Two things the rubber industry has an abundance of are history and diversity. Three companies profiled in our latest print issue clearly prove this point.
First is Dayco Products L.L.C., a rubber product firm that would be considered among those at the top of the industry's food chain. It was founded in 1905 as the Dayton Rubber Manufacturing Co., changing its name in 1960 to Dayco, one of its product brand names.
The maker of belting and other rubber automotive and industrial products for the automotive and industrial sector posted global sales of more than $1 billion in 2014 and operates 50 facilities in 18 countries.
John Bohenick took over as CEO in September 2014 and wasted no time in amping up Dayco's goals of being a lean business that will be an even bigger player on the global stage, along with its home base in North America.
Next up is Passaic Rubber Co., a New Jersey firm with a 96-year history. It is a small- to medium-sized rubber firm with its top two executives serving as fourth-generation owners.
They say they are successful because they are innovative and not afraid to invest, either internally or through acquisition. That has brought about a diversity where if one market is down, another likely is looking up.
Then there is Atlantic India Rubber Co., a small rubber shop in Hager Hill, Ky., a rural town in the Appalachian Mountains region of Eastern Kentucky.
The molder and distributor has been in business for 96 years, its name derived from its original source of rubber, material from India shipped to the U.S. by boat over the Atlantic Ocean.
It ended up in Hager Hill when the former owner—from the area—moved operations from Michigan and Ohio. The current owners—a husband and wife team—had moved with the company and bought it when their predecessor wanted to sell.
Their aspirations are modest: sales of $1.5 million to $2 million this year, and make enough money to live on until they sell the business someday to employees.
Three companies with similar histories in terms of years, and all successful rubber firms in their own unique way.