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When the rubber hits the road, Polycorp needs to expand (8 Photos)

With the help of the province, rubber products company puts rubber stamp on expansion plans

Polycorp Ltd., a major international supplier of specialty rubber components, has outgrown its Elora factory and must expand.

The company makes engineered rubber products that reduce risk factors associated with corrosion, abrasion, impact, noise and vibration in the transportation, mining and protective linings industries. It sells its products all over the world.

Plans were unveiled Monday morning to expand company facilities at 33 York Street in the south end of the town in a major way over the next five years, adding 26 jobs to its current 146-person workforce, and expanding its product line.

Guelph MPP and President of the Treasury Board, Liz Sandals, took part in a tour and announcement at the plant on Monday morning. She represented Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Growth. Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton was also on hand.

The province is chipping in $2.5 million from the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, and Polycorp will invest in the neighbourhood of $14.5 million on new space, new equipment, and a testing laboratory.  

Company chief executive Peter Snucins said in an interview that 80 per cent of the company’s business is in exports.

Polycorp’s strategy was to become the biggest company in its product line in North America, a goal that it achieved, Snucins said. After that it turned its attention to expanding its product line and expanding its markets geographically, he added.  

“We now sell all through the former Soviet Union, all through Europe, Africa, South America and Australia,” he said, adding that a lot of the demand is in the transportation sector. Among many other products, the company makes rubber rail seals for subway lines, inserts that run the entire length of the tracks.

The company will take possession of the other half of it current building in November, and has purchased adjacent land for the expansion.

“We have plans now underway for another large press that’s going in for the mining product line, and a series of presses over the next five years,” Snucins said.  

Sandals said that in a “cutthroat” global market place, the province understands the need to partner with companies to ensure they can keep costs down and make better, more innovative products than the competition. The government also recognizes how essential a strong manufacturing sector is for Ontario’s economy.

The Jobs and Prosperity Fund, she said, is an over $800-million commitment to help companies grow, innovate, and become more competitive. It has leveraged over $7.4 billion in private sector investment.

Kelly Linton called the Polycorp expansion exciting news for Centre Wellington and the residents of Elora. The town has been recognized as one of the best communities in Canada in which to live.

A good community, he said, must have good places to work. And Centre Wellington is working hard to attract jobs, streamline approval processes, and ensure there is shovel-ready development property available.

Polycorp was founded in 1996 after it acquired the assets, patents, and intellectual property of the former BFGoodrich.