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Gerber Scientific to Close Its Facility in Tustin This Month

Times Staff Writer

The Gerber Scientific Instrument Co. announced Tuesday that it will close its laser-imaging facility in Tustin this month, laying off 45 of the facility’s 55 employees.

George Gentile, senior vice president of finance for Gerber Scientific Inc., the parent company for Gerber Scientific Instrument, said that the laser operations would be moved to the company’s headquarters in South Windsor, Conn., to make the laser unit more “technologically effective” and to reduce operational costs.

“From a management point of view and a cost point of view,” Gentile said, “it makes more sense to have the thing under one roof.”

Offers have been made to between “20 and 25%" of the Tustin facility’s employees, Gentile said, to relocate in Connecticut, but the rest of the employees, he said, “will be let go.” During the transition period, some workers will be kept on the payroll, Gentile added.

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Moving the facility to Connecticut, Gentile said, would create a “fairly significant cost savings.” He described the Tustin operation as being a “break-even” venture since Gerber Scientific acquired it in 1984.

The Tustin facility creates, tests and ships laser-imaging devices which are sold primarily to the electronics and printing industries. In the electronics industry, the devices are used to help produce master printed circuit boards. In the printing industry, the lasers are used to create master films for printing plates.

Gentile described the application of the laser technology to the printing industry as a “growth area” for Gerber but said that although the electronics industry was “somewhat depressed right now,” the closure of the Tustin facility had nothing to do with that slump in business.

“This was the most efficient thing for us to do, regardless of the economy,” Gentile said.

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