Magnetic Peripherals Signs $80 Million Pace with Sony/three-Year Contract to Supply Wren III Disk Drives

Article excerpt

Magnetic Peripherals Inc. has signed an $80 million contract to manufacture Wren III 5.25-inch rigid disk memory units for Sony Corp. of Japan, the companies announced Thursday.

Company officials claim it is the largest disk drive contract received by an American manufacturer from a Japanese firm.

"While it won't redress the entire imbalance of payments (between the U.S. and Japan), it is big to us," said Bill Miller, vice president of Magnetic Peripherals of Oklahoma City, the small disk division of Control Data Corp. of Minneapolis.

Employment will not change at the local plant because of the contract, officials said, in spite of the fact that the three-year agreement with Sony represents the largest contract Magnetic Peripherals has ever supplied, according to Kent Nichols, Control Data representative.

Likewise, the facility will not be expanded.

"There will be no new employees in the near term," Nichols said. "What it will mean is the assurance of survival of the local plant and jobs for its 1,500 workers."

Sony, a worldwide consumer and industrial electronics manufacturer with annual revenues of more than $8 billion, is incorporating the Wren III in its NEWS 32-bit general purpose office and engineering microcomputer workstation systems.

The Wren III line includes 101-megabyte half-height and 182-megabyte full-height disk drives.

Magnetic Peripherals, one of four divisions in Control Data's Data Storage Products Group, has been the focus of the group's restructuring plan. Other divisions have not been so blessed.

The company has cut product lines from 15 to seven, reduced assets by $482 million by mid-1986, cut the workforce 45 percent and cut general and administrative expenses 40 percent, to list a few changes. …