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Circuit Board Maker TTM Shutters Two California Factories

3 September 2009 541,220 views No Comment

Orange County Business Journal Staff

TTM Technologies Inc., a maker of circuit boards for networking gear and the military, is set to close two California factories and move some of the work to its headquarters in Santa Ana.

TTM said after the close of trading on Tuesday that it’s set to close its Hayward and Los Angeles facilities “due to continued weak demand in North America for commercial printed circuit boards and backplane products.”

The move is expected to save about $14 million per year, the company said.

The circuit board manufacturing that was done in Los Angeles is set to be transferred to its factories in Santa Ana, Utah and Wisconsin.

The assembly work that was done in Hayward will be transferred to plants in Shanghai and Stafford Springs, Conn., the company said.

Some 63 workers are set to lose their jobs in Los Angeles and 84 in Hayward, according to Clay Swain, TTM’s vice president of marketing.

TTM doesn’t plan to do any hiring as manufacturing work shifts to Santa Ana and other locations, Swain said.

“This is a very unfortunate but necessary decision based on the prospects of long-term weaker demand for these products,” Chief Executive Kent Alder said in a statement.

“These actions position TTM with a more cost effective manufacturing solution for today’s market and will allow us to improve capacity utilization and to maintain appropriate upside capacity to grow with our customers as the market eventually recovers.”

TTM has been hit hard on the commercial side of its business, where it makes circuit boards that go into enterprise-grade networking devices.

One of it’s biggest customers is networking kingpin Cisco Systems Inc.

Sales to top-tier defense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co., have been steadier.

“We have a major position in aerospace and defense and it has been the bulwark of our strength in the last few quarters as a lot of our commercial orders slowed down,” said Steve Richards, chief financial officer. “Commercial networking orders kept sliding a bit in the first half of the year, but our aerospace and defense customers kept ordering at their usual run rate and sometimes more strongly.”

By SARAH TOLKOFF

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