(From the July 23, 2012, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
RAVENNA, Ohio—Portage Precision Polymers Inc. has installed a custom internal mixing line at its facility in Ravenna, more than doubling the company's capacity.
The line, capable of making 525 to 600 pounds of rubber compound per batch, is now in full operation, according to President and CEO Douglas Hartley. Plant capacity increased by about 150 percent.
The machinery, which primarily will produce specialty compounds, gives the company two internal lines as well as a 60-inch custom mill mixing line with capacity of about 1.1 million pounds per year, said Rick Hartley, executive vice president of Portage Precision.
Batch sizes on the original internal mixer at the site range from 320 to 400 pounds of rubber per batch, he said.
Significant internal construction at the 179,000-sq.-ft. factory was needed to create room for the mixer. When the renovation was launched in mid-2011, a company official estimated the cost of the project would be about $1.8 million.
Ravenna-headquartered Portage Precision needed to expand its mixing operation to continue the growth the company has experienced for the last 10 years, Douglas Hartley said.
“We can service the growth of our current customers and add new customers that we could not service in the past,” he said. “This also serves as a back-up in mixing in case of any breakdowns.”
While the company can now handle all existing and new customer needs, it is always looking at any growth opportunities, he said.
“We have a five-year plan in place for continued growth that will be renewed each year,” the president and CEO said. “We are always looking five to seven years ahead on our growth plans.”
Tying in with the firm's latest move and consistent company growth, George Stamper has joined Portage Precision as chief chemist. A 30-year veteran of the rubber industry, Stamper has an extensive background in compounding, design, development and plant management.
He'll lead the firm's technical services team and participate in formulation development, material troubleshooting and expanding the company's current custom mix offerings.
Portage Precision also is increasing the size of its sales team. Jim Knipp, who previously served as the company's quality manager, and John Janci will both become account managers.