DAYTON, OHIO (August 2005) — Day International, Inc. a worldwide leader in the production of precision-engineered products, specializing in the design and customization of consumable image-transfer products for the graphic arts (printing) industry and fiber-handling products for the textile yarn spinning industry is celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Founded in 1905 as the Dayton Rubber Manufacturing Company, the company started out making garden hose, fruit jar sealing rings and other products made of natural rubber.
From the beginning, the company’s commitment to making a diverse line of engineered products for specialized applications yielded a number of product “firsts” that are still seen today as historical milestones; products such as the first airless automobile tire, the first automotive fan belt, and the first industrial V-Belt, which still resembles the original design of 1921.
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, the company worked closely with DuPont to develop a new synthetic rubber. Once developed, Dayton Rubber Manufacturing Company continued independent research to explore how the new synthetic rubber could be used in printing products. In 1933, the research culminated with the introduction of the first synthetic rubber printing roller — a landmark discovery for the company. In 1934, Dayton Rubber Manufacturing Company introduced the first synthetic automobile tire. And in 1936, it unveiled the first synthetic condenser belt for use in textiles production.
During World War II, the company made a significant contribution to the war effort. In an extraordinary show of adaptability, it quickly shifted its production focus from its core products to products that could be used to support the war effort: bogie tires for tanks, gigantic rubber pontoons used to construct temporary bridges, rubber life rafts for Navy maneuvers and oxygen hose for high-altitude flying. The extraordinary contribution earned the company the Army-Navy “E” Award; a prestigious commendation given to industries that achieved production excellence. Nationally, only three percent of the war industries received the award.
After World War II, in 1946, the company shortened its name to Dayton Rubber Company, as a matter of convenience. That same year, it unveiled its first printing blanket for lithographic offset printing. The engineered blanket, marketed under the Gold Seal brand, was quickly accepted by printers throughout the United States. The success of the offset printing blanket further extended the company’s product diversity and created a new and exciting future for the company. Over the next several decades, the company continued to manufacture engineered printing blankets along with a diverse line of rubber belts, hoses, tires, rollers and plastic products.
By 1960, the company had become much more than just a rubber company; it was now researching, engineering and manufacturing products made of rubber, chemicals and plastics. Consequently, the company changed its name to Dayco Corporation. It operated as Dayco until 1986, at which time the company divested its belts and hoses divisions along with the Dayco name. The remaining divisions of the company, including the printing and textiles groups became Day International, Inc. From 1987 through 1995, the company was owned by M.A. Hanna. In 1995, Day International became the stand-alone, privately-owned company that it is today.
Day International, Inc. and its leadership were unequivocally committed to preserving and building on the strong foundation and legacy of the company’s first 80 years; i.e. produce precision-engineered products that are integral to the customer’s production processes, always strive for excellence, be willing to change to meet customer needs, regard technology and innovation as vital to success and realize the company’s associates are its source of strength.
Today, under the executive leadership of Dennis R. Wolters, president and CEO, the legacy of Dayton Rubber Manufacturing Company lives on. Since 1986, Mr. Wolters has remained focused on the original company’s goal to develop, manufacture and market innovative, engineered products. Under his leadership, the legacy of excellence and “firsts” continues. Products such as the dayGraphica? 3000, 9500 and Durazone? 5000 printing blankets, and the dayCorr? ClamLoc die-cutting mat are all industry firsts as well. His aspiration to achieve excellence is exemplified in his leadership; and Day International associates, throughout the company, share the same aspiration.
When recently asked about carrying on the legacy of the company founded in 1905, Mr. Wolters responded, “It’s the vision of providing outstanding service and value to our customers, through the combined efforts of our associates that keeps us focused; and it’s our aspiration to achieve excellence that keeps us moving forward. If we ever reach a point that we believe we are able to declare our company great, then we will have reached a point at which we are no longer growing. We must keep adapting and changing, in order to keep growing and continuously improving.”
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