Agfa Graphics closing Branchburg plant; 125 face layoffs

Agfa Graphics, a global imaging solutions company based in Belgium, announced this week that it will close its Branchburg factory, one of its six production sites for printing plates. The closure will cost 125 people their jobs.

Agfa said demand for the plant’s products, including lithographic aluminum printing plates for offset presses, has declined in recent years in Europe and the U.S., although it has increased in Asia.

“This decision is part of our strategic plan to optimize our global production capacity and supply chain for printing plates,” Stefaan Vanhooren, Agfa’s president, said in a prepared statement. “This is necessary to remain a strong player in the extremely competitive global prepress market, which is transforming rapidly.”

According to a federal WARN notice, jobs lost would include various operators, as well as maintenance technicians and interns.

“This closure will have an impact on 125 jobs,” Vanhooren said. “We are committed the minimizing the social impact of this closure as much as possible. Furthermore, this decision will have no impact on our high standards of delivery of our goods and services to our customers in North America.”

The layoffs are effective Dec. 26, according to the WARN notice.

WARN notices normally cover mass layoffs or facility closings as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989.