Production to decline at Kennametal plant

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Some production at the Kennametal plant in Evans could be moving to Clemson, S.C., in coming months.

The shift in production comes as Dailan, China-based Top Eastern Drill Co. enters into an agreement with Pittsburgh-based Kennametal Inc. to purchase the plant at 470 Evans Road. The pending deal for $29 million also involves facilities in Clemson; Mexico City; and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Dale Erkkila, the vice president of corporate development for Top-Eastern Drill Co., said the purchase of the Evans plant, along with a defined group of Kennametal's high speed steel assets, is scheduled to close next week.

"We will continue to operate it and evaluate the market conditions," Mr. Erkkila said about the local plant.

He said that Top-Eastern Drill Co. is not closing the Evans facility, and the move of some production to Clemson would take "numerous months."

He said that some workers could be transferred to Clemson, but he would not comment on whether jobs would be lost.

Top-Eastern Drill Co. is a global manufacturer of high speed steel drills and taps.

Approximately 160 Kennametal employees from Evans and Clemson will join Top-Eastern Drill Co., but Mr. Erkkila could not provide an exact number of how many people this involves from the Evans plant. All other workers will remain with Kennametal, he said.

Kennametal laid off 26 employees Thursday in an effort to "right size" the facility before its sale.

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walrus4ever
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walrus4ever 06/27/09 - 05:58 am
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Why does a Chinese company

Why does a Chinese company want to manufacture in the US? Watch what happens at this facility.

coolette
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coolette 06/27/09 - 07:16 am
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They are not telling the

They are not telling the truth, they plan to close within the next few months!

carcraft
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carcraft 06/27/09 - 07:31 am
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With cap and trade just

With cap and trade just passed by the house why would they want to stay? Any production that involves energy is going to pay a hugh price! Easier and cheaper over seas where governments are friendly to bussines!

Doctor j. Dudleydoright
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Doctor j. Dudleydoright 06/27/09 - 11:08 am
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Please Save Georgie and

Please Save Georgie and Curtis our founding Fathers. L-Corner

walrus4ever
354
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walrus4ever 06/27/09 - 04:28 pm
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Ever since TRW pulled out

Ever since TRW pulled out that place has been on a slippery slope with regards to employee concerns. I guess that Greenfield cutting tools will go the way of the cheap imports that shatter and dull almost as soon as you use them. Im holding on to my sets as they may be collectable some day.Chinese metal quality sucks period.

dodger
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dodger 06/27/09 - 07:19 pm
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Silly, we've been using

Silly, we've been using Chinese steel for years at K'metal.

dannyfordsux
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dannyfordsux 06/28/09 - 12:31 am
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Ironicly we have been using

Ironicly we have been using Chinese steel in the form of blanks sent from Suncraft in Dongtai China. Ironicly, they now too are going to loosing many jobs as Kennametal was suncraft's 2nd largest customer only to Black and Decker/Dewalt. We use both American and Chinese steel. I just wanted Augusta area folks to know who was pulling the plug on the Evans plant. 40 years ago a man worked for "United Greenfield" and had designed special drill bit grinding machines and after moving from Chi town to Augusta to start the TRW plant he left and moved to NC. THere, he formed "Normac" this company made these special drill grinding machines and all the drill bit manufactures all over the world buy them as well as big plants the need to sharpen drills to reduce cost. Many years later, A chinese man became a engineer at Normac and sales as well. He learned the industry inside and out and then left Normac. This man moved back to China and started making counterfeit "knock off Normac's" thus, making him tons of money allowing him to buy state owned plants and yes tungsten, molyubidum mines. This man now has a 100 million per year deal going and the next logical step is to buy the US brands.

dannyfordsux
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dannyfordsux 06/28/09 - 12:44 am
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Kennametal hid these Chinese

