Lomont Molding LLC is moving the operations of its subsidiary Total Source Molders from a leased 50,000-square-foot facility in Reinbeck, Iowa, to the company's headquarters about 130 miles southeast in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
As part of the consolidation, the injection molder filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining notice Feb. 15, laying off TSM's 38 employees effective April 30. All 38 employees have been offered full-time positions, covering a range of job roles across production, at the Mount Pleasant location.
"We're very conscious of relationships with our employees," Carl Frank, Lomont's director of communications, said in a Feb. 28 phone interview. "We're trying to make this as painless as possible."
In a letter sent to customers, Lomont Molding said the move will allow the company "to better position itself strategically on a geographical basis without duplicating … efforts of two facilities in Iowa."
"It was basically a strategic move on our part to consolidate assets and resources," Frank said, adding that the Mount Pleasant facility was recently expanded by 65,000 square feet.
The expanded area — now bulking up the headquarters to a total of 160,000 square feet — will be used to house TSM operations, including 12 injection molding machines ranging from 75-940 tons. With TSM, the Mount Pleasant site will have 310 employees.
"It's kind of like bringing [TSM's] facility into our facility in a way, so that they're completely integrated together," Frank said.
Lomont ranks No. 97 on Plastics News' annual listing of North American injection molders, generating sales of $80 million in 2017. Since 2014, the company has been owned by Summit Equity Group, a private investment firm in Des Moines, Iowa.
The company's capabilities cover a wide range of plastics processes, including structural foam molding, profile extrusion, gas-assist molding and overmolding as well as in-mold decorating and a variety of assembly and secondary services.
Lomont also produces parts for two proprietary product lines: Lomont In-Mold Technologies, which includes safety signage and identification products; and Paragon Products, which specializes in concrete and rebar accessories used in commercial, highway and precast construction markets.
TSM specializes in high-pressure injection molded parts for agricultural and construction markets.
In 2017, Lomont added blow molding to its capabilities with the acquisition of R&D Molders Inc. in Georgetown, Texas. R&D employs around 165 at its facility, which also does some molding for the Paragon proprietary line. The company ranks No. 73 on PN's listing of North American blow molders, with 2017 sales estimated at $12.5 million.
Lomont's consolidation in Iowa, Frank said, is also practical for its ongoing move toward Industry 4.0.
"We are moving in the direction of a 4.0 strategy," he said. "We're not completely integrated on that by any means; however, we understand how important it is first and foremost to our customers because our customers are heading in that direction as well."
The company's primary focus is on integrating automation and robotics throughout its facilities within the next few years, he said.
"We can save ourselves money and, at the same time, gear ourselves for the future," Frank said of the 4.0 strategy. "Within the next 10 years, I feel 4.0 will be required by all of us in the business."