North Canton Ohio - Polyurethane moulder Seco Machine Inc. is looking to expand its production base and the size of its operation beyond its base in the rail industry, Marketing Director Anne Kocher said.
"We feel that urethane has a natural place in the industrial segment where the end user needs the high performance and durability that urethane parts provide," said Jon Kaufman, a design engineer for Seco. "Urethane can be custom formulated to target specific physical properties that the end user would need in many applications."
Seco, which was purchased by Pittsburgh-based component maker A. Stucki Co. in 2009, has been producing urethane products at a factory owned by its parent company in Monterrey, Mexico, since 2004, Kaufman said. Before then it subcontracted production of the parts.
Stucki says it pioneered the use of urethane components in the railroad industry in the 1960s and in the 1990s Seco became a subcontractor of the company, primarily supplying components used for freight cars and trains.
It was a natural fit for Seco, which employs about 52 at its North Canton plant, according to Kocher. "The Stucki history naturally justifies a niche market in our core business, the rail industry."
Seco began pulling some production from the Mexican facility in mid-2012 and producing the components at its60,000 square feet (5600m) North Canton plant, said Nicholas Ergon, Seco's Urethane Division operations manager.
"We have a strong team of engineers at our facility and the expertise to make high quality products for our customers anywhere," he said. "So more components are made here now, although we still make some at our Mexican plant. We ship products globally."
Kocher said Seco intends to expand the company's reach and is looking at other markets where it can grow. It is exploring ways to add to the size of its production facility. The firm has its sights set on the industrial market where specialized high-performance products are needed, he said.
Seco, which recently received its ISO 9001:2008 certification, focuses on highly engineered products rather than commodity parts, Kennedy said. While it presently makes Stucki's line of suspension and wear reduction products, he said the company's goal is to create lines of components.
By Mike McNulty
Rubber & Plastics News