SPX Corp., corporate parent of Weil-McLain, said it will close the boiler manufacturer's Benton Harbor, Mich., facility by next year and also shut down assembly operations at its Michigan City, Ind., plant.

The Benton Harbor plant makes sheet metal jackets for boilers. The jackets and other parts made at Benton Harbor may be made either by another company in the United States or outsourced to China, according to local news reports.

Weil-McLain President Steve Zeller said the company had outgrown the Michigan City facility and will establish a new assembly plant near the Virginia and North Carolina border. The Michigan City facility will end assembly operations after the new factory is operational, which should be in early 2005. However, the company's headquarters, foundry and machining operations will remain in Michigan City.

“We have a world-class engineering department and an outstanding foundry,” Zeller said, according to a local newspaper. “We have no desire to go anywhere else with those.”

Weil-McLain traces its roots to Chicago in 1881, where it was founded by Isadore Weil. After acquiring his main supplier, J.H. McLain Co., in 1918, Weil moved the boiler plant to Michigan City. United Dominion bought the company in 1993. In turn, SPX bought United Dominion in 2001.