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Armacell to close South Holland plant, lay off 100

Armacell's plant in South Holland will close.

Last October, Armacell, a Munster, Germany-based "global leader in flexible foam for the equipment insulation market and a leading provider of engineered foams," said it would upgrade its insulation plant in South Holland, where it planned to install new equipment so it could better serve the Midwest and western markets.

Less than a year later, the company decided to close the south suburban foam factory, which makes cross-linked polyethylene foam components for the automotive, industrial and sport and leisure markets.

"The decision to close the plant comes as a result of two main factors: constraints of the existing equipment and a change in the competitive landscape," company spokesman Tom Anen said. "Armacell has been producing component foams in South Holland since 2004 and sincerely appreciates all the local support received over the years. To remain competitive, Armacell constantly evaluates its global manufacturing footprint and the decision to close the plant was taken after assessing all strategic options available."

The factory at 16800 Canal St. in South Holland will close sometime in the fourth quarter, putting 100 people out of work.

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"Armacell recognizes that the announced changes will have a significant impact on employees and their families and hence intends to offer transition services to affected employees to assist in their search for new employment," Anen said.

The company, which employs 550 workers across the United States, said the closure won't affect its ability to provide insulation to customers in North America because it's been investing elsewhere.

"In anticipation of the requirement for additional production capacity, Armacell made significant investments in the USA over the past 18 months, including two expansion projects in Yukon, OK and Spencer, WV," Anen said. "Both facilities are prepared for future expansion with the installation of new equipment. This ensures that Armacell continues to grow in-line with the market."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.