Engel Canada eyes layoffs at factory
YORK, PA. - The Engel Canada Inc. injection molding factory in Guelph, Ontario, will focus on making the Speed press for packaging and the all-electric E-Motion machine, but no longer will make the global-platform Victory press.
The changes will mean layoffs at the Guelph plant, which makes small and midsized injection molding machines and robots, Engel Holding GmbH said in a news release.
Engel employs about 350 in Guelph. The company has not determined the number of layoffs at the plant, group marketing director Gerd Liebig said.
Engel will continue to make the Victory press at its headquarters factory in Schwertberg, Austria, and Pyongtaek, South Korea. The Victory is designed to be a high-volume, lower-priced press made with pre-engineered, standard components.
Liebig said North America is a strong market for all-electric presses and high-speed packaging machines.
Engel is investing more than US$4 million to upgrade machining in Guelph over the next three years.
In other news, Engel is naming its large-tonnage assembly plant, in York, as official headquarters for its North American operations, Engel Machinery Inc. The company has opened a 7,500-square-foot technology and training facility in York.
The new president and chief executive officer, Stephan Braig, is based in York.
Braig explained the changes in Guelph in a news release. ``With a reduced market for standard machines, especially for the production facility in Canada, some changes in manufacturing processes are required to maintain profitability,'' he said.
Woodbridge to close maker of PU foam
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - Auto supplier Woodbridge Group will close its Woodbridge Foam Corp. plant in Corunna, Ontario, in response to industry changes that have reduced sales of products from the site.
The plant, which employs 182, will close Dec. 21, the company said in a June 22 news release. The site makes polyurethane foam energy absorbers, but with customers opting for alternative absorbers made from lower-cost resins, there is less demand for the Corunna site's parts.
The rising value of the Canadian dollar compared with the U.S. dollar also has affected sales, the Mississauga-based firm said.
Woodbridge expects to transfer some business from Corunna to other facilities, said plant manager Brian Perry.
The company has 64 plants in 20 countries worldwide and turns out energy absorbers and PU foam for seats.
Fire ravages Tenn. molder's warehouse
MCMINNVILLE, TENN. - A June 23 fire destroyed warehouse space and caused smoke and water damage to much of injection molder McMinnville Molding Co. Inc.
McMinnville Fire Chief Kevin Lawrence said it took about 50 firefighters 6½ hours to get the blaze under control. He said units stayed on the scene for 48 hours to monitor the situation.
A definite cause had not been determined, but the fire appeared to have started from embers from burning wood pallets, the chief said.
As of June 27, most of the rubble had been cleared, but the warehouse had suffered structural damage.
Calls to McMinnville Molding were not answered. The custom molder was founded in 1980.
Amcor sells share in China firm for $29M
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Melbourne-based packaging manufacturer Amcor Ltd. has sold its stake in a Chinese company for almost three times the price it paid for the 16.7 percent share less than a year ago.
Amcor bought a share in K Laser China Group Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Taiwan-based K Laser Technology Inc., for US$10 million last July.
On June 25, Amcor said it had sold the holding for US$29 million. The firm said the profit will be reported as a ``significant item'' in its 2006-07 full-year profit. It did not name the buyer.
K Laser manufactures holographic PVC, PET and polypropylene film for tobacco packaging.