Sumitomo Demag shuts US plant to focus on German operation
Sumitomo Demag is closing its US injection press assembly factory in Pendergrass, Georgia, as the company makes a major investment at its two plants in Germany
About 40 people will be laid off at the plant, located about 60 miles north of Atlanta, according to Jim Mitchell, executive vice-president of Sumitomo Demag in North America. The company is considering options for the factory. Japan-based Sumitomo Heavy Industries built the 40,000-square-foot factory in 1998 to get a foothold in US press assembly. Fast forward 10 years, and Sumitomo bought Demag Plastics Group in 2008. The combined Japanese and German machinery maker has been making changes to its manufacturing base. On 29 May, officials announced a €50m investment into the company’s plants in Wiehe and Schwaig, Germany. Sumitomo Demag is turning the small-press plant in Wiehe into a major manufacturing base for all-electric injection moulding machines. Over the years, Sumitomo expanded the range of machines assembled in Pendergrass, but the Georgia operation did not make all model sizes. “We have always stocked machines and brought machines in to meet customer needs. That will not change,” Mitchell said. Sumitomo Demag now will supply North American customers with all-electric presses built in Germany and Japan, he said.