Siemens relocating El Paso work south
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. will close an El Paso, Texas, plant and move manufacturing to its Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, factory next year. About 150 jobs will be cut.
Siemens plans to move 29 injection molding presses with clamping forces of 22-300 tons to Ciudad Juarez from El Paso. The Alpharetta company said it will phase out the Texas operations gradually from January through June.
The El Paso facility molds plastic cases and housings and fabricates sheet-metal components that the nearby Ciudad Juarez site uses to assemble residential circuit protection products such as breakers and fuses.
The move will streamline production, said Michael Krampe, director of media and analyst relations.
Of 210 El Paso workers, about 60 may receive offers of employment in Ciudad Juarez. Siemens will offer severance and outplacement assistance to those losing their jobs and will sell the vacated El Paso plant.
The Ciudad Juarez plant currently employs about 710.
``These decisions are never easy, and Siemens understands the impact on the employees and the community,'' Krampe said in a news release. ``Unfortunately, the company must take these steps to remain competitive.''
Duraco enters Chapter 11 protection
STREAMWOOD, ILL. Consumer products injection molder Duraco Products Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 protection.
The Streamwood firm filed Nov. 18 with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago. In its filing, Duraco listed assets of $50,000 or less and liabilities of $1 million and $10 million.
Duraco makes bird feeders, bird baths and related accessories. Company officials declined to comment on the bankruptcy.
Bottler Ice River opening Mass. plant
FEVERSHAM, ONTARIO Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. will establish its fourth U.S. plant in Pittsfield, Mass.
``We have customers in the area,'' Sandy Gott, Ice River executive vice president, said in a telephone interview.
The Feversham private company is spending $5.2 million to buy and renovate a former distribution center, and another $12 million to $14 million on equipment, including equipment to source spring water in Vermont and ship it to Pittsfield.
The Pittsfield operation is due to begin operating in mid-December. It will house a Sipa single-stage blow molding line to make half-liter PET bottles, and a Krones blow molding line to make 1-gallon PET jugs, Gott said. The Pittsfield plant will source PET preforms from its facilities in Ontario.
Ice River also operates four water-bottling plants in Canada, most recently establishing one in Grafton, Ontario. Early this year, it opened its third U.S. plant, in Kentland, Ind., which also has an operation for blow molding bottles. The company claims to be Canada's largest privately owned water-bottling company.
Pittsfield City Council has approved tax-increment financing for the project over 10 years. Ice River plans to employ 61 in Pittsfield within five years.
Westech, North American Pipe cut back
HOUSTON Two Westlake Chemical Corp. subsidiaries are cutting production and laying off workers.
Houston-based North American Pipe Corp. is shutting down its PVC pipe extrusion facility in Van Buren, Ark., in response to dwindling demand for its products. The company laid off 46 workers this week, retaining 15 others to shut down the plant gradually during the coming months, said David Hansen, a Westlake senior vice president, in a Dec. 5 telephone interview.
Additionally, Westech Building Products Inc. an extruder and fabricator of PVC fence and railing products based in Evansville, Ind. is laying off 46 workers at its facility in Mount Vernon, Ind. About 95 workers remain employed there, he said.
Houston-based Westlake acquired both plants in 1994. There are no definite plans to sell or reopen the Van Buren plant, but the company will move some machinery to other plants.
``The driver for the decision is the general economic depression and slowdown, particularly as it relates to the housing industry,'' he said.
North American Pipe is retrofitting a PVC pipe plant it recently leased in Yucca, Ariz.