Collins & Aikman Corp. will close its in-house injection mold toolmaking operation as part of its continuing restructuring.
The decision will cut 140 jobs for the Troy, Mich.-based auto supplier, but also open the potential for independent toolmakers to bid on millions of dollars worth of business with the company each year.
Collins & Aikman will complete existing work within its Premiere Tooling facility in Sterling Heights, Mich., but expects to close the site by the end of March. The facility produces about 30 percent of C&A's standard injection mold tools.
The company has been operating under Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit since May and realigning its manufacturing footprint. Collins & Aikman produces nearly $4 billion in auto interior parts annually, with about $1.6 billion of that work coming from injection molding in North America.
Closing Premiere Tooling will allow the firm to put a focus on core operations, said spokesman David Youngman.
``The challenge for us was always the capital equipment requirements and the long-term payback for the work,'' he said.
The company expects to rely on more of its existing mold-making supply base, but also will seek out other potential suppliers, Youngman said.
The switch will improve the company's overall cash flow, noted President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Macher in a Dec. 13 news release.
Collins & Aikman will retain its specialized tooling facilities in New Hampshire and North Carolina, which turn out molds for flooring and cast-skin programs.