HOUSTON—Eutsler Technical Products Inc. is a small custom rubber shop where its fortunes typically rise and fall with the oil industry.
So while the public around the U.S. generally is thrilled to be paying much less at the gas pumps, firms such as Eutsler are feeling the trickle-down effects of oil prices that generally are less than half of what they were a year ago, said Mike Borski, president of the Houston-based rubber firm.
“It's a roller coaster ride, similar to the automotive industry in a sense,” he said. “Here in the Houston area, if you're a rubber company, you're pretty much supplying to oilfield services type businesses.”
But because Eutsler has been run conservatively over the years, Borski said the firm will survive this downturn just as it has others over the years. It even is bringing in some new equipment it hopes will enable it to broaden its offerings.
The company, founded in 1964 by Ernest Eutsler, makes molded, extruded and mandrel-wrapped rubber products, 90 percent of which are geared toward oilfield service companies. He founded the company after H.F. Maloney Co.—the firm he was CEO of—was bought out. The first employee he hired was Mike Borski's father, Bernie.
Bernie Borski became president after Eutsler's death in the early 1990s, and Bernie still works several days a week under the title of senior president. The founder's widow, Ann Eutsler, maintains majority ownership, with the rest held by others involved in the business.
The custom rubber manufacturer operates out of three shops totaling about 45,000 square feet in Houston. The main facility houses molding presses, the mandrel department, mill room, trim department and inventory storage. It also has capability for doing small-run, cold-feed extrusion products.
The second shop houses mold storage and some molding presses, along with a small rubber test laboratory. The third building has a mandrel operation for larger casing pipe, where the elastomer is wrapped around the outer diameter of the casing pipe. A side shop off that building is for mold and raw material storage, along with a prep department for applying bonding agent to metal components.
Mike Borski said the firm mixes about a third of its rubber on a 60-inch, two-roll mill that is limited to batches of 60 to 70 pounds. The remainder is sourced from custom mixers.