Kamco closing plant, planning auction
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. - Kamco Plastics Inc., unable to find enough work to replace Maytag Corp. business in Florence, Ky., has decided to close its plant there.
Kamco is moving most of the equipment from its plant-in-plant facility in Florence to one of two Schaumburg plants and to its operation in Reynosa, Mexico, according to Jack Shedd, vice president of sales and marketing.
``There is not enough business in Florence to support a stand-alone molding operation,'' Shedd said in a telephone interview from Kamco's Schaumburg head office. Maytag, the biggest customer for Kamco's Florence operation, is closing its adjacent assembly plant for washers and dryers. Kamco also had a few other molding contracts for its Florence facility.
Two auctioneers will sell surplus Kamco equipment in Florence. Great American Group of Chicago and Meadoworks Inc. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., will hold the auction April 26.
They will sell eight Toshiba injection presses with clamping forces of 720-2,450 tons, Yushin robots, AEC water equipment and a materials-conveying system, Marley cooling towers and Nelmor granulators. Kamco had invested about $15 million in the facility in the past three years and the plant attained Six Sigma quality status.
Shedd said his company is talking with an undisclosed appliance manufacturer to set up another plant-in-plant molding operation. As well, Kamco will invest $1.4 million to expand one of its Schaumburg plants with a few electric presses and will elevate it to Six Sigma and lean manufacturing benchmarks.
Ross, Lear creating giant auto supplier
NEW YORK - Financier Wilbur Ross and auto supplier Lear Corp. have signed an agreement that will create Europe's biggest automotive plastics company, with an estimated $1.2 billion in annual sales.
New York-based W.L. Ross & Co. LLC and Franklin Mutual Advisors LLC already own the former European operations of Collins & Aikman Corp. under the newly formed International Automotive Components Group.
The agreement, announced March 29, will add Lear's plastics-heavy interior operations in Europe to the mix with nine manufacturing plants and $750 million in annual sales. Lear is shifting its manufacturing strategy to focus on seating, rather than complete interiors.
Ross also is continuing to seek out other global operations to fold into IAC, with continuing plans to buy C&A's North American facilities out of bankruptcy. Troy, Mich.-based C&A entered Chapter 11 protection in May.
``We continue to believe that the automotive original equipment manufacturers will support well-capitalized global suppliers for essential components,'' Ross said in a news release.
Lear will receive a 34 percent stake in IAC in exchange for its European interior sites. The joint operations of C&A and Lear will bring IAC facilities in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and England.
Southfield, Mich.-based Lear also announced new bank commitments worth $800 million that will allow it to refinance a $400 million loan due in 2007 and pay off other existing loans.
Alcan Packaging expanding Wis. site
BOSCOBEL, WIS. - Alcan Packaging is investing $10 million to add 64,000 square feet of space and new equipment to its Boscobel flexible packaging facility.
Preparations are under way and the new addition is to be completed in the first half of this year, a company spokeswoman said in a March 30 e-mail. When completed, the Alcan facility will be 170,000 square feet. The facility was part of Pechiney Group Inc., which Alcan Packaging's parent, Alcan Inc. of Montreal, acquired in December 2003.
The Boscobel plant is receiving $200,000 in training grants and development tax credits to assist in its expansion, according to a March 27 news release from Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.
The plant makes flexible packaging for cheese and other dairy products.
The Alcan spokeswoman also pointed to Alcan's purchase of Recubrimientos y Laminaciones de Papel SA de CV (Relapasa) of Monterrey, Mexico, in January as strengthening its packaging base. Relapasa had 250 employees and 2005 sales of almost $22 million.