Georgia Gulf cuts PVC jobs in Ontario
ATLANTA A weak construction market has led Georgia Gulf Corp. to lay off 28 workers at its PVC resin plant in Sarnia, Ontario.
The layoffs were announced May 20 at the 450 million-pound-per-year-capacity plant, which has been idle since April 15. A staff of 19 will remain to restart production when demand picks up, said Ashley Mendoza, a spokeswoman for Georgia Gulf.
``We're matching production with market demand,'' Mendoza said. ``We'll bring everyone back to work as soon as we can.''
Mendoza estimated mid-August would be the soonest return date. The plant was idled in December, restarted in January and remained operating until the April 15 shutdown.
In late April, Atlanta-based Georgia Gulf closed its 45-employee, 500 million-pound-per-year PVC plant in Oklahoma City. A new capacity expansion of 450 million pounds at a PVC plant in Plaquemine, La., now is fully operational.
A slumping U.S. housing market has made it difficult for Georgia Gulf to integrate its 2006 purchase of building products maker Royal Group Technologies Ltd.
Mold maker Pinnacle's assets sold off
Tecumseh, Ontario Another Windsor, Ontario, mold maker has gone out of business.
Pinnacle Mold Inc.'s equipment was sold at auction May 21 at the firm's head plant in Tecumseh, a Windsor suburb. Infinity Asset Solutions of Concord, Ontario, conducted the auction.
Pinnacle was mainly the victim of offshore mold sourcing, according to Steven Funtig, principal of S. Funtig & Associates Inc. in Windsor. Funtig & Associates acted as trustee for Pinnacle, which went into receivership April 18.
Funtig said many other mold shops are threatened by offshore sourcing, even if they partake in the trend.
``A lot of shops act as middlemen [in importing molds] but they still have overhead and fixed costs,'' he said by telephone.
Pinnacle also was burdered by some customers that were slow to pay or did not pay for their molds. Windsor mold makers have been hurting for a few years ``but the bottom fell out in the past four to six weeks,'' Funtig said.
Auctioned equipment included FPT and Okuma vertical machining centers and Mitsubishi electric discharge machines.
Other Windsor mold makers that have shut down in the past year include Hallmark Technologies Inc. and Impact Tool & Mould (Windsor) Inc. Windsor is especially vulnerable to a downturn by the Big Three automakers because the auto industry supports about a third of the local economy.
Innovative Mold expanding as Taurus
Faribault, Minn. Faribault-based injection molder Innovative Mold Inc. has new owners and a new name.
The firm is now Taurus Engineering and Manufacturing Inc., said new President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Pope.
Pope said he and partner John Philipsen, who will serve as chief operations officer and vice president, plan to complement the company's prototyping and short-run injection molding expertise with other additional services.
``I see us having more post-prototype molding, as well as assembly and packaging,'' Pope said.
Kevin Coon, who founded Innovative in 1985, will continue with the firm, as will its seven employees. Innovative operates 12 presses, from 30-150 tons at its 10,300-square-foot plant.
The new ownership brings plenty of experience, Pope said. Philipsen has more than 25 years' experience in injection molding, assembly and contract manufacturing. Pope has more than 20 years in quality assurance and regulatory affairs, as well as strategic quality planning and information systems integration.
He said he will build on the current staff's experience, including moving toward ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certification.
``For medical molding, I want us to be ISO certified, and I don't anticipate it taking any longer than a few months,'' Pope said.
Action adds medical molding clean room
ROGERS, MINN. Action Plastics Inc. is expanding its medical molding capabilities, adding a Class 100,000 clean room along with a Mitsubishi 150-ton all-electric injection molding machine.
``We always like to be on the cutting edge of technology,'' said Paul Meyer, general manager of the Rogers-based firm.
The new clean room is carved out of manufacturing space and is an effort to help an existing customer that needed its products made in a controlled environment, Meyer said in a recent telephone interview. The clean room opened in May.
The new Mitsubishi marks Action's third all-electric machine.
Meyer said Action has dealt with medical firms since its 1981 inception. That end market represents about 30 percent of its business. The molder also serves the aerospace, defense, auto, consumer packaging, electronics and agricultural industries.
Action employs 50 and runs 28 presses, from 22-300 tons, at its 30,000-square-foot plant. It also has eight automated assembly machines.