Sanford North America, the Newell Rubbermaid Inc. division that makes Sharpie markers, Paper Mate pens and other writing instruments, is closing an injection molding factory in Madison, Wis., and moving the operation to its Eldon office products plant in Maryville, Tenn.
The 175,000-square-foot Tennessee plant was underutilized, and officials want to eliminate redundant operations, according to Daren Couture, vice president of operations, in a Jan. 4 announcement. Maryville easily can take in the manufacturing and distribution work of the 65,000-square-foot Madison plant, officials said.
The move centralizes Sanford injection molding at the Tennessee plant. Sanford North America spokeswoman Ashley Curtis would not say how many injection molding machines will be relocated.
Curtis, speaking by telephone from Sanford North America headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., said the Eldon plant in Maryville already has some injection molding. Eldon's office products include in-baskets, the Rolodex, floor mats for office desks and organizer boxes.
Eldon is organized under Sanford North America in the Newell Rubbermaid corporate structure.
The news comes after Newell Rubbermaid announced in September plans to cut 5,000 jobs and close one-third of its 80 manufacturing sites during a three-year period. But the Sanford plant closing should only claim only about 40 net jobs: Madison will lose 240 jobs when the plant closes, but Sanford North America plans to hire about 200 people in Maryville.
The new jobs include injection press operators, other production positions and some management posts.
``This decision was driven solely by Sanford's ongoing effort to achieve greater efficiencies in every facet of our operations,'' Couture said in a news release. ``Our goal is ultimately to attain a best-cost position and strengthen our portfolio.''
Newell Co., now Newell Rubbermaid Inc., bought Sanford in 1992. Today Sanford has operations in 11 locations, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Venezuela.
Worldwide, Sanford racks up nearly $1 billion in sales annually and employs about 3,000 people. Newell Rubbermaid is based in Sandy Springs, Ga.