As Mechanical Rubber reaches a landmark 75th Anniversary this June, President and CEO Cedric Glasper reflects on the company’s past, with his vision focused clearly on its future. “I can’t believe that Mechanical Rubber is 75 years old,” said Glasper, who took the helm 21 years ago. “Each week still feels like my very first week with a long laundry list of To Do’s. At times I feel like I’ve gone from a row boat to a canoe to a kayak; other times it’s like a motor boat cutting through the water at a high speed and then a sail boat that needs strategy and advance planning trying to reach our destination.”
Mechanical Rubber has seen many changes, improvements and successes over the years. “Twenty-five years ago, we were a molding and die cut gasket house with customers in the automotive industry, such as Trico Wiper Blades (bought out by Crowne Group and currently owned by a private equity firm Kohlberg & Company); electronics, such as Crouse-Hinds (purchased by Cooper Industries and now Eaton Corp.); and aerospace, with Allied Signal, which is now a part of Honeywell,” Glasper recalled.
“Fast forward to today,” he continued. “We die cut, mix, extrude, mold, wrap, and fabricate many types of rubber and plastics, and in the last two years we began fabricating metals, specifically aluminum, for aerospace. Mechanical Rubber parts are in the International Space Station, aircraft wings and doors, bowling alleys, shrimp processing, bridges and retaining walls. We even manufacture expansion joints for air and liquid flow for marine applications and industrial facilities. And the next time you ride your local transit railcar, take a look at the black rubber gasket around the windows and doors.”
“My sales team spends a lot of time locating our original customers’ new buyers and engineers to ensure that they continue to receive the same quality and service that we have always provided and at the same time guaranteeing that we don’t get left behind,” said Glasper. “There are few companies that exist today with the same personnel I met when I started over 20 years ago. I, myself, have seen close to 200 employees come and go at Mechanical Rubber, and am still on the look out for skilled and talented professionals to join my team.”
Products and customers change constantly, which requires Mechanical Rubber to adapt to new technologies and environments for rubber to be manufactured to whatever application may arise. Every day poses new challenges, endeavors and opportunities, which keeps Glasper on his toes. “Believe or not, today I am considered an expert in my field, yet I still have that long laundry list of To Do’s.”
Mechanical Rubber opened its doors in Warwick, NY in 1941. In 75 years, the company has seen six wars, 13 presidents, energy crises, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and a man walk on the moon. It has celebrated times of prosperity and withstood times of recession. It has employed baby boomers, hippies, yuppies and, now, millennials. It has grown with the times, yet held on to the values of the past. It has married the newest of technology with the endurance of hands-on craftsmanship, and will continue to seek new opportunities to bring its commitment to excellence to customers in every industry. To learn more about Mechanical Rubber and its history, visit www.mechanicalrubber.com.