The crane manufacturing operations of Crane Equipment & Service Inc. (CES) in Forest Park, Illinois, USA, are to be shut down, parent company Columbus McKinnon has announced.

CM said that CES’s operations were being consolidated into its other North American crane manufacturing facilities. The move will cost $1.1m but is projected to save $700,000 a year.

“This consolidation is a continuation of our facility rationalisation initiative which is focused on lowering our fixed costs while maintaining a high level of service and the capacity to meet the needs of the crane equipment and service marketplace,” said CM president and CEO Tim Tevens. “The consolidation process will occur between mid-April and June 2003 and we will work with our 15 affected associates to assist them with placement in positions at other Columbus McKinnon locations where available, and for those who do not relocate, transition support.” He added: “The integration of Columbus McKinnon’s wholly owned crane builders is proceeding as planned with the development and implementation of a centralised approach to crane and hoist sales and service. This strategy has increased our market share in the current weak economic environment. Recent significant bookings from our wholly owned crane builders include a $0.6m project for a liquid natural gas plant in Trinidad, a $0.8m project for a major metropolitan transit authority, and $1.1m in steel mill crane projects in Canada.”