GKN Sinter Metals to Close Facility-Shut Down In House Heat Treat Department
For as long as we can remember GKN Sinter Metals has maintained a facility in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada producing powdered metal automotive components, however the plant’s days are numbered as you can see in this press release. What the press release does not provide are any details about the heat treating department-“The Monty” will fill you in. What the facility has is a pretty standard sintering department consisting of a number of mesh belt lines built by a company in PA. They operate at 2150F with an endo atmosphere. At one time the company also had Pifco batch IQ furnaces-the only batch IQ furnaces ever produced by Pifco by they way (Pifco long ago became part of AFC-Holcroft). It’s a shame but the plant closure marks a long term trend of auto parts makers leaving Canada.
“GKN Sinter Metals, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, will close its auto parts plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, in around eighteen months as it consolidates production at other plants. According to CTV News’s London Reporter, a regional news outlet based near St. Thomas, the plant closure affects 150-160 employees. Referencing his discussions with the company, St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston stated that the closure was due to a decline in demand for the company’s products.
Powder Metallurgy parts produced by the St. Thomas plant include smaller products, oil pump components, suspension parts, gears, sprockets and agricultural parts. Speaking to The London Free Press, Sean Dyke, Director of Economic Development for St. Thomas, stated that he was confident employees affected by the closure would find other jobs, as many industries are hiring in the automotive sector. “Our focus has to shift now to do whatever we can to help the employees. We will work with our community partners,” he stated.”
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