It was a chance meeting at the annual Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Producers meeting in Wichita earlier this week. State Sen. Mitch Holms, R-St. John, sat and dinner with representatives of T&C Manufacturing and Operating Inc.
That encounter prompted Holms to visit the company’s plant east of Great Bend Friday morning. He said he was impressed with what he saw.
T&C’s Craig Pangburn and Clint Pangburn walked Holms through the facility, showing him the blistering-hot presses that make the myriad of rubber parts the company is famous for. They also gave him a tour of the “cold room” where the raw rubber is stored to prevent deterioration and the extruder that squirts out ribbons of rubber that become a host of products.
T&C Manufacturing has been in business since 1996. Known for custom rubber molding for the oil and agriculture industry, the business does much more.
“We can make anything,” said Linda Brungardt, T&C director of sales and marketing. If someone sends them a drawing, their team can create a mold to make it.
T&C Manufacturing’s products show up in irrigation equipment and farm implements. It does a lot of work for Great Plains Manufacturing and Krause Manufacturing..
But, a wall in the shop area is filled with examples of the ordinary and extraordinary items the company can make. They produce bumpers for shopping cars and wheelchairs, items used in kidney dialyses, parts used to test rubber gloves, gaskets used to keep fountain water out of lights in Las Vegas and much more.
Different applications require different rubber compounds, Brungardt said. However, it would be too costly to mix the rubber on site due to the equipment needed and safety regulations, so they purchase it elsewhere.
T&C Manufacturing sells products to several local and area companies. But, it also has customers all over the country, Craig Pangburn said.
Holmes made the stop while on his way to Flame Engineering Inc. in LaCrosse. Flame was recognized for achieving 13 years without a lost-time accident during a special company-wide celebration Friday. Kansas Labor Secretary Lana Gordon presented company officials with a certificate at Friday afternoon.