Bemis Manufacturing Co. will close its Kelch Division plant in Menomonee Falls, Wis., near Milwaukee, and move the work north to its headquarters complex in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
``We're going to transition the work out of there over the next six months,'' said John Howell, general counsel for Bemis. ``We want to keep manufacturing in Wisconsin.''
Bemis will continue the Kelch brand name and line of products plastic fuel caps and gauges for lawn mowers, jet skis, snowmobiles and other off-road applications, and dispensing fitments for beverages used by restaurants. The plant does injection molding and assembly.
Howell said in a Sept. 5 telephone interview that the Menomonee Falls plant is not running at full capacity.
``That's one of the reasons we're moving out of the facility, because we're not fully utilizing the facility, and we have space in Sheboygan Falls. This will make us more efficient,'' he said.
Sheboygan Falls is about 55 miles north of Menomonee Falls.
About 140 people work at the Menomonee Falls site. Howell said Bemis will add at least 60 jobs in Sheboygan Falls as a result of the move. Bemis officials would like to have a majority of the employees transfer, but they have not figured out all the job numbers yet, he said.
The Kelch plant has more than 20 injection molding machines, mostly smaller and midsized presses. Howell said Bemis leaders have not decided on how many presses they will relocate to the headquarters.
``I know all the machines are not being used right now, so we may sell some,'' he said.
Bemis bought the Kelch plant in 1999.