BARBERTON, Ohio (March 24)—Preferred Rubber Compounding Corp. has purchased the rubber mixing assets of Onguard Rubber Products Inc. for an undisclosed price, and plans eventually to consolidate the production at its Barberton factory. Preferred Rubber President Timothy Eburne said the deal, which closed a few weeks ago, is a "good fit" for Preferred, adding to its color compounding capacity and bringing a number of new customers and industries to the fold. The acquisition will expand Preferred Rubber's business by about 10 to 15 percent, Eburne said, without disclosing sales or production figures. Preferred is owned by Waltham, Mass.-based Watermill Ventures Ltd., a fact Eburne said greatly eased Preferred's ability to close the deal quickly. Onguard Rubber is the former Bata Shoe Co. in Havre de Grace, Md., which had determined the rubber compounding activity was no longer a core business element, Eburne said.