Automotive injection molder OEM/Erie Inc. intends to wind down its business after losing money supplying auto parts.
The Erie, Pa., firm will transfer its auto molding work to Plastech Engineered Products Inc. of Dearborn, Mich., confirmed OEM/Erie human resources director Patricia Birch. OEM/Erie customers requested the switch, she said in a telephone interview.
OEM/Erie has annual sales of about $38 million, according to Plastics News' ranking of injection molders. Birch said the company employs 148, of which about 100 are members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 683. All employees will lose their jobs, though some might be able to land employment at Plastech.
Birch said OEM/Erie will close by mid-September at the latest. The specific closing date depends on how fast work can be moved to Plastech.
Birch said she has seen a lot of other companies fail under the weight of price concessions demanded by automotive customers.
``We thought we could avoid it,'' she said.
OEM/Erie molds mainly exterior trim parts for automotive original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers. It has 18 injection presses, the majority with clamping forces of 750 tons or larger. Secondary services performed in-house include tool repair, design, decorating, assembly and welding. The company has injection presses that can do gas-assist molding, coinjection and multishot molding.
Company owners Don Cunningham and John O'Neil plan to liquidate the company, possibly through an asset auction.
Plastech does not have common ownership with OEM/Erie, Birch said.
Plastech was the fifth-largest injection molder in North America last year, according to Plastics News' injection molders ranking, with an estimated $925 million in sales and 33 plant locations.