Hunt-Wilde selling assets, 55 jobs lost
TAMPA, FLA. - Tampa-based injection molder Hunt-Wilde Corp. announced Dec. 9 that it is shutting down and liquidating its assets.
About 55 jobs will be lost.
Citing overseas competition, namely from China and Mexico, the manufacturer of handle grips will be out of business in a matter of weeks.
Hunt-Wilde officials said they tried various cost-cutting measures, but no efficiency improvements could offset the loss of market share.
``We have tried numerous efficiency improvements to compete with foreign manufacturers, such as waste reduction, streamlining operations and lean manufacturing,'' company President Doug Hunt said in a news release. ``But many of the companies that use our grips have themselves moved production overseas, eliminating the need for our products.''
Hunt-Wilde makes handle grips for various products, including lawn and garden equipment, power tools and wheelchairs. The company claims to be the world's leading manufacturer of handle grips.
As part of the liquidation, Hunt-Wilde will sell its 25 injection molding machines, ranging in clamping forces of 28-500 tons, said spokesman Paul Griscti.
Graham closing blow molding factory
YORK, PA. - Graham Packaging Co. LP of York will close a Cincinnati blow molding plant it acquired last year from Owens-Illinois Inc.
The company will close the site by March, laying off 75 employees. The plant is redundant, a spokesman said in a Dec. 13 telephone interview. Graham has another facility in Cincinnati.
Some major equipment will be transferred to other Graham Packaging facilities and the remainder will be stored for future use. The plant produces bottles for markets that include personal care, household and automotive lubricants.
``The decision is based on declining volumes in the containers this plant produces and the availability of newer, more up-to-date manufacturing technology at other of our plants,'' Roger Prevot, Graham president and chief operating officer, said in a news release.
Graham acquired 31 plants from rival Toledo, Ohio-based O-I roughly one year ago; it closed three in January.
PWP ramping up production in W.Va.
VERNON, CALIF. - PWP Industries of Vernon is ramping up thermoforming of polypropylene containers and lids at a newly constructed West Virginia facility. Commercial production begins in January.
The plant in Mineral Wells, W.Va., is adjacent to a separate structure where PWP began extruding and thermoforming amorphous PET for bakery and fresh-cut-produce packaging in June 2003.
Customer interest in consistent product quality, secure closures and microwaveable packaging prompted PWP to invest in the new PP capacity.
``We have concentrated on PET since our start in 1998,'' said Ben Knight, PWP senior vice president of marketing. ``Now we are branching into PP'' with an eye on reaching additional end users.
``Many do not use PET but will use PP,'' especially if PWP can ``help eradicate failures'' in securely packaging salsa, sour cream, delicatessen offerings and other food products, he said.
The firm withheld costs and other details about the building size, equipment and employment.
Holding company HPC Industries LLC of Los Angeles controls PWP.
ADAC Plastics adds workers in Mich.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Injection molder ADAC Plastics Inc. has added 20 employees to its Muskegon, Mich., operation thanks to new business coming into the plant.
The Grand Rapids-based firm now has nearly 500 workers at the Muskegon site, making handles and other parts for the auto industry. Contracts to supply the new Honda Civic allowed it to bring in new equipment and the additional jobs, a company spokesman said.
The new work fit into existing manufacturing space, he said.