Urethane goods maker Dayton Polymeric Products Inc. is expanding to China.
The custom molder of products for the automotive and industrial markets has formed a joint venture with Her Taiy International Ltd. in China to primarily serve that market.
``We decided to buck the trend of U.S. companies moving production to China, opting rather to operate there for the China market while keeping our Dayton operations for the U.S. market,'' President Bill Palmer said.
The custom molder's product development operation also will remain in Dayton. ``This dual approach will allow us to better serve our customers and to remain committed to Dayton,'' he said.
The new joint venture, Dayton Polymeric China Ltd., is located in Zhong San City in Guangdong Province, where Her Taiy International is headquartered, and will focus on automotive and industrial products.
Initially it will produce energy-absorbing urethane foams used in headliner assemblies and automotive interiors. But the company will look to expand on that base and branch out into industrial markets in China, Palmer said.
He anticipates the manufacturing end of the new business will be up and operating on a limited basis by Jan. 1.
Her Taiy International, a custom molder of urethane shoe soles and industrial products for customers in both China and the U.S., had space and capacity available at its plant and Dayton Polymeric China is setting up its operation within the facility, he said. ``We'll add to it as the business grows.''
Dayton Polymeric Products will not have to hire more workers or buy additional machinery, both of which are available at the site, Palmer said.
``Some of our customers have locations in both the U.S. and China, and have pushed us to relocate there,'' he said. ``A small portion of products will be shipped back to the U.S.,'' but the venture's prime responsibility will be to service its customers in the Chinese market.
Dayton Polymeric Products makes products like energy-absorbing foams, integral skin for automotive interiors and industrial applications, and noise abatement foams primarily for Tier 1 companies and original equipment manufacturers.
``We were going to lose some business if we didn't establish a presence there,'' Palmer said. ``We think this will help us. We didn't want to shut down our U.S. operation, which is doing fine. Our OEM volumes are down and we learned to become very lean during the last couple of years.''
The joint venture will give the company an opportunity to expand its base in Dayton while it picks up additional customers in both the U.S. and China, he said.