Preferred Compounding, a longtime Barberton rubber company, this week celebrated the opening of its new plant in central Mexico.
The plant in San Luis Potosi is the company’s first facility south of the border, and is designed to supply Mexican operations of U.S. and European companies. Preferred Compounding offers custom-mixed rubber compounds to a variety of industries.
Preferred Compounding President Ken Bloom stressed Friday that the Mexican plant, bought from a Spanish business, isn’t about moving jobs.
“What we’re making down in Mexico is for customers in Mexico,” Bloom said.
Preferred Compounding bought the 66,000-square-foot facility last year from Iacp Jevsa, which has main offices near Barcelona, Spain.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The plant in Mexico produces rubber compounds for makers of auto and appliance parts that are made in Mexico for assembly into finished products, also made in Mexico.
The plant has 20 employees. Bloom expects that to grow to more than 50 in the next three years. Last year, the company said it had about 100 workers in Barberton.
Bloom said that the Mexico operation has even helped to grow business in Barberton, noting that one customer, with facilities in Mexico and the United States, wanted to do business with just one supplier.
“What’s happening today with a lot of customers is their products are being designed for global use,” Bloom said. “They want a supplier who can supply them the same product globally.”
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.