SPARTA, N.J.—Rubber Fab is in the midst of a growth phase thanks to its pharmaceutical, bioprocessing, and food and beverage businesses.
The leading manufacturer of sanitary gaskets, hose, tubing, hose assemblies, pump and filler machine components just expanded its Sparta facility by more than 5,000 square feet.
The project follows Rubber Fab's acquisition last year by EnPro Industries Inc. EnPro put Rubber Fab in its Garlock group of companies, a leader in the production of fluid sealing products.
Rubber Fab has continued to expand its offerings in the wake of the deal. It now employs more than 45 people at its New Jersey location and is working closely with Garlock colleagues around the world, the company said.
Combining Garlock Singapore as a master distributor with Rubber Fab's only heritage overseas, the company effectively has created a hub in the Asia-Pacific region to support ongoing growth and expansion. One of the outcomes was a recent 2,000-sq.-ft. facility expansion in northern Singapore.
The addition at the Sparta headquarters brings it to 20,000 square feet, said Gary Huether, Rubber Fab's general manager who previously served as director of product management at Garlock before engaging in a dual role.
The added space that's being used in the New Jersey plant is being built out through June. No investment figure was revealed for the expansion.
"Our products and solutions continue to be highly regarded in the industry with demand rising fast," Huether said. "Our increased manufacturing space allows us to hold the additional inventory required now that we incorporated some of Garlock's products to the portfolio. It also offers a more efficient layout from which we can implement further improvements in hose assembly, product testing, quality assurance and many other areas."
Huether said that the Rubber Fab brand will continue to be utilized given its strong brand among clients within multiple industries, from food processing to beverage to pharmaceutical. In fact, by utilizing both the Rubber Fab and Garlock brands, the company expects further expansion in the sanitary market.
"The price of a barrel of oil continues to ebb and flow as we all know, so this move is going to help Garlock to remain diversified," Huether said.
Rubber Fab and its parent company Garlock continue to consider other acquisitions and integrations as a method of further developing global growth, Huether added. The Singapore location supports inventory and hose assembly operations with other customization services planned for the Asia-Pacific plant in 2017.
The operations in Asia-Pacific also provide a blueprint for global growth plans in general, he said. In addition, sales are expected to grow in Europe as well, where Rubber Fab also has had a strong presence, and the Middle East where Garlock has excelled.
"The Asia-Pacific region presents great opportunities right now, but more importantly the pharmaceutical and food and beverage markets will experience significant growth in the coming years and we recognize the need for a strong regional presence in order to support this growth," said Stephen Doherty, global segment leader for Garlock. "It gives us the opportunity to provide faster response times and shorter delivery schedules than we could ever offer from the U.S."
Rubber Fab always has sold through distributors to its core industries, and Huether indicated that one of the areas of growth in the business sector is with craft breweries, which are opening all over the world.
"There were 13,000 people and more than 900 exhibitors at the Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference in April," Huether said. "It's amazing how much growth there is, and that's just one of the areas we are looking at."