Company will be anchored in Bellaire

BELLAIRE – The Bellaire area and the 130 employees at Anchor Lamina received some good news in mid-May with word that Danly IEM, a part of Anchor Lamina, is moving its machinery and operations to Bellaire when it closes two plants.

The company plans to hire about 70 people to fill jobs created by the expansion, according to Jeanne Bogre, marketing manager for Danly IEM. She said plants in Ionia and Beaver Dam, Wisc., which employ about 140 people, are scheduled to close.

The Bellaire plant currently manufactures pins, bushings and cams for the molding and tool and die trade, according to Anchor Lamina President and CEO Ray Verstraete. Once the move is complete, the Bellaire plant will also produce springs and rotary benders for the tool and die industry, he added. The expansion is expected to be complete by midsummer.

Verstraete said, “It’s unfortunate we have to close any plant, but we need to consolidate operations to be globally competitive.”

He explained why the company decided to expand in Bellaire: “We’re pleased with the progress of our operation in our Bellaire plant and pleased with the quality, attitude and work ethic of our team members in Bellaire.”

Dietrich Heyde, vice president and general manager, said Bellaire’s 150,000 square-foot plant is larger than the other two.

Heyde said about 50 semitruck loads of equipment will be brought into the Bellaire plant over the next several weeks and a lot of old machinery and equipment will be moved out to make room for it all.

The Big 3 automotive companies are major customers of Lamina, but Heyde said the company ships products from Bellaire to the tool and die trade around the world.

“The challenge will be,” he said, “to continue to satisfy our customers during this transition period while we move equipment and hire and train new people.”

According to Bogre, the company foot the bill to bring about 20 employees, who are losing their jobs in Ionia and Beaver Dam, to Bellaire, along with their families the weekend of May 20-22.

They stayed at Cedar River, toured the plant and area, and heard presentations from village president John Hanson, chamber executive director Pat DuBois and superintendent of schools Ron Nurnberger. BN