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CIG lays off staff at MSE plant

May 3, 2016

An image from the Van Nuys plant

An image from the Van Nuys plant

Clover Imaging Group (CIG) is “eliminating” the second shift at the former MSE facility in Van Nuys, California, with 205 staff to lose their jobs from June.

San Fernando Valley Business Journal reported on the closure, with CIG said to be “eliminating the second shift” at the Van Nuys site from June, because the work “has been relocated to Mexico”. Around 205 staff will be laid off next month, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed on 22 April with California’s Employment Development Department.

CIG acquired the facility in 2014 after its merger with MSE, which had previously owned the site and operated it under its name, before Clover took over in February. Luke Goldberg, CIG’s Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, told the news source that one shift of workers will remain at the site, but declined to state “how many employees” are based there.

Goldberg added that “we are still manufacturing in the Van Nuys facility, just not at the volume we had been because we have shifted work to Mexicali”, with the news site noting that MSE had operations in the area “for about 20 years, half of those in Van Nuys”. San Fernando Valley Business Journal reported Goldberg as saying that Clover is “one of the last remaining toner cartridge remanufacturers in the United States, as most of the competition has moved to Asia or Mexico”.

It also reported he said “transitioning work to the Mexicali plant is necessary to keep pace”, with Goldberg directly commenting that “we have major competition from offshore, and this is a step that helps us remain competitive for our customers”.

Stefanie Unland, Managing Editor of The Recycler, gave her view, commenting: “In a rapidly-maturing office imaging market it is inevitable that reducing the cost base is essential, and in remanufacturing that usually involves relocating to a lower-cost country. Clover have a particular issue in that their expansion over the years has generated more remanufacturing capacity than they currently need, and a person familiar with Clover’s relocation decision said that there was pressure to drive down costs and deliver a sustainable return on investment going forward.

“Empties, raw materials and labour are the core costs in any remanufacturing operation, and every remanufacturer is focused on reducing costs. Remanufacturers not seeking the high costs of relocating or outsourcing production are looking at increasing the use of robotics to keep costs under control. Robotics have reduced substantially over the last few years, and a simple CNC robot can cost less than €5,000 ($5,797). Expect to see robotics on the menu at a supplier near you soon!”




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