Closures maker AptarGroup Inc. is closing a captive mold-making facility in Florida, opting not to spend heavily on capital investment at the plant to compete with a burgeoning global market.
The injection mold shop, Global Precision Inc. of Davie, Fla., will close within 60 days, plant manager Jim DeSilva said March 18.
The company employs about 40, down from about 65 at the beginning of the year, said AptarGroup spokesman Stephen Hagge. The facility was AptarGroup's only tool shop in North America. The company also makes injection molds at plants in Germany and China.
``We've always outsourced a significant amount of tooling,'' Hagge said. ``This was difficult, but we had alternative investment opportunities. We had to decide where best to employ our money, and we'd rather put it into new [closure] products than in keeping our tool shop up to date.''
In 2003, AptarGroup had success with its foreign tool shops, recording a $29 million increase in custom tooling sales, according to the firm's annual report.
Global Precision was founded in 1976 and had been owned by AptarGroup since the mid-1980s, Hagge said. The tooling unit recorded about $10 million in sales last year, DeSilva added.
The plant makes high-cavitation molds used by AptarGroup and its Seaquist Closures Co. division for products used by food and beverage companies. About 10 percent of the plant makes injection molds for other uses, DeSilva said.
AptarGroup officials, based in Crystal Lake, Ill., cited two reasons for the closing when it told employees of the decision: the move offshore for many products and the pressing need for capital at the Florida plant, DeSilva said.
``Our capital needs were too great,'' DeSilva said. ``We would have needed too much of an investment in new equipment to be competitive, especially with Asia. We just got too far behind in [capital], and it became too costly to catch up.''
Global Precision had moved to a new, 33,000-square-foot plant in early 1999, part of a larger complex that gave it room for expansion. Equipment at the facility, including several automated pieces that were added during the move, will be sold at liquidation proceedings, DeSilva said.
AptarGroup, a publicly held company, reported 2003 total sales of $1.1 billion, a 20 percent increase over 2002.