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The Suburbanite
  • Timken to close Canadian plant, move work to US

  • Timken Co. will close its factory in St. Thomas, Ontario, and move production there to four U.S. factories, including the Bucyrus bearings plant.

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  • Timken Co. plans to close a Canadian factory and move production to plants in the United States.
    Timken’s bearings assembly plant in Bucyrus, along with factories in North Carolina and South Carolina, will see additional production because of Timken’s decision to close its bearings plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. Timken will move its customer service operation for the Canadian market to offices in Toronto.
    The St. Thomas plant’s 150 employees were told Thursday about the closing, with the shutdown to be complete in mid 2013.
    The closing is a result of changes in customer base and a drop in demand for bearings made by the plant, said Richard M. Boyer, director of global manufacturing for Timken’s mobile industries group. Production will be absorbed by bearings plants in Bucyrus, Gaffney and Honea Path, S.C., and Lincolnton, N.C., but it’s unlikely many new jobs will be created at those locations.
    Timken opened the St. Thomas facility in 1946 to serve the Canadian automotive market. During the early 1970s the plant employed more than 400 people.
    Because of decreased demand, the St. Thomas factory was producing at 20 percent of its capacity. The plant makes tapered roller bearings for heavy truck, automotive and industrial uses.
    Closing the St. Thomas plant will lead to pre-tax charges between $60 million to $70 million for severance and employee separation costs, pension curtailment, site cleanup, asset relocation and accelerated depreciation on the property, buildings and equipment.