BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
DTR Tennessee, Inc. plans to begin a $12 million expansion project this month at its Midway plant that will increase rubber-processing capabilities for the county's largest private-sector employer.
DTR, a subsidiary of Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI) of Komaki, Japan, will add 27,000 square-feet to the existing facility, which is 432,000 square-feet.
The project will add 20 jobs, said Cal Doty, vice president of human resources at DTR.
Construction work will begin later this month, with manufacturing scheduled to start in January 2014, Doty said.
C&C Millwright Maintenance Co., Inc. will be the contractor for the project.
The expansion will allow DTR to increase production of rubber products at its facilities in Midway and Tazewell, and supply other TRI facilities in the U.S. and abroad with mixed-rubber compounds.
The increased output will increase shipping from the Midway facility, Doty said. "Our shipping is contracted out, usually locally," Doty noted.
The total $12 million investment includes manufacturing space and equipment.
DTR, at 199 Pottertown Road, began production in 1997.
The plant currently employs 700 associates.
Doty said the expansion project will be attached to the existing facility on the end nearest to Pottertown Road.
DTR manufactures rubber and plastic automotive anti-vibration products, rubber and plastic automotive hoses, and urethane noise-dampening products.
Processes include rubber-mixing, injection-molding of rubber and plastic, extrusion of rubber, metal-stamping, welding, aluminum die-casting and electrostatic painting.
Assistance from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development representative, Alicia Summers, as well as from Tom Ferguson, Greene County Partnership president and CEO, was a benefit in the decision to expand, Doty said.
DTR is currently supplying products to Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Ford plants, both domestically and abroad.
Tetsu Matsui is president and CEO of DTR Tennessee, and Randy Rumbley is the senior vice president and executive officer.