BARBERTON, Ohio—Preferred Compounding Corp. is moving to a new headquarters and creating additional space needed for the remainder of its operation in Barberton.
It plans to move its headquarters staff to a new location in nearby Copley, Ohio, by early 2017 to free up room at the firm's production plants that its has occupied for more than three decades in Barberton.
Preferred produces proprietary and custom mixed rubber compounds at two separate buildings in Barberton. The main building is used for black rubber compounding and houses corporate offices, a spokesman said.
He said the second facility is used for color compounding and for the firm's technical staff. The factories span about 98,000 square feet.
Plant production, technical, quality and customer support staff will move into the office space vacated by the headquarters crew after the move to the new headquarters takes place. The facilities have a work force of more than 100 line and staff employees.
“We've grown into the second largest custom rubber compounder in North America with compounding operations in Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee and Mexico,” said Ken Bloom, Preferred president and CEO.
In addition, he said, “as the leading value-added compounder, we've significantly increased our technical, quality and production staff at each location over the past decade to support our customers. We are simply out of room in Barberton.”
Bloom said moving the headquarters staff to an existing office building is the most cost-effective and least disruptive solution to the space problem it had at the Barberton facility.
To keep the firm's headquarters in Barberton, “we would have to essentially replace a building and shuffle people around for a year during construction and would still be space-limited for future expansion,” he said.
“This way,” he added, “we can move and be settled in by the first of the year or shortly after.”
Preferred added an ISO/IEC 17025;2005 accredited research and development laboratory at its Barberton complex in 2015, which pared with its existing production testing facilities further reduced available space at the plants, the company said.
Once its move is complete, the rubber compounder will occupy the second floor of a four story building in Copley, about 15 minutes away from the firm's plants. More customers and prospects are visiting the company than in the past, Bloom said, and the new space will be designed to accommodate meetings better as well as allow for future growth.
Preferred mixes black, color and specialty compounds from virtually every polymer for a variety of applications. It serves a number of industries, including automotive, construction, power generation and roll goods.
It was purchased by Audax Private Equity and members of the custom compounder's management team, including Bloom, in a transaction that closed Feb. 1.