PHILADELPHIA (July 13)—Quaker Rubber Co. has closed the doors on its 115-year-old operation. A competitive market and declining sales base edged the company out of the escalator belt industry late last year, President Raymond P. Stankiewicz said. "In 1999, sales were going down, and we couldn´t survive," Stankiewicz said. "The sales didn´t cover the overhead costs of the mortgage payments." Despite a good fiscal year in 1995, when the company purchased another press, Quaker Rubber began losing contracts to other businesses in the market. "Even though we bid low, they bid lower. We were the only ones in (North America) that manufactured until 1983 or 1984, and then a Canadian firm came,´´ Stankiewicz said, as well as the U.S.-based subsidiary of an Austrian rival. With competitors taking a growing share of original equipment contracts, Quaker Rubber had to rely more on its replacement business, Stankiewicz said. And that could not sustain the firm.