SOUTH BEND – A dental supplier is about to move its production out of South Bend.
Heraeus has announced plans to close its local production lines in the next 22 months, a decision that will affect 27 jobs.
Heraeus is located on the city’s south side and makes dentures, porcelain veneers and other products.
In a letter to WSBT, Heraeus Corporate Communications Head Bettina Lichtenberg says the company will keep its headquarters here but transfer its production to Romania or other parts of the U.S.
Lichtenberg says the big reason for the move is due to increased costs.
"The realignment in South Bend is part of a global business transformation program of Heraeus Kulzer (Heraeus Dental)," said Lichtenberg. "The major raeson is the signficantly increased cost pressure in the dental materials sector. This requires a reorganization of the global production capacities. Especially larger competitors can achieve economies of scale due to thier high volumes, which leads to clear cost advantages over Heraeus Dental. As a response to this, Heraeus Dental will stop production of their own lower complexity products in China and USA. German locations are also affected by the planned restructuring."
Jeff Rea of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce reacted by saying, "It really has nothing to do with South Bend, with Indiana, with northern Indiana, with the midwest. As a whole, it's manufacturing on a global standpoint, and the U.S. is fighting to continue to be competitive with other countries.