Ropak Corp., a division of Linpac Group Ltd., plans to close its 150,000-square-foot La Mirada, Calif., manufacturing facility March 10. The closing will affect about 100 employees.
``Among our eight facilities in the United States and Canada, the costs in La Mirada are significantly higher than the average of the rest, and it has been the same for many years,'' said Ropak President Greg Toft.
Toft cited energy and insurance costs as culprits.
``To make the facility more efficient,'' he said, ``would require significant investment in infrastructure and equipment.''
While production is moving, market presence will remain, Toft said by telephone.
``Ropak is going to fully support the California marketplace,'' he said.
The rigid-container injection molder intends to establish a Los Angeles area distribution and sales center, possibly at the La Mirada site.
Ropak will relocate La Mirada container production and operating equipment, as needed, to existing facilities in Langley, British Columbia; Mansfield, Texas; and Elk Grove Village, Ill. The La Mirada plant has 12 injection molding machines of 600-1,000 tons. The closing was announced internally Jan. 6.
Ropak began manufacturing at the La Mirada facility in 1995 after moving locally from another plant where it had operated for many years.
Earlier, Ropak closed facilities in Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, as part of its 2001 opening of the 206,000-square-foot Langley plant, which uses automatic guided vehicle technology.
In California, Ropak moved its headquarters to Fountain Valley from Fullerton in June.
In an unrelated development, another Linpac Group division, Linpac Materials Handling of Georgetown, Ky., established a facility in Shanghai, China, with sales, customer service, support and design engineering capabilities.
The location targets the reusable packaging needs of those doing business in China as well as Chinese companies and their subsidiaries.
Sales manager Mark Flegm heads the site.
Linpac Group, based in Birmingham, England, has annual sales of about £1.1 billion ($1.95 billion), primarily in packaging and materials handling.