Summit Polymers, JCI closing plants
KALAMAZOO, MICH. The tumbling North American auto industry is forcing Kalamazoo-based injection molder Summit Polymers Inc. to close one of its Michigan plants, cutting 215 jobs.
The company's plant in Portage, Mich., will close in March, with the first permanent layoffs taking place March 9, said Gregory Goodman, human resources vice president, in a Jan. 8 news release.
``Many of our customers have severely reduced their production outputs for the foreseeable future,'' Goodman said. ``This has resulted in a dramatic reduction in an overall business volume of [Summit]. As a result, we have excess capacity that must be reduced to allow Summit to survive.''
The closure comes on top of an announcement in October that the firm would have to close its Shelbyville, Tenn., plant because of the slowing auto market.
Meanwhile, Johnson Controls Inc.'s injection molding subsidiary JCIM LLC which includes former Plastech Engineered Products Inc. facilities is closing one of its factories because of the slowdown in auto demand. The auto interiors firm, based in Plymouth, Mich., told officials in Wauseon, Ohio, that it would close the facility there, cutting about 100 jobs, according to local media reports.
ALP shuttering Michigan profile factory
NILES, ILL. ALP Lighting Components Inc. plans to close a profile extrusion plant in Charlevoix, Mich., by mid-April and move manufacturing of its Genestra-brand products to other locations.
The site employs 20-25, with 10-15 jobs being eliminated after some workers transfer to another ALP Charlevoix facility. That plant injection molds the company's LexaLite brand.
ALP acquired the extrusion site in its June 2007 purchase of Spectrus Inc.
``We knew we were picking up some manufacturing overlaps,'' said David Brown, president and chief operating officer, in a telephone interview. ``Now, we are involved in some plant rationalization.''
Brown said ALP has absorbed the former Spectrus business and integrated its common front-end Frontier enterprise-resource-planning system at all locations. The software enhances ALP's centralized customer service.
ALP expects to move several extrusion lines to the other Charlevoix plant and another profile extrusion site in Pennsauken, N.J.
ALP will seek to sell or lease the closed Charlevoix facility, which measures about 30,000 square feet.
``In the next 18 months, we will take more steps to reduce overhead,'' Brown said. ``We have an opportunity to look at different products and decide where is the best place to manufacture them,'' factoring in expertise and customer concentrations.
Niles-based ALP employs nearly 900 and has multiple manufacturing sites, including three injection molding plants.
Americas Styrenics cutting PS capacity
THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS Americas Styrenics LLC is eliminating 60 jobs and removing 350 million pounds of polystyrene capacity at its plant in Marietta, Ohio.
``Our operations must reflect the current business environment,'' Tim Roberts, president and chief executive officer, said in a Jan. 6 news release. ``This move is designed to ensure the future success of the Marietta facility and of our business as a whole.''
Officials with the firm, based in The Woodlands, added that the PS industry ``has been under a significant amount of duress for a number of years.''
``We need to take aggressive steps to manage costs and reduce production to a level that reflects current market conditions,'' officials said in the release. ``Our customer base is expecting us to produce the right product at the right price, and this action will help us achieve our goal of being the low-cost styrenics company in the Americas.''
Americas Styrenics is a 50-50 joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC. The firm launched in 2008 also operates a styrene monomer plant in St. James, La., and PS plants in Ironton, Ohio; Gales Ferry, Conn.; Joliet, Ill.; Torrance, Calif.; Guaruja, Brazil; and Cartagena, Colombia.
Prior to the shutdown, Americas Styrenics ranked as North America's second-largest PS maker, with a market share of 29 percent, based on estimated 2008 sales.