Coperion Corp. has decided to end 27 years of U.S. manufacturing of Werner & Pfleiderer compounding extruders, as the company announced another round of layoffs in Ramsey, N.J.
``We will shift most of our assembly and engineering operations back to Germany,'' said Jan van Bakergem, president and chief executive officer.
Coperion will cut 45 jobs in Ramsey, the U.S. headquarters, he said. The employees will leave in early December. They learned about the layoffs in a meeting Sept. 3.
Those layoffs follow an earlier move to ax 25 positions in Ramsey. Both rounds of cuts will bring total employment in Ramsey to 120, van Bakergem said.
Coperion will continue to run a screw factory in Wytheville, Va., which employs 40.
W&P has manufactured twin-screw compounding extruders in New Jersey since 1976. First, the factory was located in Waldwick, N.J. In 1980, W&P relocated just a few miles away to Ramsey.
Coperion is moving the Ramsey extruder manufacturing operations to the German headquarters plant in Stuttgart, Germany.
Van Bakergem said Ramsey - also the U.S. headquarters of other Coperion businesses, Buss kneaders and Waeschle material-handing systems - will continue to build electrical components and refurbish gearboxes for extruders. At NPE, the company announced it was decentralizing some operations by setting up seven geographic centers to support all of Coperion's businesses.
``It becomes now, really, a sales and service-oriented company,'' van Bakergem said in a Sept. 4 telephone interview.
Coperion formed in 2000 after Swiss machinery maker Georg Fischer AG and an investor group bought Krupp Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH. W&P joined with existing Georg Fischer companies Buss and Waeschle. A year ago Georg Fischer turned majority ownership over to its equity partners, West Private Equity Ltd. of London and Westdeutsch Landesbank Girozentrale of Dusseldorf, Germany.
The investors hired van Bakergem as a turnaround specialist.
``We will be really concentrating on contract work, sales work,'' he said. ``That is our future in the U.S. and obviously, we will be a much leaner company.''