Kennametal hid these Chinese made drills when folks would come thru in tours because they were ashamed. Now, we all are loosers. I cannot spend money at our grocery stores, I cannot spread my money here in our local market. The sad part is they sat all of us down thursday and Told us that we are now "Kennametal Contract employees" and that the plant's productions would be moved. Why? The Evans plant is 302,000 square feet (or more). The Evans plant has 3 central oil systems that combined have close to 80,000 gallons of cutting oil. Clemson has one whimpy system. We have perfected machine rebuilds internaly in the plant that most places cannot do and no Clemson does not have that capability. We have trained employees that make special drills that many US corp use to incude the US defense industry. Clemson does not have this capability. Clemson is a small plant but the key is simple. The Evans plant will become a 300,000 square foot plus warehouse for all the import tools sent here to take over the US brands.
SHAME ON YOU KENNAMETAL FOR YOUR PART TO CONSPIRE AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!! I think you should hang a red flag with a sickle in it and 5 stars. Marxism at it's best!

dannyfordsux
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dannyfordsux 06/28/09 - 01:12 am
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Kennametal did the same thing

Kennametal did the same thing to a Drill bit plant in England called "Presto Tools" they sold the plant to Suncraft and within several months Suncraft had bankrupt the company and attempted to remove the machines; however, the British goverment halted them from taking the machines which were Normac's and other US built machines. You see, the Brit's have infrastructure protections laws that phrohibit this exact thing from taking place. We always talk about how the US cannot build anything anymore. I would disagree, it is the BS politics of our manufacturing base being sold out. Yet, if you look over in China it's sooooo sad that much of the state owned industries have been sold to rich western folks. This is really a war of the filthy rich ~vs~ the poor and we all will soon be as poor as the poorest Chinese.

darton44
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darton44 06/28/09 - 08:08 pm
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In regards to the

In regards to the Kennametal-Top-Eastern topic, as one of the 26 from thursday,I would gladly go back tomorrow if called. Theres not enough work out there to be complaining about things that we have no control over.

dodger
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dodger 06/28/09 - 08:20 pm
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Actually Clemson does have

Actually Clemson does have rebuild capability and has rebuilt many old PG machines into Normacs. There are two oil systems at Clemson and lots of unused space. Clemson has all the packaging facilities, and has room to expand. Am I happy that Augusta may be closed? No, I don't want that at all, but when Clemson was being hulled down to a skeleton by K'metal, I didn't read any alarmed blogs from Evans. I was laid off from Clemson 1 1/2 years ago and have been having financial difficulties ever since. Did Evans plant care? No, you were happy you had most of your crew on line. Even now you're cry is against Clemson, saying virtually, "Wy us? Why not them?"
We had vertuall all our people laid off. We went from 475 to just over 60 people, from required overtime to two weeks a month.
BTW, did you vote for a president who would help create a stronger economy for the US? I guess not, because we didn't have one running. The problem is not China. The problem is us!

dodger
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dodger 06/28/09 - 08:22 pm
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And BTW, some of those

And BTW, some of those specialty drills, such as the mini's, we gave you. We produced them in Clemson until K daddy decided to send them to you.

dodger
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dodger 06/28/09 - 08:23 pm
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Has Evans ever produced 1.8

Has Evans ever produced 1.8 million drills in a week? Clemson has and was averaging 1.5 million at that time.

darton44
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darton44 06/29/09 - 10:12 am
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This is true. Clemson is

This is true. Clemson is capable of big numbers, kinda makes you wonder if they plan on calling some of us back when the dust settles.And as far as Evans,"I've allways heard that clemson has allways made the money and Evans spent it."

dodger
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dodger 06/29/09 - 01:39 pm
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Darton44, what dept did you

Darton44, what dept did you work in at Clemson? All of them like I did?

darton44
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darton44 06/29/09 - 04:53 pm
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Thebugleboy, yes, all of

Thebugleboy, yes, all of them, but mainly the dept between y-line and quality. Cells 9,10,11,12.

