Phillips Plastics shutting Idaho plant
HUDSON, WIS. - Phillips Plastics Corp. is closing an injection molding plant in Post Falls, Idaho, and moving 10 presses to other Phillips processing sites in Wisconsin.
Some of the 30 affected employees will have opportunities to move to existing Wisconsin operations.
Phillips opened the 12,000-square-foot, leased plant in 1997 in its first manufacturing expansion outside the Midwest.
The strong work ethic in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, market and anticipated growth related to the then-strong dot-com business were among the attractions.
``Unfortunately, we never saw the regional business materialize,'' Leslie Lagerstrom, Phillips advertising director, said by telephone. Phillips augmented the Post Falls workload with some business from the Wisconsin plants.
Hudson-based Phillips Plastics employed 1,800 and reported sales of $216 million for the fiscal year ended in June 2002. The Post Falls closing by year's end will reduce the number of plants to 14.
Wentworth closing toolmaking facility
BURLINGTON, ONTARIO - Wentworth Technologies Co. Ltd. is closing a small toolmaking plant in Pawcatuck, Conn., and moving the work to a larger facility.
The Burlington-based company will shutter the blow mold production site in December to shrink overhead costs, Wentworth President and Chief Executive Officer Walter Kuskowski said Nov. 12. About 15 people are affected by the closure at the 6,000-square-foot facility, he said.
``Two of our facilities were doing similar work, and we looked at this as a good way to reduce our costs,'' he said.
Wentworth bought the facility in 1991 from Amtech East Inc., and it was one of Wentworth's first shops. Much of the plant's work will move to a blow mold facility in Barrie, Ontario, Kuskowski said. The Pawcatuck plant produces tooling for blow molded containers, with a lot of its work going to Stamford, Conn.-based Silgan Holdings Inc., Kuskowski said.
Cutting costs is a necessary aspect of working in a difficult market, he said. While Wentworth's global shops in Poland and elsewhere are performing well, its North American blow mold work still is challenging, he said.
Mann + Hummel shifting work in Mexico
LUDWIGSBURG, GERMANY - German auto supplier Mann + Hummel GmbH will shift its production in Mexico to a new, $15 million facility in Queretaro.
The firm announced Nov. 12 that it is constructing a 150,000-square-foot factory in the city to replace a cramped and landlocked site in Tlalnepantla. In addition to other business, the plant will injection mold under-the-hood components for the Ludwigsburg-based company.
The 150 employees in Tlalnepantla will be offered a chance to move to the new factory 125 miles away. The new site will employ as many as 250.
The firm has won new contracts with a variety of automakers in Mexico and expects to triple sales in the coming years, said Steffen Schneider, president of Mann + Hummel Mexico. The company also is adding new, all-plastic-encased oil modules and coolant surge tanks to its existing products made in Mexico.