Market forces have siphoned off the last of Hi-Tech Plastics Inc.'s molding work from Maryland to Texas.
The custom injection molder has confirmed it is eliminating manufacturing at its Cambridge, Md., head office operation. A major customer has developed in-house molding capability through an acquisition, severely undercutting demand for Cambridge's molding capacity. Hi-Tech President and Chief Operating Officer Larry Garver said he was surprised by the customer's move, but he declined to identify the company.
``It is a very difficult decision,'' Garver said in a telephone interview.
Hi-Tech will move all its manufacturing into its Mission, Texas, facility by the end of the month. The Mission operation has been growing steadily in the past few years and now employs 100 in a building being expanded to about 100,000 square feet.
Some key customers, such as Black & Decker Corp., have relocated manufacturing to Mexico, and offshore competition is forcing Hi-Tech to do its molding in lower-cost areas, Garver explained.
Cambridge once had 14 injection presses, some of which will be moved to the Texas site.
Mission's injection press count will settle out at 15-20 machines after officials determine how much machinery they will need to meet contract obligations. Key Cambridge personnel in human resources and quality control also are expected to move to Mission.
By the end of March, the Cambridge head office will include sales, engineering and accounting functions employing about 12. At one time Cambridge and nearby satellite operations employed 121.