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Local blood business closes Braintree manufacturing plant

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  May 3, 2013 05:10 PM

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A Braintree firm specializing in blood equipment manufacturing is closing its Braintree manufacturing plant, the company announced Wednesday, and eliminating 320 jobs to accommodate the company's new focus in Mexico and Asia.

Haemonetics has been a fixture in the Braintree community since opening in 1978. The closure of the manufacturing plant will mean the loss of 320 jobs.

“The basic picture for Braintree is that the equipment we make here will be made by a contract manufacturer to be determined…and the disposables we make here will be transferred to our plant in Tijuana, [Mexico],” said Gerry Gould, vice president of Investor Relations. “We’re also adding an Asian plant…that’s our fastest growing market.”

Though the manufacturing side of the business will leave the South Shore, Gould said the company won’t transition entirely out of the area.

“We will lose 320 manufacturing jobs, but we will add 100 or so engineering technology positions, high tech type positions to develop the future projects we will introduce into our marketplace,” Gould said. “It’s a two-pronged effort. The ceasing of manufacturing but the build up of … a technology center of excellence.”

The corporate headquarters would also most likely be located south of Boston. Whether or not the company will stay in Braintree specifically has yet to be determined.

The change is expected to save the company $35-40 million annually starting in fiscal year 2018. According to Gould, the transition will take place over the next 12-24 months.

Haemonetics has contacted both state and local officials to try to fill the space the company’s departure may leave, hoping to bring another manufacturing company in to Braintree to employ many of the same people

Severance packages and positions within the company’s new direction for the region have also been offered to affected employees, Gould said.

According to Gould, the closure of the Braintree plant has more to do with remaining cost competitive than anything else.

The move was made especially necessary after Haemonetics acquired a blood transfusion business about a year ago.

“We have more facilities than we had before that acquisition,” Gould said. “We have some redundancies and some overlap. In order to remain cost competitive in the era we’re approaching, we need to reduce our manufacturing footprint to take those redundancies out.”

The switch was announced in the company’s Fourth Quarter revenue report, which also noted that the company is up 34 percent in revenue growth. The company’s net income fell 29.5 percent.

To read more about Haemonetic’s Fourth Quarter stats, click here.

To learn more about Haemonetics, click here.

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