BARBERTON, Ohio—Tahoma Rubber and Plastics Inc. has been content to grow steadily year after year without making a lot of noise about its success.
Instead, the company has relied heavily on providing quality products and service to support tire makers and others in the rubber industry as a springboard for growth. And that's worked for the Barberton-based firm.
Most recently, the company expanded its capacity and capabilities with the addition of new machinery while bolstering its work force with new personnel.
Tahoma isn't a rubber compounder, but a specialized recycler and processor of materials, Chief Operating Officer Steve Nieto said.
Basically "the company serves the tire and rubber industry by taking uncured rubber compounds, uncured rubber compounds with fibers (commonly known as fabric friction) and scrap poly film" that are processed and recycled into new products.
"The tire producers count on us to protect their intellectual property for rubber compounds by denaturing their products by blending with several sources of material so there can be no reverse engineering of specific compounds," he said
"We work closely with the factories to help them minimize any waste rubber materials," he added. "We are audited regularly to assure them of our security and capabilities."
To further help the company solidify its services, it added a 170 mm gear pump strainer that allows for the removal of cured particles or contamination from rubber compounds at its facility in Abbeville, S.C., and a new 700-ton compression molding press at the firm's Barberton facility that boosts its molding capacity.
Tahoma also created the capacity to produce sheeted fiber-filled rubber compounds at the Abbeville site.
Over the last three years the company has added three other compression presses and a 60 inch mill at its Barberton factory, according to Chuck Daugherty, the firm's director of operations. "In the past seven years, our growth has doubled."
Employment at the Barberton plant, which serves as the company's headquarters and home for its support staff, has increased 20 percent in the last three years to about 120. The Abbeville facility also has added personnel and now employs about 40 people.