Elixir Industries Custom Thermoformed Plastics, in Vancouver, Wash., closed its doors Jan. 30.
The division of conglomerate Elixir Industries, based in Mission Viejo, Calif., had been losing business as its main customers truck assembly operations in the Northwest have been moving production to the southern U.S. and Mexico, according to division manager Tom Taylor. Daimler Trucks North America LLC of Portland, Ore., formerly Freightliner LLC, is one customer sorely missed by Elixir's thermoforming division.
The relocations eroded a large part of our business and we couldn't replace it, Taylor said in a telephone interview.
Other markets covered by Elixir's thermoforming operation included signage, lawn and garden, agricultural and electrical products. About 90 percent of the company's contracts were in industrial markets.
Taylor estimated his division had 60 percent of its sales in vacuum forming heavy-gauge parts for trucks. The business ran eight thermoforming lines, including a 7-foot-by-10-foot rotary model, its largest.
Equipment has been sold to another, undisclosed plastics company. The operation's building also has been sold and molds are being returned to customers.
The thermoforming division had annual sales of $2.5 million in 2007 and 31 employees. Employment was whittled down to about 15 at the time of the closure. The division thermoformed a variety of thermoplastics, including polyethylene, styrenics, acrylic, polycarbonate and glycol-modified PET.
Parent company Elixir Industries does most of its work with metals. The company has no other plastics operations, according to Taylor.