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Sony Closes Last TV Manufacturing Facility In USA

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Sony has named its Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, plant as the second factory of a planned 5 or 6 that will be shut down as part of a global restructuring. Sony Insider actually predicted this closure may happen at the beginning of October after comments from Pennsylvania congressman John Murtha. A representative from Sony, Michael Koff, refuted our claims in a comment to the story which obviously seems void at this point. The factory is Sony’s last remaining TV manufacturing facility in the U.S. and the closure will see 560 people lose their jobs. Television manufacturing is scheduled to end at the plant by February 2009 after which Sony will supply the U.S. market from its factory in Baja, Mexico. The plant will close completely in March 2010 when the TV and Blu-ray Disc repair and U.S. east-coast logistics operations are also ended.

The Pittsburgh Technology Center, as the facility is known, first opened in 1990 and made large rear projection TVs. It switched to flat-panel LCD (liquid crystal display) production when that technology became popular and currently produces 46- and 52-inch LCD TVs.

Rick Clancy at the Sony Electronics Blog posted a cool timeline of events at the Pittsburgh Technology Center:

  • 1969 Chrysler builds shell of building (frame, walls & roof)
  • 1978 Volkswagen takes over and starts auto assembly
  • August 1988 Volkswagen plant closes
  • April 1990 Sony holds press conference in Pittsburgh with Gov. Casey to announce TV production plans in Southwestern Penn.
  • November 1990 Sony takes over former Volkswagen auto factory
  • October 1991 CRT construction begins (CRT manufacturing ends 2006)
  • January 1992 Color TV construction begun
  • July 1992 Rear Projection TV on-line – first set produced end of July 1992 (Rear Projection closes 2007)
  • April 1994 CRT in full production
  • December 1994 Flat Aperture Grille operations (AG manufacturing ends 2006)
  • June 1995 American Video Glass Company founded
  • February 1996 35V Trinitron Tube on line
  • April 1996 35V Set Assembly on-line
  • March 1997 American Video Glass begins production (AV closes 2006)
  • April 1998 Display Systems Service Company-Pittsburgh opens (closed in 2001)
  • July 1998 FD Trinitron CRT production & Aperture Grille Line #2 for Computer Monitors began
  • September 1998 FD Trinitron WEGA assembly begins
  • June 1999 American Video Glass begins production of flat panel glass
  • April 2000 FD Trinitron CRT manufacturing expands
  • June 2001 40” FD Trinitron production begins
  • 2001 Start of Foreign Trade Zone operation August 2001 38” glass panel production begins at American Video Glass Co.
  • September 2001 40” WEGA TV production begins (Direct View TV production ends 2006)
  • 2002 Grand WEGA rear projection LCD Production Begins
  • 2003 Pittsburgh Customer Satisfaction Center (PCSC) opens
  • 2003-2006 Pittsburgh Logistics Center operations
  • 2004 -2005 Plasma assembly operations
  • 2004-2005 Introduction of 34” HD Widescreen WEGA CRT sets
  • 2005 -2007 SXRD rear projection TV assembly operations
  • 2007-2008 Start-up of BRAVIA LCD Flat Panel Direct View Assembly
  • July 2008 Sony Chemicals of America sold to Dai Nippon Printing, which continues as a building tenant
  • December 2008 Sony announces intention to discontinue TV assembly operations by March 2009
  • December 2008 Sony also announces plans to move repair service from site by Fall 2009 and logistics by March 2010

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