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Gaymar is closing its plant in Kitchener <br> Orchard Park factory will receive work, jobs

Gaymar Industries is closing its plant in Kitchener, Ont., and shifting that work to its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Orchard Park, the medical device maker said Wednesday.

The move will eliminate all 51 jobs at the company's Kitchener plant and result in an undetermined number of jobs being added at the Orchard Park factory as work is shifted there from the Ontario facility.

Kent R. Davies, Gaymar's chief executive officer, said the move is likely to add fewer than 51 jobs in Orchard Park, which now has 200 workers, as the company looks for ways to reduce costs and improve productivity through the move. "Part of this, of course, is to look for efficiencies in the Orchard Park facility," Davies said.

According to Gaymar, it will immediately begin phasing out the production of pressure ulcer mattresses and overlays at its 58,000-square-foot factory in Kitchener, with the plant expected to close by June 30.

Gaymar, which makes products that treat pressure ulcers and manage body temperature, also said that it will stop manufacturing certain products unrelated to health care that currently are produced in Kitchener.

The move will leave Gaymar with two production facilities, a 110,000-square-foot factory at 10 Centre Drive in Orchard Park, which is involved in the production and assembly of all of the company's products, and a 145-employee plant in Puerto Rico that makes components and single-use items for its product line.

Davies, who said Gaymar endured a "difficult year" in 2009 as the economy sagged, indicated that the company's business has started to rebound.

"The business is performing well," he said. "Of course, it's doing that in the context of a recovering economy."

Davies said that it became clear to management that the company's facilities were bigger than they needed.

"We realized that we had a relatively large facility -- 58,000 square feet -- in Kitchener, Ont., that we couldn't fill," Davies said, ". . . too large for the operations we were trying to support."

e-mail: drobinson@buffnews.com

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