FormTech Closing Machining Plant

Ford plant's demise leaves gap in customer base

March 28 — FormTech Industries L.L.C., the forging company formed in 2006 from the assets of Metaldyne Inc.'s former forging division, is planning to close a machining operation in Canal Fulton, OH. The plant machines steel forgings produced for automotive and heavy truck manufacturers.

Calling the decision to close the plant "very unfortunate, but necessary," Formtech president and CEO Richard McDermott explained that the plant will lose a significant portion of its customer base once Ford Motor Co. closes its plant in Batavia, OH. The remaining work does not generate sufficient revenue to support the operation, he stated.

FormTech acknowledged it was aware of Ford's plan to close the Batavia Plant when it acquired six plants from Metaldyne last year, and McDermott reported that efforts to attract new business to support Canal Fulton have been unsuccessful. This is attributed to "overall decline in production by the Big Three automakers," according to FormTech.

The company plans to plans to consolidate machining functions within its forging operations. “This should result in a much leaner, and more efficient company overall and improve our competitiveness in the global marketplace,” according to McDermott.

About 47 hourly and salaried employees are affected by the closing at Canal Fulton. The union representing workers there was notified on March 21 of the decision, "after several months of informal meetings regarding the plant’s future," FormTech states.

FormTech adds that it will offer assignments at other facilities to some workers, and will work with others "to ensure a managed transition of the remaining work to other FormTech facilities located in Minerva, OH, and Fraser, MI."

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