Caterpillar Inc. is instituting a plant consolidation program for its Reman, Components, and Work Tools division that will see it close two operations, including an iron foundry in Georgia. The Toccoa, GA, foundry reportedly has 125 workers, and the work from that location will be assumed by Caterpillar’s larger foundry in Mapleton, IL.
Caterpillar is a highly integrated manufacturer of equipment for construction and mining equipment, as well as diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. It said the consolidation would help “better position (the RCWT division) for long-term competitiveness.”
A plant in Franklin, NC, that fabricates seals for heavy equipment also will close, taking a further 150 jobs. Those functions also will be reassigned to Mapleton, which may add up to 200 new employees by late 2016.
According to Caterpillar, centralizing the activities nearer to its Illinois manufacturing and global distribution center will help to reduce overall costs.
“This decision is not a reflection of the dedication that our Franklin and Toccoa employees have demonstrated, but rather about improving efficiency across our component manufacturing footprint and locating seal production much closer to our supply base and several large facilities that use these components,” stated Reman, Components and Work Tools division vice president Greg Folley.
Displaced employees will receive severance packages, and Caterpillar offered to help interested employees find positions at its other plants.