The Bristol Press – Barnes Group closes productions at Bristol facility

BRISTOL – Bristol’s long-standing manufacturing powerhouse and global operations, the Barnes Group, announced on Thursday that it will close production operations at its Engineered Components building in Bristol.

According to a company release, the production facility has approximately 95 employees and has long been a mainstay of the Barnes Group Associated Spring name in its mission to create, assemble and stamp parts for transmission washers and springs. Barnes Group representatives said that due to supply chain issues, inflation across the country, as well as the increase in the creation of electric vehicles and the continued decline in demand for production American automobile, the Bristol operation is expected to close. The Barnes Group aims to make its Engineered Components division more competitive and economically efficient.

Work at the Bristol site will be transferred to other engineering component spaces or discontinued. The Bristol facility is expected to be completely closed by mid-2023.

Barnes Group representatives said the announcement did not include any other manufacturing sites and the head office would remain in Bristol.

“Following a thorough and strategic review of our global manufacturing footprint with a focus on ensuring that we effectively serve our customers in the most efficient and competitive manner, Barnes has made the difficult decision to close all of its Associated Spring – Bristol plant, located in Bristol, CT to realign its manufacturing operations. The facility will close by mid-2023 and will impact all employees who are employed by the Associated Spring – Bristol facility. Our plan is to provide as much assistance as possible to our employees through the transition process,” read a statement provided by Morgan Ferrarotti, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications.

“It’s hard to hear,” said Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce CEO and President Cindy Bombard. “It’s a company over 100 years old, created and based in Bristol. I think everyone in Bristol knew someone who worked at Associated Spring and not just in Bristol.

Bombard said she understands the difficult trading positions and respects the decision.

“It will be a sorely missed place,” Bombard said.

According to a statement provided by Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano, “Bristol has had a long and storied history with Barnes and appreciates what the organization and, in particular, the founding Barnes family have brought to their hometown. The city is obviously upset to learn of the planned closure of production operations in Bristol due to global factors.

“First and foremost, the City must think of our friends and neighbors who may lose their jobs as part of this difficult decision,” continued the mayor. “The city will do everything it can, including partnering with state agencies, to help hard-working Barnes employees find new positions elsewhere in the area.”

The mayor said Bristol will continue to support the Barnes Group as it adapts to global pressures.

Published in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday July 29, 2022 4:10 PM. Updated: Friday, July 29, 2022 4:12 p.m.

Marjorie N. McClure