Yazaki moves some U.S. work to Mexico
TOKYO - Auto supplier Yazaki Corp. will close two U.S. injection molding plants and shift production to a new operation in Durango, Mexico, to help it compete globally in electronic components.
The Tokyo-based firm will close subsidiary Elcom Inc.'s operations in El Paso, Texas, by the end of this year, and its Nacom Corp. plant in Griffin, Ga., in 2008, combining both operations in Durango, said Susan Mendenhall, spokeswoman for the Canton, Mich.-based North American unit of the Japanese supplier.
The two sites injection mold parts for Yazaki's electronic auto systems, including connectors and junction boxes. The facilities also have metal processing.
There are 250 employees in El Paso and 430 in Georgia.
The closures do not reflect problems with the U.S. workforce, but rather the need to cut production costs, Mendenhall said. Yazaki has multiple manufacturing plants in Mexico, and moving molding there will allow it to reduce transportation costs and speed overall production, she said.
LP/Plaxicon adds 13th blow molding plant
WEST CHICAGO, ILL. - Blow molder Liquid Container LP/Plaxicon Co. of West Chicago will begin operating its 13th blow molding plant, in Memphis, Tenn., by the second quarter.
``It's part of our overall growth plan,'' Mark Grant, vice president of sales and marketing, said Jan. 22 by telephone.
The company has leased a 150,000-square-foot facility in Memphis, Grant said. Liquid Container makes stock and customer containers out of PET and high density polyethylene. The Memphis site will process both materials and employ 50.
``We're strong in food and [household and industrial chemicals] and we intend to grow into other areas,'' he said.
He did not disclose the number of machines the site will operate or any state incentives received. A story in the Memphis Business Journal said the firm is investing $16.5 million in the project.
The firm had estimated blow molding sales of $350 million, according to Plastics News' 2006 ranking of North American blow molders. Its plants are in Alabama, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, California, Delaware and Wisconsin.
Auction reset for Royal Dynamics assets
LOS ANGELES - Equipment from defunct injection molder Royal Dynamics Co. will be auctioned again.
Assets of the former subsidiary of Royal Group Technologies Ltd. were sold en bloc to an undisclosed buyer last fall. Asset Engineering of Markham, Ontario, had planned to hold an auction Nov. 22 at Royal Dynamics' Woodbridge, Ontario, plant but did not proceed with it after a single buyer purchased the assets.
Great American Group of Los Angeles will hold a webcast auction Jan. 30 for the Royal Dynamics assets. Great American Vice President Scott Magnuson said the original buyer will keep some of the assets it acquired last fall, but is unable to take possession of all of them. He declined to identify the buyer.
Equipment for sale includes 20 horizontal injection presses with clamping forces up to 6,000 tons, many of them Mir and NPM models; tandem platen presses; and building products molds. Great American will open the plant for inspection Jan. 29.
Royal Dynamics made molded building products to support Royal Group's various extrusion divisions. The firm decided to offload the business as part of a massive restructuring begun before the company was bought by Georgia Gulf Corp.
Samuel relocates plastic-strapping site
TORONTO - Samuel Manu-Tech Inc. is moving plastic-strapping production equipment from Fort Payne, Ala., to its other plastic-strapping operations.
The Toronto firm acquired strapping production assets from Gerrard-Ovalstrapping Inc. last fall. The acquired assets in Fort Payne make polypropylene strapping and are being moved to Samuel Manu-Tech PP strapping operations in Burlington, Ontario, and Fort Mill, S.C. Samuel Manu-Tech also makes PET strapping in Burlington; Cartersville, Ga.; and Rock Hill, S.C.
John Amodeo, Samuel Manu-Tech vice president and chief financial officer, said machinery relocation will continue ``in the coming months.'' He did not provide details.
Gerard-Ovalstrapping will keep the Fort Payne site open to make extruded PVC matting, and steel strapping and wire and related products for pulp and paper, said the site's plant manager, Howard Owen. The plastic-strapping portion of the operation was called Plastex Extruders and is being dissolved.