Machine-tool Company Will Leave King Of Prussia For N. Carolina

Posted: April 06, 1991

Murata Wiedemann Inc., a Japanese-owned machine-tool manufacturing firm in King of Prussia, is moving to North Carolina - and that could mean pink slips for about 140 employees.

The plant, which assembles custom, computerized punch presses from parts manufactured in Japan, is expected to stay open until next spring, when the company's $10 million, 100,000-square-foot plant near Charlotte, N.C., is set to open. Murata of America, a sister company, is near the new manufacturing operation.

About 130 workers will be employed at the new plant, which will make more of its own parts for the punch presses, said Tim Ford, vice president of human resources for Murata. None of the King of Prussia plant workers has been offered a transfer to North Carolina.

Murata representatives, interested in expanding, had been looking at sites in Pennsylvania and other states. But, according to Ford, North Carolina ''offered us land prices that were the most reasonable . . . and a package of incentives that includes some tax abatements and training for all employees."

The company was founded in 1916 in Philadelphia by the Wiedemann family and moved to King of Prussia in 1958.

Ford, who has been with Murata for three years, is one of several executives who may relocate.

It was not clear whether any of the King of Prussia plant workers eventually would be offered transfers. "It's too early to know the full effect of the relocation on the shop people," he said.

It's also too early to say what will become of the 120,000-square-foot building on South Gulph Road, he said.

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