Extrusion machinery producer ReifenhÃ¤user GmbH & Co. KG announced job cuts Jan. 22 affecting staff in its blown film machinery plants.
The brunt of the cuts will be borne by staff at its Troisdorf, Germany, headquarters, where 60 employees will lose their jobs. Another 18 jobs will go at the former Kiefel Extrusion GmbH plant in Worms, Germany, which ReifenhÃ¤user acquired from Bruckner Technology Holding GmbH in 2009.
Managing Director Ulrich ReifenhÃ¤user told the local KÃ¶lnische Rundschau newspaper the company's extrusion machinery business has been cut in half since a record year in 2007. Hardly any orders came in between February and September 2009, he said.
As a result, Ulrich ReifenhÃ¤user predicts the company's 2009-10 sales will come out at around 350 million euros ($486 million), about 100 million euros ($139 million) lower than in 2008-09.
In August, when Ulrich ReifenhÃ¤user announced the acquisition of the Kiefel blown film machinery business, he referenced the catastrophic development in the plastics machinery market in 2009 and stated, We are of course trying to strengthen ourselves through becoming leaner, with short-time working and cost-cutting.
At the time, he had predicted no job cuts as a result of the Kiefel acquisition.
Wolfgang Schmitz, chairman of the works council at ReifenhÃ¤user, told the KÃ¶lnische Rundschau: Naturally each job loss hurts, but the purchase of Kiefel Extrusion has prevented a possible exit from blown film machinery in Troisdorf.
Schmitz said the works council fully supports the commitment of the company's family owners.
Managing Director Bernd ReifenhÃ¤user has described the company's strategy as zero defects, 100 percent delivery time reliability, 30 percent more efficiency and 40 percent more growth over the next five years.
As part of the program, the firm has acquired new machines, improved production processes and reduced costs in cooperative discussions with suppliers.
The ReifenhÃ¤user brothers said integration of Kiefel Extrusion has gone faster than expected, which should enable the firm to come to market with enhanced technology and ensure the forecast of 4 percent annual growth when the economy revives.
If that happens, ReifenhÃ¤user will again have a chance to close the gap with its largest blown film line competitor, WindmÃ¶ller & HÃ¶lscher KG.
With the cuts, the firm employs 798 at its Troisdorf headquarters.
In May W&H announced 350 job cuts out of 1,650 at its Lengerich, Germany, headquarters, where it makes blown film and flexographic printing machinery.
Copyright 2010 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.