AKRON—It was just last year that Akron Rubber Development Laboratory Inc. began packing its things and moving into a more spacious home in Barberton, Ohio. It's a good thing, too, because the ARDL family continues to grow.
ARDL, in October, acquired Experimental Services Inc., an Akron-based testing services laboratory that provides static, dynamic, fatigue and vibration testing for rubber industry manufacturers around the world.
The acquisition was a natural one for ARDL and ESI, companies that have worked together for years. Moreover, ARDL CEO Tim Samples said, the experience the ESI team brings to the ARDL family further strengthens testing capabilities.
"Their specialty in engineering testing has made them unique and a natural to fit into ARDL's engineering testing group," Samples said in a statement. "The best part is that ARDL will continue to gain from the input of both Greg Schilling and Karl Winkler, who developed and grew this business and have cultivated trusted relationships with manufacturers over the past three decades."
Eventually, all of ESI's services will move to ARDL's 136,000-sq.-ft. building in Barberton. For now, however, the operations will continue without delay from ESI's current facility.
Meanwhile, ARDL continues to consolidate operations in Barberton, bringing together all aspects of the business, which is spread across three facilities in Akron.
The process is slow and methodical, but it remains on track for completion by 2026. According to Bonnie Stuck, ARDL president and senior technical adviser, the company is renovating its new home to accommodate all the testing and custom mixing services.
ARDL also wants to take time transporting and hooking up the large, heavy pieces of equipment. Once that's complete, many of the operations need to be recertified.