Feintool International Holding plans to close two small plants in Asia and the United States in an attempt to improve efficiency.
The company's plastic/metal components division will shutter its Feintool (Thailand) Co. Ltd. plastic composite parts facility in Lamphun, Thailand, due to a shortfall in orders from local and regional customers. Around 20 workers will lose their jobs.
Capacity at the plant, launched in 2004, has been underused. The facility will cease production by the end of this year, according to the company.
In August, Feintool Chief Executive Officer Joachim Kaufmann said the Asian facility was not developing as well as planned. Losses in the plastic/metal parts division were hurting the company's profit margin, but there were no plans to divest the business.
At the time, he said expected the division to turn around, possibly in partnership with another company.
Pending Thai orders will be handled in Switzerland, where Feintool subsidiary Muhlemann AG has a composite components production unit in Biberist. The plastic/metal parts division does injection molding, stamping, mold making and assembly.
In addition to closing the Thai plant, the Swiss company will close a metal components plant in White Plains, N.Y. That plant, part of the firm's fine-blanking technology division, will close because Feintool said it does not have the ``space to accommodate the new investments required.''
Part of the 20-strong workforce will transfer with the unit's production to Feintool's main U.S. facility in Cincinnati. The fine-blanking business makes complex automotive parts including seat-adjustment mechanisms, automatic gearboxes and braking systems.
In the United States, Feintool Plastic/Metal Components Inc. operates a plant in Antioch, Tenn. In addition, the group has an assembly automation systems division with plants in Germany. Globally, Feintool employs 1,800 and also has facilities in France, Britain, Italy, Japan and China.
In the first nine months of 2007, the Lyss, Switzerland, company posted a 2.1 percent increase in sales to almost 382 million Swiss francs ($313.7 million), compared with the same period in 2006.