Local business celebrates silver anniversary

Mary Mehwald and Frank Mehwald celebrate the 25th anniversary of Adtech. By Travis Whitehead, Valley Morning Star

HARLINGEN — Business is always good for business.

That’s why Adtech (Atlantic Durant Technologies) was able to celebrate 25 years of doing business at its facility at 5801 Progress Drive.

Adtech manufactures parts for the automotive industry. “We’ve grown every year,” said Frank Mehwald, founder, owner and CEO of ATD (Atlantic Tool and Die Company). Adtech is part of Ohio-based ATD, which has facilities in Mexico, Costa Rica and China.

“Business has been very good the last 25 years,” he said. Man has it ever.

“This company started in 1994 with 32,000 square feet,” said General Manager Jerry Portales. “It’s expanded, and now it’s 67,000 square feet with 45 employees,” Portales said. “Sales have been going up year after year.”

One of the reasons the plant was built here is it’s proximity to Mexico.

“We ship to Matamoros,” Portales said. “From there we ship to all over Mexico, not just Mexico but Europe, all over the world.”

The company also has customers across the United States, including Utah and Alabama.

Mehwald recalled years ago that ATD had a large number of customers in Texas and he had to ship orders from Ohio. That was another reason for a Texas location. When you build a factory of this sort for a regional advantage, the customers are much closer, said Mary Mehwald, assistant to her husband Frank. “It diminishes price in shipping and handling and makes it more profitable,” she said. “So we came down here; we had a great opportunity. There’s a great employee market here; the people are hardworking and they want the jobs. These are nice, clean, highpaying jobs.”

Harlingen City Commissioner Michael Mezmar understands all too well the importance of industry, having grown up in a steel town himself.

“I love industry,” he said. “Industry brings great jobs to a community and it’s a part of the economic circle. We should all celebrate the victories in life. It’s a great thing that they’re here, that they’ve been here, they plan to be here and they have plenty of work.”