Gas and water meter maker Elster Jeavons - which can trace its origins back to 1920 - is axing 150 jobs with the closure of its factory in the Black Country.
The Tipton factory, which makes and assembles gas regulators and meters, will close in the next 12 months with production being shifted to Slovakia.
Jeavons was set up as a family business and was bought by Ruhrgas Industries, the predecessor of Elster, in 1990.
The closure is part of a series of measures announced by the German company yesterday as it struggles with rising production costs and increased competition from the Far East.
Some 16 jobs will be relocated to Elster Metering Systems in Stafford, which employs 120 people, while other changes in the UK include site relocations in Luton and Melton Mowbray.
Nick Chaloner, director of communications at Elster, said: "We are very sad to have to shed jobs and have thought through every detail carefully. However these job losses are unavoidable since we have a responsibility to the group as a whole and are obliged to ensure its long-term success.
"We are facing stiff competition from the Far East, along with increasing raw materials prices and EU legislation which has opened up the market, which is all making life harder.
"This is a plan which has been in preparation for some time. Tipton is a very old site and it is very difficult to do anything to improve efficiency there.
"It is surrounded by houses and it is not in a good location. What is being produced there can be produced more efficiently and more cost effectively at our plant in Slovakia."
Mr Chaloner said the reorganisation was taking place to ensure the whole company had a long term future, and added that factories in Germany and Holland were also being affected.
"As part of the planned integration measures, in Europe about 300 jobs will be lost representing three per cent of the group's worldwide workforce of 9,000."