Kaydon Ring & Seal, Inc., an aerospace, oil, gas, and railroad parts maker that has operated in Baltimore for the past 100 years, announced it will begin to shutter its factory in that city and lay off 217 employees in the process. The layoffs will begin in July, and will occur in four phases through April 2019.
The company first announced its plans to consolidate manufacturing in the United States back in June 2016. At the time, the company said it would close the plant in Baltimore and another plant in San Diego. The move is part of a company-wide consolidation process by Kaydon’s parent company, SKF USA Inc., which is based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
Work currently being done at a facility in Hanover, Pennsylvania will be shifted to a Georgia plant, and the Baltimore production will move to the Hanover plant. Manufacturing at the company’s San Diego facility will move to existing sites in Europe.
While the Baltimore employees are being offered jobs at the Hanover plant, it is 90 minutes away from the current Baltimore factory.
“We don’t expect everyone to take it up, but the offer is definitely there,” said Monique Turner, a spokeswoman for SKF USA, which is a division of AB SKF, a Sweden-based maker of bearings, seals and lubrication systems.
The Kaydon Ring & Seal factory in Baltimore has been operating since 1917, and SKF purchased the company in 2013
The closing of the Baltimore and San Diego facilities are expected to save SKF around $27.0 million. The Sweden-based company, with 108 manufacturing units in 24 countries, reported sales of $8.3 billion in 2016.
“These activities will strengthen our position in North America, making us more competitive and better able to support our customers by improving the utilization of our manufacturing assets,” said Luc Graux, president of bearing operations. “They also provide the foundation for investments in the further development of our manufacturing processes and technologies.”
William Cole, President of the Baltimore Development Corporation, explained that he hopes other firms will come in to replace Kaydon.
“We are disappointed to learn that business conditions elsewhere have caused the future closure,” said Cole. “Given that we have seen a robust interest in warehouse and industrial land, we remain hopeful that we can fill the void.”
“Kaydon Ring & Seal to begin layoffs in July,” The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 2017.
“SKF Fact Sheet,” SKF Group, last accessed May 31, 2017.
“Kaydon Ring & Seal in Baltimore will close and move 222 jobs to Pennsylvania within two years,” The Baltimore Sun, June 9, 2016.