitiveness of the Health Markets unit, according to Joanne Moon, general manager of the business unit.
Saint-Gobain acquired the Sparta operation in 1999 when it bought Nalge Process Technologies. It closed one of the former Nalge plants, the former Acutech operation in Reading, Pa., last year. Officials did not disclose sales of the Sparta operation or the Health Markets unit.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics runs 55 plants in 16 countries. In North America, it is part of Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics Inc. of Wooster, Mass. The overall parent company is Saint-Gobain Group of Paris, which recently reported an 8 percent sales decline for the first half of 2002. Saint-Gobain had sales of $27.2 billion in 2001 in plastics, glass products, reinforcements, industrial materials and building materials. Among its subsidiaries is pipe extrusion giant CertainTeed Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa.