Tag Archives: Engineering

Universal Polymer & Rubber: Examining our Acquisition Strategy

Who Did We Recently Acquire?

UP&R is proud to announce that we have just completed our fifth overall acquisition, and third in the last four years. Our continuous acquisition strategy has cemented our position as one of the largest non-mixing polymer fabricators in the United States. At UPR, we are always actively looking for additional polymer parts manufacturers that fit our perpetual approach.

Who did we acquire this time? Gasko Fabricated Products of Medina, OH! Gasko is a high-volume, die-cutting converter of polymer and hybrid materials for gaskets, seals, and diaphragms. Such modules are used for power take-off and transmission, and engine management/fuel delivery system applications in the automotive, marine, and outdoor power equipment markets.

Over time, the Medina facility will transition to our Tallmadge, OH facility, attaining synergies, economies, and shared die-cut expertise.

John Zielinski, our Executive Vice President, commented, “Customers and prospects have been asking for a wider variety in our converting, and through this acquisition, we will now be able to provide for the market’s need.”

What Sets Us Apart from the Competition

 With about two handfuls of competitors within a 50-mile radius, we unremittingly set our self apart from the many other polymer companies in Northeast Ohio. Acquisition numbers from our wide-range of capabilities allow us to achieve a high-level stature. Our competitors include other rubber molders who tackle tarp straps, but similar manufacturers have limited capabilities that lead to our success as a business. At UPR, we have four different types of tarp straps including our own brands, and multiple layers to each brand.

Through our assortment of brands comes a fluctuation in price point too. Businesses, both small and large, will be able to find an answer that fits their needs.

Additional competitors include extrusion and molding, but the competition only supports one focal point – either, or – not both. Here, at Universal Polymer, we have the support to focus on rubber molding, rubber extrusions, plastic extrusions, tarp straps and gaskets, because of the diversity of our qualified, in-house, team experts. We are a one-stop-shop for all of your polymer solutions for the transportation and cargo control market, construction and pipe manufacturers market, automotive OE supply chain as a Tier II and Tier III, and the general industrial market that comprises several well-known global manufacturers.

Our one-stop-shop doesn’t only serve the end product of a tarp strap, a pipe gasket, window gasket, tire or more. When we say everything is done in-house, we mean it. From die-cutting to fabrication, both your polymers and rubbers start and end with us. UPR beats out the multiple stops that you would have to take to buy extrusions from one manufacturer and your required molded parts from another.

As a robust and elite manufacturer, there’s no worry, no wasted downtime, no hassle. All of our different parts are preplanned, engineered, designed, and already taken care of with you in mind. Every piece you need already fits perfectly together. With UP&R, you get all of the aspects of a small business manufacturer with the quality of a big manufacturer, meaning all of your bases–quality AND quantity, are covered “under one roof.”

With the Gasko acquisition, we continue to supply and have increased supplies for the automotive, marine, and outdoor power equipment industries, plus further industrial markets too.

Immediate customer-facing benefits include:

  • Both locations, Medina and Tallmadge, have historically specialized in fast turn-around, high-mix, high volume production, making them highly complementary. Plans include the move of Medina’s manufacturing into our Tallmadge location, an IATF-16949 and ISO-9001 certified production facility.
  • A Stronger Product Line for Customers – The Gasko product line, when added to our already broad product line, will enhance the total basket of goods that UP&R offers to our current customer base, and further, to market.
  • Enhanced Capabilities – While UP&R and Gasko have shared similar historical focus’, each excels in specific, but complementary areas. We look to offer Gasko customers a more full range of offerings – molded and extruded rubber parts, and die-cut parts, from IATF16949 certified facilities – that will provide vendor consolidation opportunities in a lean manufacturing world.

Our Ideology at UP&R

Because we put continuous improvement into our day-to-day, we get better each day. Started in 1970, we have continuously operated since inception. In 2018, our staff is proud to say that we are wiser today then we were just yesterday. And with additional resources now onboard, we’ll be able to continue forward with our successful business model.

Today, UPR stands ready to help your company compete and grow. At UP&R, we are committed to providing you first-rate service, timely service, and quality – every single time!

How We’ve Grown Since the Beginning

 Universal Polymer & Rubber started out as a tarp strap and pipe gasket manufacturer. We have remained true to our roots by building upon that initial foundation. Starting off as a smaller size business, we leveraged our expertise in pipe gasket development and manufacturing, to gain business in other interwoven product applications including window gaskets, tote gaskets, and tires. Currently, we have branched out into other markets, and through our market diversity and versatility, we have been able to learn from all markets to apply best practices from each market application to the next.

To this day, we remain one of the largest suppliers of pipe gaskets in North America.

Look for more information on the many industries that we cover by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. We update them almost daily!

For any questions on our wide array of gaskets, moldings, extrusions, or company in general, simply contact us today. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

STEM And Its Importance For Economic Growth & Development: Universal Polymer Investigates

STEM educational fields are considered to be elite. There is no denying that a degree in engineering holds more water and prestige than corresponding achievements in the fields of art or literature. This notion is corroborated by the fact that STEM jobs (or jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pay an average wage of $85,570 annually – almost double that of non-STEM occupations. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has found that 47% of students with bachelor’s degrees in these coveted fields earn more than their PhD counterparts who do not hail from the same background.

The bottom-line is simple: STEM careers are not only highly respected and sought after, they also ensure lucrative pay and other perks.


One of the reasons behind the gratuitous income linked to STEM jobs is the perception that science and related tech fields are difficult and complicated. Students need to be motivated to take on these disciplines as they must work harder and with more perseverance to satisfactorily handle their course loads.

However another aspect of the equation is the genuine contribution made by STEM careers to the economy of the country. Seven out of the 10 largest occupations are related to computers. And a deep understanding of computers and the art of creating programs from scratch is the desideratum of most industries and sectors at this point of time. Automation and scaling are virtually impossible without coding knowledge and even exponential technologies like 3D printing and Artificial Intelligence rely heavily on STEM to cross the bumper of unity and hit main stream markets.

Manufacturing – the lifeblood of the US and the largest contributor to the GDP needs to draw on qualified blue collar workers trained in science and technology to man the equipment on factory floors.

All in all STEM is at the heart of growth and development of the civilized world and receives due focus in the form of a rapidly expanding job base and higher pay packages.


There are 3.6 unemployed Americans for every available job in the market. In stark contrast, science, technology and manufacturing sectors boast two vacancies per qualified candidate! In short, there is a dearth of potential employees who can satisfy the increasing demand for tech-savvy workers. And if this trend escalates, there will come a time when the ‘skill gap’ will put a glass ceiling in place, restricting America’s prosperity and putting a stop to native innovation. The brain drain from Asia is gradually reversing as local governments realize the implications of exporting bright minds out of the country.

Under such circumstances the efforts of President Obama who has kick started an initiative to bring STEM and related fields back to glory are laudable. These endeavors must work out if America is to support the weight of its super-power status on the shoulders of home grown STEM masters.

Universal Polymer supports STEM and acknowledges the fact that without evangelizing science and technology to recruit future prospects sustainable economic growth is not possible.