ESAB Announces Relocation of MIG & Sub Arc Manufacturing to a Midway Drive Location in Union County, SC

Florence, SC – ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has announced the commitment to open a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on Midway Drive in Union County, South Carolina, to manufacture its line of MIG and Sub Arc welding wire.  ESAB is currently conducting a due diligence on the new location, after which ESAB intends to invest significant capital into the 250,000 sq. foot facility and employ more than 100 employees.  Initial lines are planned to be in production by the end of 2011.

The new location will provide world-class improvements to the manufacturing process that will increase ESAB’s ability to deliver high performance welding wire to its growing customer base.  This commitment to relocate and invest considerable new capital in this business will result in the phasing out and eventual closing of production at ESAB’s Ashtabula, Ohio, facility.

While the changes outlined today will affect the company’s operations in Ashtabula, the senior management at ESAB wants to reinforce that this change supports the company’s commitment to the North American market to provide quality product with on-time deliveries to support the growing demands of its customer base. They also understand the affect this will have on the employees in Ashtabula.

“This decision was not made hastily nor taken lightly,” said Andrew Masterman, President and Chief Executive Officer, ESAB North America. “The Ashtabula workforce has proven to be a tremendous asset to ESAB and the decision to relocate manufacturing is not a criticism of that workforce. The transfer of this operation is necessary for the continued success of our company. It is our intention to work diligently with our employees and the hourly employees’ union representatives during the transition process to provide a smooth transition to the new site and to show respect to those who will not be coming with us. We deeply appreciate everything these employees have done for ESAB at the Ashtabula site. We recognize the impact this decision has on our people in Ashtabula, and we understand the uncertainty it creates. We will communicate fully and regularly with these employees and will make every effort to manage this transition in a fair and consistent manner.”

Manufacturing will continue at the Ashtabula facility until the new facility is up and running, making this change seamless to ESAB customers.

Masterman further stated, “We are encouraged by the forecast improvements in the economic outlook and excited about the investments being made in this new facility to support our North American initiatives.  The goal is to optimize our manufacturing operations to enable us to better support our customers.  ESAB is financially strong, and we believe this investment demonstrates our commitment to the business to make sure we can take competitive advantage of opportunities as the economy recovers.”

According to ESAB, the goal for creating this new facility is to expand on the company’s commitment to best practices in manufacturing. This is another step ESAB is taking to achieve its goal to be recognized as the world’s welding & cutting authority. Masterman said, “We are fully committed to support the North American market, which represents about a quarter of ESAB’s global revenue. We will, in fact, be better equipped to support our current customer base and better serve their future needs with this new facility.”

The company has made a commitment to on-going communication with their employees as decisions are made regarding job losses. Employees affected by the relocation of manufacturing to SC, will be provided 60 days notice prior to their last day of employment.

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products is one of the world’s largest and most skilled manufacturers of welding and cutting equipment and welding filler metals. Ensuring customer satisfaction, a wide range of ESAB products carry the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. ESAB is an international company valuing integrity, experience, innovation and partnership. Every aspect of ESAB product development and day-to-day interaction with customers is consistently informed by a belief in strength through cooperation. For more information on the company, visit www.esabna.com or call 1-800-ESAB123.