As one of the world's largest producers of natural rubber, Asia holds great potential for AirBoss of America. Sourcing from the region is critical to the operations of the company, one of North America's leading custom rubber mixers. AirBoss aims to increase its 113.4 million kilogram rubber production capacity and expand its global footprint. Through its Shanghai procurement office, AirBoss purchased HK$688.44 million worth of rubber from Asia last year. Of this figure, HK$414.63 million accounts for natural rubber sourced from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. The company also procured HK$125.17 million worth of synthetic rubber from South Korea and HK$148.64 million worth of synthetic rubber, carbon blacks and chemicals from the mainland. AirBoss is also exploring acquisition opportunities in the region. "We seek technologically advanced companies to help us move up the value chain, particularly in the vehicle, oil and gas, defence and infrastructure segments. Ideally, these companies must consume more than 5 million pounds of rubber and commit to quality at every step," says Robert Dodd, executive vice-president. Rubber compounding is the foundation of AirBoss' value chain. The company develops and manufactures custom rubber compounds from natural and synthetic polymers. Building on the rubber compounding business, AirBoss' engineered products division mixes more than 100 recipes and manufactures rubber products for various industries. Through its defence segment, AirBoss designs and develops hand, foot and respiratory protective wear for military and first-response applications. AirBoss operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Quebec, North Carolina and Vermont. These facilities are ISO-certified for quality, health and safety and environmental management. Clients are guaranteed a "worry-free relationship" built on the pillars of quality, consistency and cost-efficiency. "We empower clients," Dodd says. "We provide a steady supply of quality rubber and assign a dedicated service team to help each client get to market faster. We enable customers to solve compounding problems, improve manufacturing results and grow market share."