April 6, 2015
1974 may have been a tough year for Gates, but recovery was quick and worthwhile. 1986 brought triumph, starting with a $20 million expansion in Kentucky that was completed to launch Poly Chain GT synchronous belts, one of the most innovative products in Gates history. In addition, Gates became the world’s largest synchronous/timing belt manufacturer when they acquired the Uniroyal Power Transmission Company. The 1990s were characterized by quality: Gates built its steadfast reputation by providing only the best products and services while constantly meeting and exceeding customer expectations. However, the ‘90s were also the end of another era. In March 1991 the Denver manufacturing plant closed its doors, ending eight decades of manufacturing in Denver.
Despite this, Gates continued to expand due to the strong financial backing of its new owner, Tomkins. The turn of the century highlighted a focus on process efficiencies, lean manufacturing, and quality improvements. In fact, in 2000 and 2001 Gates was recognized by eWeek magazine as one of the Top Ten innovative manufacturing companies deploying new technologies that were needed to execute business strategies. After occupying a headquarters on south Broadway for over 90 years, Gates moved to downtown Denver in 2002 and in 2003 officially changed their corporate name from The Gates Rubber Company to the Gates Corporation that it is known as today. Why? Because Gates continues to advance into areas of technological and manufacturing development that is much broader than the word “rubber” can encompass.
2005 dawned and Gates opened the Customer Solutions Center (CSC) in Englewood, CO that offers customers a technical center dedicated to education, research and development, and customized support. Expansion continued throughout the 2000s into the Asia Pacific region, Middle East, India, Germany, Spain, China, and Korea. Gates knew that global sustainability was important to its customers, employees, and consumers, and therefore focused on reducing its global footprint through energy saving initiatives and technological advances that reduced emissions and pollutants. Energy conservation wasn’t just limited to products, however: they implemented this forward thinking in their building materials, efficient lighting and cooling systems, and use of natural gas instead of oil when possible.
As of now, Gates is more than just a provider of goods and services. Gates is shaping the field of power transmission and fluid transfer, improving lives all over the globe under new leadership from Blackstone. Even 100+ years later, Gates continues to power progress.