Hi-Tech scales back Md. site, cuts jobs
CAMBRIDGE, MD. - Custom injection molder Hi-Tech Plastics Inc. will trim its workforce in Cambridge to match its anticipated sales volume there.
By May, Hi-Tech probably will lay off 30-35 of the 121 employees at its headquarters and two satellite operations in Cambridge, General Manager Neil Leary said in a phone interview.
Hi-Tech will close the two leased facilities and consolidate production to its 50,000-square-foot plant, which it owns.
Cambridge's former main customer was Black & Decker Corp. of Towson, Md. Hi-Tech set up a plant in Mission, Texas, in early 2003 to be closer to the firm's operation in Reynosa, Mexico, where Black & Decker transferred much of its production. Hi-Tech now employs about 80 in a 60,000-square-foot, leased plant in Texas and counts Black & Decker as its main customer there.
Leary said the two Cambridge production plants and warehouse picked up a lot of low-volume jobs to replace work that had shifted to Hi-Tech's plant in Mission. Now the firm is adding higher-volume, high-tonnage molding work in Cambridge that will be more profitable, Leary said. One of the new contracts is molding roof vents for GAF Materials Corp. of Wayne, N.J.
Leary said Hi-Tech might relocate one press from Maryland to Texas, but it expects to sell presses of 200 tons or less.
PN chart runs PE pricing corrections
AKRON, OHIO - Plastics News is correcting prices of polyethylene on its resin pricing chart this week to provide a more accurate reflection of North American market prices.
Prices of all grades of low and linear low density PE are being revised downward by 7 cents per pound, while prices for all grades of high density PE are being revised downward by 6 cents per pound.
Those changes do not reflect recent market activity and are being made to show additional price erosion, rebates and discounts that occurred in the 2000-02 time period.
RDI profitable, despite customer's debt
AYER, MASS. - Resin Distribution Inc. far exceeded its first-year sales target last year, and officials with the Ayer-based firm said it should show no ill effects in 2005 from the recent bankruptcy of one of its largest customers.
RDI, founded in late 2003, had hoped for sales of $12 million to $15 million in its first full year of operation. Instead, higher selling prices and strong resin demand allowed the firm to sell $35 million worth of prime and off-spec polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, said co-owner Regis Magnus. RDI also showed a pretax profit of $1.2 million in 2004, Magnus said.
The firm also was fortunate that $900,000 of a debt of almost $1.4 million owed by housewares maker Aero Plastics Inc. will be covered by RDI's insurance. Leominster, Mass.-based Aero, which filed Jan. 6 for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, was one of RDI's three biggest customers.
Magnus, who has done business with Aero for almost 20 years, said RDI will continue to supply Aero as the molder works to recover. In its bankruptcy filing, Aero listed RDI as its second-largest debt holder.
Magnus said RDI hopes to come close to $40 million in 2005 sales, but will focus on ``bigger-margin, lower-risk'' accounts.
Husky picks COO Galt to replace Schad
BOLTON, ONTARIO - Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. will promote from within to replace President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Schad this year.
Husky's board of directors Jan. 27 selected John Galt, vice president of operations and chief operating officer, to replace Schad. Late last year Schad, Husky's founder, announced that he would be stepping down in 2005. Galt's appointment will be made official at an undisclosed time this year.
Galt, 44, was the board's unanimous choice, said Chairman Robert Gillespie. Galt joined Husky in 1985 and progressed through the Bolton-based company's engineering, manufacturing and customer service departments. He was named vice president of operations and COO in August 2002.
He was general manager of Husky's North American business from 1997-99 and did a stint at its Luxembourg campus in 2001-03, when he led a restructuring and helped drive growth of Husky's hot-runner business.
After Schad steps down as president and CEO, he plans to continue as a director and adviser on technology development and strategy.