Andre Pachand, a member of Quebec's National Assembly in Richmond, said the Quebec government wants to help companies that want to modernize their factories and increase productivity.
"Through this investment, Susi Techno will strengthen its position in the market and be able to better respond to the needs of customers as they grow," the statement said. "I applaud the innovative spirit of this pioneering company whose success is evident throughout the region and across Quebec."
Bedard said Susi will add 20 to 25 new jobs over the course of the project, creating about 250 jobs at the Sherbrooke plant.
Apart from agriculture, the Soucy Techno CEO expects the blender to be profitable in government, mining, power sports and defense applications, among others. Soucy Techno sells about half of its rubber compounds to external customers, while other Soucy Group divisions use the rest to manufacture various products.
Bedard also said he believes his company will be able to get enough orders to use up all the extra rubber it will produce because the company doesn't expect growth to slow in the market segments it serves.
He added that the company's focus is not on product applications, but rather on areas where its knowledge, research and development help it stand out from the crowd in the custom mix market.
"We have a very good R&D team with knowledge gained over the years. This shows in the effectiveness of our compounds," said Bédard. "We are very specialized and (focused) on high-quality, high-performance technical blends."
Soucy also works closely with customers on a regular basis to help develop the formulations needed for a specific application, Michael Cassin, sales manager for Soucy Techno, told Rubber News.
"We're working on their facilities and helping them understand what's going on," he said. "We have very close relationships with all of our customers."
Bedard pointed to Soucyprene's patented composition as evidence of its research prowess. Designed to meet military requirements for continuous trail, this material features Kevlar-aramid fibers and nanotube technology to reinforce the bond.