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50+ jobs lost as Hygrade shuts down

Wednesday, 21 June 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

Hygrade’s factory at Thomastown, VIC

Leading Melbourne forme cutting company Hygrade Group – which has supplied the printing and packaging industry with high quality tooling for over 60 years – has closed its doors and gone into voluntary administration, with about 50 staff members losing their jobs.

Notices posted on the ASIC site announced that Hygrade Group, Hygrade Cutting Formes and Hygrade Management & Software had been placed in administration on 15 June.

Administrators David Vasudevan and Andrew Yeo of Pitcher Partners have called the first creditors’ meeting at their offices in William St, Melbourne on 26 June.

Hygrade Group CEO Rudi Jansen has been unavailable for comment. A former staff member who answered the phone at the company’s Northgate Drive, Thomastown factory – “just here tidying up a few things” – said the news had come as a shock to about 50 fellow workers. Hygrade has an additional manufacturing plant in Melbourne, two manufacturing plants in Sydney and one in Wellington, New Zealand.

“Hygrade were one of the largest, if not the largest cutting forme suppliers to the trade in Melbourne,” says an industry observer.

Hygrade Rotary specialised in high quality laser cut Dies

According to its website, Hygrade was established in a small West Heidelberg factory in 1966 by Alf Holmes and Oliver (Bulla) Hornsby, who had ‘a vision to build a business that would manufacture competitively priced, quality tools.’

The company later expanded to a larger factory in Thomastown and established an export program, with tooling sets sold to markets in New Zealand, United States, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia and China.

Hygrade’s technology line-up included: seven lasers, three counter cutters, computerised rule benders and processors, six axis engraving machines, a CNC Water Jet cutting machine, a 2.5 kilowatt laser and a CNC router.

Creditors wishing to attend next week’s creditors’ meeting are advised that proofs and proxies should be submitted to Pitcher Partners by 4pm on 23 June.




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