Consolidated Metco Inc. of Portland, Ore., will merge its Cashiers, N.C., structural injection molding operation into its other North Carolina facilities by the first quarter of 2006.
The move could affect as many as 120 jobs, according to a layoff notice the company filed with the state - but the company plans to move many of the workers to other locations.
``We're not losing any jobs or processes,'' a company spokesman said in a Nov. 3 telephone interview. ``We're moving the jobs. We're not killing the jobs.''
The company is not classifying the move as a plant closure.
``We know we're going to have some people there for quite a while,'' the spokesman said. ``We're not selling the plant. This is a consolidation for efficiency.''
The 80,000-square-foot site employs 130, but workers will be offered transfers to the Bryson City and Canton locations, officials said. ConMet, a trucking products maker, will transfer equipment and jobs by April.
The firm's plastics injection molding division has 500 employees at the other two sites. The Cashiers facility is landlocked, making expansion impossible, officials said. Cashiers is in the southern crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where access to highways does not compare with Bryson City or Canton.
By contrast, the Canton site is more than 200,000 square feet. ConMet acquired the Bryson City site in 1995 and last year embarked on a $13 million expansion there. That investment translated into 95,000 square feet and 15 new presses for a total of 42 presses.
Still, the Cashiers site has a rich history in plastics. By the time ConMet acquired it in 1980, the firm had major accomplishments as Cashiers Plastics. It was one of the original seven licensees of the Union Carbide Structural Foam Process, and was the third U.S. molder to perform coinjection of structural foam. During the 1990s, it was an early adapter of gas-assisted injection molding, according to an industry consultant.
In Plastics News' 2005 ranking of North American injection molders, the company's plastics division reported $84 million in sales for 2004, up from $68 million in 2003. The firm reported throughput of 9 million pounds with 59 injection presses.