Home / Blog / Rubber injection machinery maker Rep cuts ties with James Wirtz

Rubber injection machinery maker Rep cuts ties with James Wirtz

Jan 09, 2024Jan 09, 2024

CORBAS, France—Rep International, the Corbas-based manufacturer of rubber injection molding machines, said that on April 4 the firm decided to end its relationship with James Wirtz, former president of its Rep Corp. subsidiary, effective immediately.

The machinery firm disclosed the news in an April 6 post on its corporate LinkedIn page, in which it also said Rep International CEO Bruno Tabar will lead the Kodak, Tenn.-based U.S. unit until a new president can be named.

"He and the whole team at REP Corp. will ensure smooth and continuous business activities in the North American markets. All your known contacts will stay the same and will be happy to help," Rep International said in its post.

The company didn't comment beyond its statement.

Rep was founded in 1907 and marketed its first plastic injection machine in 1948. It tailored its injection unit to rubber injection molding in 1961, and later shifted its focus to emphasize the rubber side of the business.

The U.S. subsidiary provides sales and technical support to about 200 North American customers, according to Rep International's website.

Wirtz joined Rep Corp. in 2014 as aftersales director. He was named president at the beginning of 2019, replacing Tim Graham, who retired from the machinery firm after nearly 40 years with the firm.

Wirtz's experience in the rubber molding industry began with Wirtz Manufacturing, a Michigan-based company his family owned and operated. There, he learned the business of mold design and contract production. He also had served as one of the two project leaders when Rep Corp. moved its headquarters to Kodak from Bartlett, Ill., in 2019.

Rep presses are mainly used in the automotive industry to produce anti-vibration systems and sealing applications, the firm said on its website. But the machines also are used to make goods in other such businesses as the pharmaceutical industry, the household equipment sector and agriculture.

Rep International said it employs between 250 and 300 globally, and posted 2021 sales of nearly $50 million. It gains just more than half of its sales from Europe, with 23 percent from the U.S., 21 percent from Asia and 5 percent from the Middle East.

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