Press maker JSW closing tech center
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, ILL. - Facing a U.S. market that is ``still underperforming,'' Japanese injection press maker JSW Plastics Machinery Inc. is closing its Chicago-area technical center and eliminating four jobs, to cut costs.
``It's basically the economy that's done it to us,'' said Jerry Johnson, JSW's Elk Grove Village-based vice president of sales, who is losing his job along with three other people. Johnson, who has been with the firm five years, said his last day is Dec. 5.
JSW opened the facility in 1999. It had six full-time employees; two of them will be reassigned to other JSW locations. JSW will continue to run its U.S. headquarters in Anaheim, Calif., and two regional offices in Detroit and Atlanta.
Fumio Hirayama, president of JSW Plastics Machinery Inc., announced the news in a Nov. 11 release. He emphasized that JSW will continue to offer its full range of parts, service and injection presses, in clamping forces from 40-1,800 tons.
Parent Japan Steel Works Ltd. entered the U.S. market in 1990.
Hirayama said JSW must restructure based on lower U.S. sales volume. He said JSW's experience parallels the overall injection press industry, which saw shipments fall 44 percent in 2001, according to the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington.
Rehrig consolidates Calif. operations
VERNON, CALIF. - Rehrig Pacific Co. is consolidating West Coast manufacturing at its Vernon plant, near Los Angeles.
The company will shift production from Tracy, Calif., east of San Francisco, but maintain Tracy as a Central Valley distribution center for its injection molded collapsible and returnable crates, trays, carts, bins and pallets.
The Vernon-based firm expects to save energy and improve production efficiency with the move. Vernon has generated electricity since 1933 and distributes it more cheaply than investor-owned utilities. The city's application for a $100 million, natural-gas-fired, 134-megawatt power plant is pending before the California Energy Commission.
A Rehrig unit acquired the 65,000-square-foot industrial building in Tracy, with about 16.9 acres of land, for about $1.3 million in 1999, according to public records. Rehrig later poured new concrete foundations for large-tonnage injection molding machines. About one-half of the facility was designed to store materials and finished goods.
Kodak to outsource camera production
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Eastman Kodak Co. plans to close a Rochester facility that makes one-time-use cameras and shift production to lower-cost Kodak plants in Xiamen, China, or Guadalajara, Mexico.
The New York plant, which will close in July, has at least 15 injection molding machines, which may be transferred or sold, said spokesman Chris Veronda. As feasible, Rochester-based Kodak will transfer workers to other Rochester operations, including film manufacturing, but worldwide the firm is cutting 1,300-1,700 positions out of 75,000, it said Nov. 12.
Rochester contractors Park Enterprises Inc. and CPI Business Groups Inc., formerly Chili Plastics Inc., will lose subassembly work for the single-use cameras, Veronda said.
CertainTeed buys Marshall Vinyl Windows
CORONA, CALIF. - CertainTeed Corp. has acquired Marshall Vinyl Windows Inc., its fifth fabrication facility, as it seeks to increase its West Coast presence.
Marshall, based in Corona, has been an independent fabricator for CertainTeed since 1992, officials said. Terms were not disclosed in the deal, which was finalized Nov. 5. CertainTeed is based in Valley Forge, Pa.
``By purchasing the fabrication operation, it gives us greater control over manufacturing process and a greater ability to expand customer base,'' said CertainTeed spokesman Michael Loughery. ``We want to take advantage of trying to build the Southwest ... with our product. This will allow us to do that.''
CertainTeed has an extrusion location in Hagerstown, Md., and extrudes from a fabrication plant in Auburn, Wash. Officials anticipate adding extrusion capacity to support fabrication, but plans have not been finalized. The Marshall acquisition will add 250 employees to nearly 2,000 in CertainTeed's window group.
The company also is building a fabrication plant, its fifth, in Lebanon, Ind., with production slated to begin in early 2003. CertainTeed, owned by Paris-based Cie. de Saint Gobain, reported 2001 pipe and profile sales of $734 million.