With a plant in Tijuana, Mexico, scheduled to open in October or November, contract manufacturer and injection molder United Plastics Group Inc. is shuttering its plant in Anaheim, Calif., 90 miles to the north.
The Anaheim plant, acquired six years ago, will operate until the end of the year, said Chuck Hoar, vice president of sales and marketing. About 125 workers will lose their jobs, but about 20-25 white-collar workers will stay, Hoar said in an Aug. 24 telephone interview.
``We will keep our [information technology] people, program managers, designers and application development people in Anaheim,'' Hoar said.
The Anaheim plant is operating at more than 70 percent of its normal production levels to build an inventory of products so there is a smooth transition as production shifts elsewhere, Hoar said. Many of the plant's 30 injection presses will move to Tijuana, as will more than 50 percent of the Anaheim plant's production - the majority of it in medical products, according to Hoar. He noted that some value-added consumer and industrial product manufacturing also will shift from Anaheim to Tijuana.
``Tijuana is the perfect location for us to satisfy our West Coast customers,'' Hoar said.
But not all the Anaheim production is headed to Mexico. UPG will move some automotive production bezels and cosmetic components to its plant in Houston. It also will move some 50-ton micromolding machines that make connectors to its plant in Chicopee, Mass.
Chief Executive Officer Richard Harris previously said that he expected UPG to open a new plant every 12-18 months in low-cost regions.
``Our customers are pushing us to have manufacturing capacity in lower-cost countries and for additional capacity in Mexico,'' Hoar said.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based UPG, with $170 million in sales, has 11 plants - three in China with 140,000 square feet of combined manufacturing space, three in Mexico with 170,000 square feet total, a small plant in Europe, and four U.S. plants totaling 275,000 square feet. Hoar said there is still excess capacity in the U.S.
He said UPG had hoped to keep the Anaheim plant open, doing contract manufacturing for a customer, but that deal collapsed.