Balda AG is consolidating its four U.S. manufacturing sites into two California locations, but it says the move will increase production space, including tripling its clean room space at a new facility targeting the medical market.
The Bad Oeynhausen, Germany-based firm said it will boost its clean room capacity from 8,500 square feet to 26,750 square feet at a new facility for the company in Oceanside, Calif., that formerly housed a medical technology company.
In an Aug. 5 statement, the company said that the loss of a major customer in the eyewear business, previously announced in June, precipitated the change.
“After Balda had to announce … that a large-scale customer will substantially reduce its production volume at the Irvine site, an opportunity has opened up now to further extend the medical technology business requiring clean room production conditions at the new Oceanside facility,” the company said.
In the statement, Balda Director Oliver Oechsle said that the company sees the move as helping it expand in medical, and increase efficiency and communication at centralized locations.
The four previous facilities were in Southern California — in Anaheim, Irvine, Oceanside and Ontario.
The second facility that will remain is in Ontario. The company was not specific on the timing of the closings.
“By taking this decision, we are not only strengthening our presence in the USA whilst investing in an attractive market segment, we are also consistently implementing our scheduled consolidation and concentration of our U.S. sites,” he said. “This puts us in a very good starting position for the future development of the Balda Group.”
Balda's U.S. unit has suffered setbacks in recent months: the loss of the eyewear customer could take 10 percent of its total corporate sales, it told the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and it's involved in a legal dispute with former owners of its U.S. operations, apparently stemming from $5 million in bonus payments over Balda's 2013 acquisition of C. Brewer Inc.