Officials of Milacron Holdings Corp. announced March 10 that the company is moving assembly of Ferromatik Milacron injection molding machines out of Malterdingen, Germany, and into its facilities in the Czech Republic — eliminating about 132 manufacturing jobs.
Ending press manufacturing in Malterdingen is part of Milacron's plan to make $35 million in cost reductions by the end of 2017.
In a statement, Denis Poelman, managing director of Milacron injection molding in Europe, said the company informed the local Works Council and the IG Metall union, “of the need to enter into consultations about the proposed reorganization” of Malterdingen production.
“This decision was difficult and has been made by keeping of paramount importance the best interests of our customers, our employees and our shareholders,” Poelman said in a statement to customers, from Ferromatik Milacron GmbH.
“We will work diligently to ensure that everyone impacted by this decision is treated in a fair and ethical manner,” he said.
Malterdingen currently employs 241, about half the number of a dozen years ago. After cutting the manufacturing jobs, Malterdingen will be left with 109 employees. Milacron will keep the majority of positions of Ferromatik's sales, engineering, applications and field service units in Malterdingen.
“As a result of the proposed changes, the company expects to become more efficient and drive towards the long-term sustainability of the Milacron business in Europe,” Poelman said in the March 10 statement.
The news comes a few months after Milacron brought workers in Malterdingen back to full-time work weeks. The company had put workers on shortened schedules to match output to business conditions. In a Plastics News story from the Fakuma trade show last year, Poelman said the Malterdingen factory had struggled for more than 10 years, but that the German plant had passed the break-even point around mid-2015.
Union workers had made concessions several times in the past.
A German press report quoted Mathias Rombach, head of the works council, saying: “We haven't held the company above water with pay restraint for years, to now just see jobs going.”
Thomas Bittner of IG Metall said: “We will fight for the jobs in Malterdingen with as much production and assembly retained.”
Milacron, based in Blue Ash, Ohio, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange June 25 after an initial public offering. Milacron continues to be majority owned by private equity owner, CCMP Capital Advisors LLC.
In a conference call with financial analysts March 2, executives said the machinery manufacturer made $10 million in cost realignment moves in 2015 — including consolidating European manufacturing of Uniloy blow molding machines into its operations in the Czech Republic city of Policka, and cutting assembly jobs in Italy. Milacron also moved a warehouse in Belgium to Policka.
Milacron has owned the Ferromatik plant in Malterdingen since 1993, when it purchased the Klockner Ferromatik injection press business. Ferromatik brought expertise in multicomponent molding and spinning-stack technology.
Poelman said Milacron has “solid plans” in place to make the change “as seamless as possible for all, especially Ferromatik brand customers.”
David Vink, a Plastics News Europe correspondent, contributed to this report.