The company has made improvements to its plants, including the addition of a new full service laboratory for silicone testing and development center at the 17,680-sq.-ft. Mogadore plant and moving its headquarters from Ravenna to Mogadore, which is better suited to house it.
"We're at a stage where we can grow on both the rubber and silicone ends of our business," Hartley said. "In 2013, our rubber operation was better than in 2012, and we expect 2014 to progress the same way."
The firm has had a strong market share in the U.S. custom compounding extrusion market for more than a decade.
With a work force of about 75 at its two plants, the company is running two shifts with a lot of overtime at the 179,000-sq.-ft. Ravenna mixing facility and is aiming to add a third shift at the site, he said. It added a third compounding line in 2012 at the factory, which has the capacity to produce more than 60 million pounds of rubber a year.
Doug and Rick Hartley founded the company in 2002 with just six employees, and it has grown steadily since.
Sharp noted that the rubber and silicone compounder has completed numerous trials and tests at the silicone mixing facility for customers and has begun ramping up production of its compounds. It already has plans in the works to add to its capabilities.
"We definitely see silicone as a growth area," Hartley said, "because there are a lot of opportunities in the market for silicone, and there are a lot of opportunities for compounding."
Portage Precision's newest state-of-the-art plant gives the company 20 million pounds of custom silicone mixing capacity. The plant has a 200-gallon Sigma Blade Tilt mixer and 2TE Twin Screw Dump extruder for small and large batch compounding, and features a full service laboratory for silicone testing and development.
Its move into silicone compounding was something the company had planned over a long period, Hartley said. "A lot of our current customers use silicone. And they knew (Technical Director) George Stamper's and Erick Sharp's capabilities in the silicone end of our business. We now have more to offer our customers. This was a natural fit."
Both the rubber and silicone sides of the company's operation have gained ground of late in the construction industry, according to John Truitt, director of sales and marketing. And that will continue to be an industry it will target, he said. "Commercial construction was down, but it's coming back ... and that will benefit us."
Other industries Truitt said Portage Precision serves on a regular basis include automotive, rubber roller, agriculture, oil and gas, electrical and energy.
The new technical center at the Mogadore facility is proving to be a big plus and strong draw for the firm, Hartley said. "It gives us a lot more capabilities and it certainly has helped us to grow."
It handles both silicone and rubber testing and development, he said. The company still has a testing lab at its Ravenna facility, but all development work has been moved to Mogadore.