Automotive mold maker closing down
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. Toolmaker Rapid Die & Engineering Inc. will close its doors within the next few weeks, a victim of the North American auto industry's slowdown.
The Grand Rapids-based company makes injection and compression mold tooling, and was in the process of expanding just a few months ago.
However, when consumers stopped buying cars and automakers put off investments in future products the mold maker's revenue stream dried up, said Jim McTevia, founder of McTevia & Associates, a Bingham Farms, Mich.-based consulting group working with Rapid Die.
Company backers tried to keep the firm afloat until conditions improved, but are running out of cash, and are unable to access more credit from banks, McTevia said in a June 8 telephone interview.
The closing will cut about 40 jobs. Rapid Die will complete existing jobs, then sell its equipment, he said.
Date set for Tricon equipment auction
Downers Grove, Ill. Injection molder and auto supplier Tricon Industries Inc. has closed down, with auctions set for June 23 for equipment at its plants in Illinois and Mexico.
Tricon informed the state of Illinois in March of a possible mass layoff at its two plants and headquarters in Downers Grove that would affect 101 jobs. In state documents, it blamed the layoff on the declining economy.
Auction company Branford Group has scheduled auctions of all equipment, both at Downers Grove and at Tricon's Fresnillo, Mexico, plant. Bidders in Mexico can take part in the auction there or via webcast from Downers Grove.
Company executives were not available for comment. It is not clear what will happen to Tricon's operations in Ilkeston, England, and two sites in the Czech Republic, in CeskÃ½ Dub and Holeov.
Tricon specialized in electronics components, with insert molding, and horizontal and vertical injection molding. It opened the Fresnillo plant in 2005 to meet the expanding auto production market in Mexico. The firm posted about $19 million in sales in 2008.
Graham to shut Levittown, Pa., plant
YORK, PA. Container blow molder Graham Packaging Co. LP will close its Levittown facility July 20.
The operation employs 45 and makes containers for automotive lubricants.
We are offering severance packages based on length of services, said spokesman Don Sarvey, and we are trying to place employees at other Graham locations but we don't have any confirmed commitments at this time.
Sarvey attributes the closing to customers changing filling locations. It is now more efficient to serve those customers at other locations, he said.
York-based Graham employs about 8,700 at 87 plants in 15 countries, with 58 of those plants in the U.S. It blow molds containers and bottles for the beverage, medical and pharmaceutical, personal-care and other markets.
The company said it is the lead supplier of 1-quart and 1-liter motor oil containers in the United States, Canada and Brazil.
Graham's 2007 North American blow molding sales were about $2.2 billion, according to Plastics News and industry estimates.
Graham has leased the Levittown site since 1991.
Montrose Molders upgrades capacity
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. Custom injection molder Montrose Molders Corp. is getting bigger with the installation of a 1,000- ton Nissei press.
The press is one of two used Nissei presses that the firm purchased recently to update capacity.
This will be our largest machine and it will replace a mid-1970s, 700-ton Impco. Our goal is to be at least 50 percent more energy efficient, CEO Bill Wilson said by phone.
The addition of the 1,000-ton and a 400-ton machine is part of an effort to modernize and lower energy costs, he said. Montrose replaced six presses in 2008 and currently has 35 presses. It employs about 170.
Wilson said sales were up about 10 percent for the first quarter compared with last year.