Alloyd/SCA Packaging Consumer Products is bidding adios to a thermoforming plant in Southern California and shuttling its eight lines to two facilities south of the border in Mexico.
The firm will phase out manufacturing at its 32,000-square-foot plant in Fontana, Calif., by the end of June, President Ron Leach said May 11. About 24 employees are affected by the move. Fontana makes blister packaging for consumer products.
The company had considered closing Fontana a year ago, when it found that most customers were shipping their work to Mexico, Leach said. The De Kalb, Ill.-based company had opened its first Mexico plant, in Nogales, in late 2002, he said.
``That [Nogales] plant has ramped up over the last couple of years,'' Leach said. ``And we knew that California was not the most inexpensive or business-friendly state to operate in. In fact, a majority of customers were being served in Mexico.''
That decision was put on hold last fall, when the former Alloyd Co. made a more critical decision. Alloyd was sold in November to Stockholm, Sweden-based packaging giant Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget. SCA operates a large protective packaging arm in North America that had changed its name last year from Tuscarora Inc. to SCA Packaging North America.
SCA Packaging, based in New Brighton, Pa., also operates a plant in Tijuana, Mexico, not far from the Fontana location. While the Tijuana plant primarily molds expandable polystyrene foam, it also performs some thermoforming for protective packaging.
Alloyd/SCA will move a bulk of its thermoforming lines from Fontana to the Tijuana site, Leach said. The company will make blister packaging there under a separate operation, Leach said. The rest of the thermoforming lines will go to Nogales.
The shared plant between Alloyd/SCA and SCA Packaging is a rare case, Leach said.
``We generally operate as sister divisions with independent management, business plans and sales forces,'' Leach said. ``But in this instance, we had an opportunity to collaborate.''
Alloyd/SCA will keep about 10 people in Fontana for sales and engineering support, Leach said.
Alloyd/SCA is undergoing a gradual transition in its name. Early next year, the company plans to drop the Alloyd name entirely and will be called SCA Packaging, Consumer Products, Leach said.
The company's heat-sealing equipment will maintain the Alloyd brand name, he added.
Alloyd's U.S. parent division, Philadelphia-based SCA North America, recorded $83 million in thermoforming sales last year, according to Plastics News rankings. The company ranked 18th among North American thermoformers.