Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH is closing its U.S. injection press assembly factory in Pendergrass, Ga., as the company makes a major investment at its two plants in Germany.
About 40 people will be laid off at the plant, located about 60 miles north of Atlanta, according to Jim Mitchell, executive vice president of Sumitomo Demag in North America. The company is considering options for the factory.
Sumitomo Demag announced the news June 22 at NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago.
Chiba, Japan-based Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. built the 40,000-square-foot factory in 1998 to get a foothold in U.S. injection press assembly. Fast forward 10 years, and Sumitomo purchased Demag Plastics Group in 2008.
The combined Japanese and German machinery maker has been making changes to its manufacturing base. On May 29, officials announced a 50 million euro ($71 million) investment into the company's plants in Wiehe and Schwaig, Germany. Sumitomo Demag is turning the small-press plant in Wiehe into a major manufacturing base for all-electric injection molding machines.
Over the years, Sumitomo expanded the range of machines assembled in Pendergrass, but the Georgia operation did not make all model sizes.
We have always stocked machines and brought machines in to meet customer needs. That will not change, Mitchell said.
Sumitomo Demag now will supply North American customers with all-electric presses built in Wiehe and Chiba, he said.
Earlier this year, Sumitomo Demag made another change selling its share of a joint venture in India to its partner, Larsen & Toubro Ltd. Parent SHI inherited the operation when it acquired Demag Plastics last year.
The Indian move reflected a new global production strategy, according to officials of Sumitomo Demag.