Volume 44, Issue 6 - June 2009

Company News


Glaston Merges Business Areas; Closes New Jersey Location

As part of a company-wide restructuring, Finland-based Glaston Corp.’s pre-processing and heat treatment business areas have been merged into one new business area, Machines BA. The company also has announced that it will close a machine manufacturing plant in Cinnaminson, N.J. Glaston estimates the targeted annual cost savings from the merger and improved productivity to be $4.5 million USD (3.5 million EUR) globally. The merger will generate one-off costs estimated at approximately $4.8 million USD, recognized mainly in the second quarter of 2009. Possible redundancies will be analyzed and faced in compliance with local legislation.

Regarding the facility closure, the manufacturing of U.S. tempering lines will be transferred to Finland and China. However, a company representative notes that Glaston will maintain its North American offices in Cinnaminson. In addition, it has decided to expand its services with the formation of a service delivery center in the existing New Jersey office. 

According to a company news release, overall equipment efficiency can be achieved by focusing on preventive service check-ups and documented service history, training and process consultation, spare part inventories and annual replenishment of spare parts. The Service Delivery Center will aim to respond to these needs with solutions to improve equipment performance. 

Kawneer Plant Closing to Result in the Loss of 250 Jobs

Kawneer Co. Inc., an Alcoa company headquartered in Norcross, Ga., is closing its Hernando, Miss., manufacturing facility at the end of this month. As a result of the closing 250 employees will lose their jobs.

“The consolidation of our operations will ultimately result in a business that is more responsive to market cyclicality and is more capable of servicing our customers,” says Kevin Lowery, Alcoa’s director of corporate affairs. “We are committed to maintaining high levels of service and will do everything possible to make the transition seamless. We will not do anything to impact customer service. We are contacting customers to discuss the transition so there is no disruption in their service.”

The facility has an annual payroll of $12 million and has been in Hernando for 41 years, making it one of the oldest industries in DeSoto County.

“Decreasing demand and increasing competition both inside and outside of Kawneer are the primary contributors for the need to realign production to other plants,” says plant manager Derek Wilson. “Our employees have worked very hard at reducing costs, increasing productivity and driving to be competitive in a global market. I sincerely appreciate the hard work that everyone has put forward, which has gotten us this far. However, the current economic downturn has forced us to this position.”

Wilson said they will work with state and Hernando officials to help employees. “As for the facility itself, we will transfer or properly dispose of any major assets and eventually sell the property,” Wilson adds.

Earlier this year Alcoa announced it would cut 13,500 jobs, or 13 percent, of its workforce, and curb production to reduce costs in the face of the economic downturn (see February 2009 USGlass, page 12).

Cuts are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Bohle America Doubles Space 

Bohle America Inc. has more than doubled its office facilities at its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters. The company has added 176,500 square feet of warehouse space to accommodate its new product lines, and also has more than doubled its office space in the last two months.

“We are rapidly developing our U.S. operation and we need to grow both our team and our facilities,” comments Gary Dean, chief executive officer. “We recognized from the beginning that we would be able to expand once we gave ourselves some time to listen to our customers and understand the market needs. Hence we decided from the outset to engage flexible warehouse and office arrangements, which would facilitate our growth.” 

Dean adds, “These arrangements will provide further opportunities for significant expansion of product lines and sales support teams without the need to relocate.” 

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