dodger
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dodger 06/29/09 - 05:54 pm
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Ah yes, I did that too

Ah yes, I did that too usually cells 1,2, and others. Then got moved back up front to cover whatever whenever. When did you get the lay off?

darton44
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darton44 06/29/09 - 05:58 pm
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thursday, you?

thursday, you?

dodger
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dodger 06/29/09 - 06:06 pm
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I volunteered for it when

I volunteered for it when they announced one a while back so I could get at my 401K. I couldn't afford to be off so much. So I fixed it where I was off all the time. LOL You may figure who I am now.

dodger
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dodger 06/29/09 - 06:12 pm
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Darton44, did you hear they

Darton44, did you hear they just found 3 dead in a backyard pool near Easley?

bumblebeerose
670
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bumblebeerose 06/29/09 - 06:43 pm
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This is to bugleboy as far as

This is to bugleboy as far as the mini's you said K daddy sent the Evans Plant they came because your plant had problems running them right. You gave us nothing Corporate made that decision. As far as the amount of tools you run in a week your banks of machines are set up and never get the set ups changed any plant could do that. Yes the folks at the Evans Plant were concerned when your hours and employees got cut nobody wants that to happen to any one. We could not fix it, all we could do was pray for you. I have seen and looked at work from both plants, both of you have quality issues. Neither plant is perfect and both have run scrap. Neither plant is better than the other and until we can walk on water or part the Red Sea we are all human and Americans. I would very much like to keep my job I happen to like what I do. As far as Clemson caring the Evans plant guess what Evans carried Clemson some to. We all need to remember no matter who we are or where we are at any time we can or could be unemployeed. May GOD BLESS US ALL.

darton44
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darton44 06/29/09 - 07:19 pm
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I agree, one's not any better

I agree, one's not any better than the other. BUT, the machines are not set up and quite often every order is a set up and NO not any plant can do that. There are a lot of knowledgable setters at clemson and that allways helps. And clemson lost some good ones thursday.

bumblebeerose
670
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bumblebeerose 06/29/09 - 08:04 pm
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The unfortunate part to this

The unfortunate part to this whole mess is that both plants have many years of knowledge between them and all of that will be lost. Each plant shines in its own right in what it can do. I just wish TDC would give each plant a chance to show them they can and will be succesful as they have been in the past.

dodger
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dodger 06/29/09 - 08:14 pm
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Clemson has steadily lost

Clemson has steadily lost good people over the past few years, so that the plant is virtually empty now, but still meeting its orders as well as running work for Augusta and Mexico City.
Actually virtually every order I ran at Clemson (and for the last years they have been one small order after another) was a set up. We run in cells which means that each order is a set up on two cells, and that's 10 machines at least to set up each shift...sometimes more. Clemson isn't perfect, but YOU are the one who was throwing off on Clemson and extolling the virues of Evans. You used words like "wimpy" and "small." You spoke of your people as "trained employees" as if Clemson employees are less valuable. The Clemson employees are not pulling the strings here, but we won't pull any punches either. I'm tired of being on lay off with noone around hiring for anything near what I was making at K'metal. I'm tired of seeing everyone else prosper while I toil harder than most for less than most. I for one will take the work if the plant comes on strong and brings us back aboard, and I'll work to make the new owners as wealthy as possible. The richer Jeff is, the better off I'll be.

dodger
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dodger 06/29/09 - 08:29 pm
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Bumblebeerose, that would be

Bumblebeerose, that would be the best and probably smartest thing to do.
BTW, I guess you Augusta folks thought we Clemson rednecks were too stupid to be monitoring your newspaper online. I reckon you thought you were safe taking pot shots at us. But guess what? We're everywhere and well educated to boot.
Jeff Chee is putting 29 million out just to purchase the Greenfield rights and four plants. I guess he has studied the productivity of each plant. If Greenfield loses, he will personally lose, not just some share holders. You'd better believe he is doing his homework and making the safest move.
I really didn't mean to stoop to your level and start calling you names, but in essence, I guess I just did. But in retrospect you folks deserved it.
If you think you can keep up with the big dogs, plead your case and make your move up to Clemson. I'm sure you can find a home here. Plenty have been foreclosed on since K'daddy layed off so many these past few years.

