SOLON, Ohio (March 12, 2009)—Excel Polymers L.L.C. has laid off about 80 employees at its Dyersburg, Tenn., mixing operations, and cut an undisclosed number of support staff elsewhere, including corporate headquarters in Solon.
The compounder said it evaluated the overall business climate, and the decline in customer demand, coupled with the shift of demand to other regions in the world, caused it to downsize the Dyersburg operation.
“When they aren't building cars, our customers don't get orders for parts, and when they don't get orders, we don't get demand for compound,” an Excel spokesman said. “It's a trickle down effect.”
The latest round of permanent job losses in Dyersburg is the third in seven months. About 130 positions were cut last August and three lines shut down, and the facility has reduced its employment level by about half since the beginning of 2008.
Dyersburg Plant Manager Tim Dunagan said the firm notified the employees affected by the decision, and is committed to assisting them.
The facility began operations 54 years ago as Colonial Rubber Works Inc. In 1986 PolyOne Corp. acquired the plant, merged it with other businesses, and in 1994 sold the division to Lion Chemical Capital L.L.C. and ACI Capital Co. Inc., which renamed the business Excel Polymers.
Excel has made significant investments in production and technology in the past 12 months at its various operations, including Dyersburg, said John E. Quinn, the company's president and CEO. He said Dyersburg remains a major component in serving Excel's customers, but with key customers closing plants and a significant shift in the business environment occurring, the firm had to respond quickly to maintain the viability of its business.
The spokesman said Excel has adjusted staff levels throughout its operations. “We're just looking at all support functions and figuring out how we can continue to cut costs without affecting our ability to service our customers,” he said.
The official noted that even with the changes, Excel Polymers is still by far the largest merchant compounder with 10 mixers in North America and numerous mill mixers and more than 500 million pounds of capacity.