Still looking for new ways to cut costs, 3Com Corp. plans to close its Dublin manufacturing plant over the next six months and shift the work to outsourced labor, primarily in Asia. The manufacturing and distribution of enterprise networking gear will be handled externally, and 3Com will focus its internal research and development on high-end technologies.
Manufacturing and distribution will be turned over to Flextronics International Ltd. in Singapore and Jabil Circuit Inc., a St. Petersburg, Fla., manufacturer with sites worldwide, including in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India and China.
3Coms low-end, standardized volume products will be designed and built at a center the company set up in Taiwan. The products include PC cards, network interface cards and some wireless products, Sondra Magness, company spokeswoman, said. Both 3Com employees and employees of several original design manufacturers will work at the Taiwan Design Center, but the ratio of 3Com employees to non-3Com employees at the new center "is not detailed," Magness said.
3Com, based in Marlboro, Mass., will refocus its own research efforts on high-end technologies such as voice over IP, ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), XRN (eXpandable Resilient Networking) architecture and security products.
Approximately 1,000 3Com employees will be laid off, most of whom work at the Dublin facility, Magness said.