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Symmetry Medical confirms minor fire at Sheffield, UK manufacturing plant

Symmetry Medical confirmed published reports that a minor electrical fire occurred at its Sheffield, UK manufacturing plant during the evening of 8 March 2014.

The fire was confined to the temporary Acid Shop, with damage limited to three tanks of a line of nine tanks. Local authorities have confirmed that the temporary Acid Shop’s structure remains intact and sound.

Further, there was no damage to any other section of the plant. No Symmetry employees or first responders were injured as a result of the fire, which was controlled quickly.

The Acid Shop functions in conjunction with the company’s forging operation at the Sheffield Plant. Post forging, parts are immersed in acidic baths to facilitate removal of material from the forging process. Accordingly, the fire will not impact the forges or other operations at the plant, although throughput may be delayed as the new tanks are validated.

Refurbishment work has already begun, and it appears that the line will be repaired, validated and operational in early April. The company projects little financial impact beyond a delay in revenue from first quarter 2014 to second quarter 2014 of approximately $1m.

Symmetry Medical president and CEO Thomas J. Sullivan noted Sheffield customers were notified on 10 March 2014, the company is working to minimize customer disruption through our its business continuity plan, and all customers will continue to receive timely updates from the Symmetry team.

"We expect to have the line back in service within a relatively short period, pending any necessary customer validations," Sullivan added.