Restructuring plans have been announced to employees of Hoya Lens UK.
The Japanese-owned company supplies ophthalmic lenses to opticians in the UK and Ireland and will be cutting jobs at its Wrexham base.
It hopes to streamline its operation in North Wales to create a smaller, more multi-skilled and flexible workforce.
Last year the global supply chain at Hoya Lens UK was impacted by floods that devastated Thailand. The floods swept through their manufacturing facility in Ayutthaya and resulted in the facility being closed for six months.
A ‘structured and detailed’ review of the impact of these floods was carried out internally and resulted in the company increasing the use of automation to build a lab in the UK, as well as increasing production in its Hungary lab.
Hoya Lens has had a UK presence for over 30 years and lost a major contract to Boots last year which resulted in 160 redundancies.
A statement from the company said that they ‘want to reassure our customers that their business requirements are our top priority and that they should see little difference in their daily dealings with Hoya Lens UK.’
The news does not bode well for manufacturing in North Wales. Wrexham in particular has a strong manufacturing past, dominated by the Brymbo Steel Works and more recently Sharp Electronics. Manufacturing currently accounts for around 23 per cent of all jobs in the town.
The packaging giant Tetra Pak laid off 150 workers from their Wrexham factory last September and the Remploy factory, which employs staff with disabilities, faces the prospect of a takeover or job losses if a successful bid is not in place by the end of August.