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Created in the Corridor: Centro, Inc.
NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) - From $11 million in sales in 1990 to a projected $150 million-plus in 2014, Brian Olesen has seen his company prosper by leaps and bounds. And this year, the president and CEO will oversee the largest product launch in the history of Centro, Created in the Corridor.
In what looks like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, massive rotational molding machines are churning ever growing profits for North Liberty-based Centro, Incorporated. Ive seen a lot of growth," says company President Brian Olesen. "Ive seen great opportunities; Ive seen markets that have been very strong.
Launched in Oxford, Iowa by Dick Rozek in 1970, Centro's first product was a plastic spray tank for agriculture. Today, Centro is the largest custom rotational molder in North America producing thousands of plastic parts for several industries that include agriculture, construction, lawn & garden and consumer products.
Workers make the popular, high-end Yeti cooler in North Liberty. Yet, ag remains centro's largest industry customer. "If youre driving through Iowa and you see a tractor or a combine in the field, I can assure you that its going to have Centro product on it, says Olesen. Those parts include hydraulic tanks, corn heads and cab equipment just to name a few.
Centro recently received a design patent for small fuel tanks that helps lawn & garden manufacturers meet EPA regulations. The company benefits from that engineering expertise in more ways than one. Explains Olesen, "Not only has it drawn new customers to us that were molding today that we wouldnt be otherwise, we actually have three licensees that pay us to use this technology, three of our competitors.
Alvin Spence, Ph.D., Centro's Vice President of Engineering, heads a staff of more than thirty degreed engineers.Engineering is one of those resources that can set us apart from other rotational molders in the industry today, says Spence. His team is doing it again this year with Centro's largest product launch--'DEF' tanks that essentially clean
diesel exhaust before it's released into the atmosphere. Says Spence,Centro has always had a vision of setting ourselves apart providing solutions to the OEMs that they cant get anywhere else.
Due to the scope of that project, Centro is expanding with a new factory in Wisconsin. It's also going international as it builds a facility in Brazil.
By the end of the year, 1,000 employees will be at work at eight Centro manufacturing plants.
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