bumblebeerose
670
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bumblebeerose 06/29/09 - 09:41 pm
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To thebugleboy, please do not

To thebugleboy, please do not include everyone at Evans in your statement that we think you are rednecks and stupid not all have said that. In times like these no one deserves to have their job taken from them and moved else where. Not only have people at Clemson lost jobs in this mess (with the economy) Evans, Ashboro and Lyndonville as well. You may be running orders for Evans, but we at Evans have been cutting orders off for Clemson as well, that is what sister plants are supposed to do help each other. I hope and pray all goes well for those at the Clemson plant and the Evans plant. Until our President decides to stop showboating and do something to help the middle class Americans no matter where you work you could be unemployeed one day like the rest of us.

dannyfordsux
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dannyfordsux 07/02/09 - 01:26 am
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OMG you fellas gotta be

OMG you fellas gotta be kidding!!! We have seen your rebuilding attempts. You cannot even install antifriction rails correctly. I bet 10 dollars you dont have a C C. now do you? Charles has reengineered the loaders and slides on Normacs Hertleins and other machines and know 100 times more than your finest. Remember the Gefra's you sent us because you could not handle them? well... Carl rebuilt all of them successfully and they run tools just fine... what happend there. I bet you have our guys up there helping. HERE IS THE REAL TRUTH: CLEMSON IS A JOBBER DRILL BIT PLANT. EVANS IS (not for long) A MULTITASKING PLANT THAT MAKES SPECIALITY DRILLS AND ASSEMBLED THREADED TOOLS. Evans makes tools that must fall within much tighter spec's like a 1/2 thou or less. Clemson spec's are 5 thou. I hope you bad azz can make thru coolant drills that have the coolant holes twisting thru the drill. Your Bosses have ran our plant thru the years so ask them why our plant was mismananged and lost money if it did? I have no beef against Clemson i just wanted to make some points. BTW installing new parts on a machine does not constitute a rebuild.

dodger
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dodger 07/02/09 - 03:04 am
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Rebuild? You can't even use

Rebuild? You can't even use correct grammar.
You don't know me. I've engineered and built things of which you have never dreamed. Bring on your specialty drills. A tool is a tool. I'll build them to any specifications required. I can build a jobber drill in my garage (except for the back taper). Give me the proper equipment and good parts, and I'll build whatever you want.

UncleRoy
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UncleRoy 07/02/09 - 03:22 am
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Roger THAT, Bugleboy. If you

Roger THAT, Bugleboy. If you can hand form and build custom trumpets, you can build about anything.

tiredofthebull
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tiredofthebull 07/03/09 - 12:17 am
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Top Eastern - Kennametal they

Top Eastern - Kennametal they are both the same- they lie to everyone. If Columbia County, the EPA, or the Department of Labor knew about most of the things that have gone on in the Evans plant then the entire corporation would be shut down. The plant has been run as a sweat shop for longer than should be legal. Last summer with no working a/c - except for in the offices or Human Resources - the temperature was around 108 degrees in the work areas. And speaking of Human Resources (what a joke) the tyrant that calls herself the head of HR is more worried about whether are in the correct area at the correct time than she is about the rights or health of employees. With temperatures soaring inside the plant Kennametal decided not to repair the a/c units but instead provided a gatorade dispensor in the break area, but then if an employee was caught in the break area getting Gatorade when it was not the correct break time the tyrant from HR would threaten to fire them. And yes bugleboy, Evans can produce 1.8 million drills in a week especially if they were given the large quantity and simply style that Clemson was given. Kennametal - Topeastern -both slave labor .

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