West Pharmaceutical Services Inc., plans to close its contract manufacturing plant in Frankfort, Ind., and consolidate its facility in Clearwater, Fla., with one in nearby St. Petersburg, Fla.
Based in Exton, Pa., the publicly traded company reported sales of $1.59 billion in 2017 for its two business units: contract manufacturing for the pharmaceutical, medical and consumer industries; and proprietary products, such as stoppers, seals, syringe and cartridge components, and self-injection systems.
The Frankfort plant, where 54 employees face layoff this fall, produces a variety of consumer products. The work will be moved to Williamsport, Pa., Eric Haman, global corporate communications director for West, said in an email to Plastics News.
The Clearwater site, which manufactures metal seals, has about 130 employees, Haman said. The majority will transfer to St. Petersburg, which is a compression molding and lamination operation for medical device components, stoppers and closures.
"This is part of a restructuring program that our company announced in February to help streamline our manufacturing plant network and enable us to operate more efficiently and align our focus towards health care-related diagnostic and pharmaceutical products," Haman said.
In February, West officials said manufacturing operations would be streamlined over the next 12 to 24 months to save $17 million to $22 million annually. However, no plant closings or layoffs were specified publicly until Aug. 2, when the company notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that the Frankfort plant would close sometime after Oct. 1 and "virtually all" employees would be terminated, including 10 operator assemblers, eight production leads, three mold makers and numerous technicians and managers.
"While this transition won't happen until closer to the end of this year, we made the announcement to our employees earlier in the year, as we wanted to give our team plenty of time to understand and plan for this," Haman said. "We are closely working with all impacted team members through this transition and will be offering relocation packages to those employees who are interested in relocating and who have the required skills and experiences to fill open roles across the West network, as we expect job opportunities to grow overall at West in 2018, as they did in 2017.
"In addition, West will be offering generous severance and outplacement services to care for and help in the transition for our employees who will no longer have a role within West," he said.
Once part of Tech Group North America, the Frankfort site is a dedicated facility for consumer products that offers custom molding, contract manufacturing and assembly. The legal notice stated the layoffs will happen in four phases starting with 11 employees on Oct. 1, 30 on Oct. 29, one on Nov. 12, and 12 on Nov. 26.
In Florida, most of the Clearwater employees will transfer to the St. Petersburg location, which is about 8 miles away. Others also will be offered relocation packages to fill other job openings within West or severance and outplacement services.
"This is a consolidation of two sites that are located within a few miles of each other, and the majority of our current Clearwater employees will be retained in this consolidation, and will be transferred to our St. Petersburg site," Haman said.
Founded in 1923, West currently has 28 manufacturing facilities in the United States and abroad. The other U.S. locations include Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, Ariz.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kearney, Neb.; Kinston, N.C.; and Jersey Shore, Litiz, Upper Darby and Williamsport, N.J.