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Published: Sunday, 3/2/2003

MetoKote grew from garage shop to 30 operations employing 2,000

Leroy Suton prepares parts for the coating line at MetoKote's operation in Monclova Township. Leroy Suton prepares parts for the coating line at MetoKote's operation in Monclova Township.
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LIMA, Ohio - Jim and Bob Blankemeyer started MetoKote Corp. in their father's Mount Cory, Ohio, garage, cobbling together used equipment to coat parts.

Thirty-four years later, MetoKote is a $200 million company in this Allen County town, with 2,000 employees at 30 operations worldwide, including 14 within the walls of their customers' plants.

It has more than 500 employees in northwest Ohio - at its headquarters, a Lima factory, an equipment-building business in Lima, and a Monclova Township factory.

It has had double-digit sales growth since the dawn of the 1990s, officials said.

Like the parent company, which coats a wide range of products, from ballpoint-pen shafts to gigantic parts for mining trucks, MetoKote's suburban Toledo factory is in growth mode.

The factory, with 59 employees, expects to hire this year to fill increased orders from existing customers and to handle new work, and it has space for more coating equipment, said Brent Taylor, plant manager.

The Monclova Township factory is devoted to auto parts, including bumpers on Toledo-made Jeep Wranglers and sunroof frames for Honda Accords built in Marysville, Ohio.

Parts for Ford, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, and other brands also are coated at the factory.

Plus, the factory does assembly work for customers, packages the replacement Ford Bronco doors its coats, and performs other tasks, Mr. Taylor said.

“We do much more than coating anymore,” he said. “We do a lot of value-added services.”

The Lima factory, meanwhile, coats parts for cars and for other uses.

And the company's equipment-building business designs and makes all the machinery used by MetoKote, which operates more than 150 systems worldwide.

The auto industry accounts for 60 percent of MetoKote's business, and agricultural and construction equipment are the next biggest at 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively, a spokesman said.

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