AKRON—Steelastic Co. L.L.C. and RMS Equipment L.L.C. are now operating under one roof.
After producing machinery in separate but adjacent buildings for years, the two companies have moved to a much larger plant in Akron.
Manufacturers of automated machining systems for the global tire industry, the companies have set up their operations in a new 100,000-sq.-ft. facility that features a state-of-the-art laboratory along with a research and development operation and office space that spans about 15,000 square feet.
Steelastic and RMS completed the move on March 1, but the companies won't have a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house until June 19.
They gained more production capacity along with superior research and development facilities and tools with the move, according to Armand Massary, president of the Akron-based companies.
Bringing Steelastic and RMS together under one roof facilitates combining various resources—including sales, engineering, production and others—to make them “more efficient from both a sales and marketing perspective as well as project execution,” he said.
They moved from much smaller sites in Akron and their combined work force of about 100 was not impacted. “We are fortunate to be able to bring our resources together to provide our customers with the top level services they have come to expect from Steelastic and RMS,” Massary said.
Steelastic and RMS, along with Rome, N.Y.-based Bartell Machinery Systems L.L.C., form the Heico Tire and Rubber Group of Heico Companies L.L.C. Steelastic was pur-chased by Hei-co in April 1992 and not long after that, Heico acquired RMS and Bartell to create the tire and rubber group.
Together, RMS and Steelastic supply machinery for the tire component prep sector of the tire market. Steelastic makes radial belt and body ply systems, bead apexing systems, cap strip systems and inspection systems. RMS produces extrusion systems, roller die head technology, air spring building systems and hose building systems.
They primarily serve the passenger radial, truck and bus radial, off-the-road tire, aircraft track, industrial hose, air spring and conveyor belt industries.
“We sell to every major tire manufacturer and have equipment in 60-plus countries around the world,” Massary said. “In total, we have sold more than 800 machines in our 40 years of doing business.”
He said the move to larger quarters will afford the company more manufacturing capacity. It will provide newer manufacturing tools and flow that generate greater efficiencies, he said, adding “we will also have a new fully functioning lab that will house our latest technologies.
“The lab area will allow us the opportunity to accelerate our research and development process and work closer with customers to develop manufacturing and tire technologies.”
Growth of the two companies has been rapid during the last several years, Massary said, and the move was needed to support the companies' business strategy and growth plans.
He said Steelastic has a long history of being a business that works hard for, and with, customers. “We supply high quality products that are reliable and provide great value to our customers, and we have for years. We are known as the industry standard for our belt systems and have the best bead apexing systems in the world.”
RMS' strength lies in its extrusion and single roll roller die technology, he said. “The SRRD technology is something that RMS invented years ago and still provides for the best and most precise products of any system on the market.”
Massary noted that the two companies were known as industry innovators in the past and are working hard to return to that status. “The size and capabilities of our technical staff have and will continue to grow, and we are very focused at this time on becoming more innovative.”
That is why the companies are investing so heavily in the businesses, he said.
The focus of the businesses is to “own the component prep sector,” he said. It has a detailed strategy plan in place that is being executed to position the companies' products and technologies to be the best across the globe, Massary said.