logo

Deal combines makers of PVC-based factory curtains

By: Michael Lauzon

October 1, 2013

A leading producer of PVC-based factory curtains and similar products, TMI International LLC, has expanded its geographic reach and product line by acquiring Simplex Isolation Systems.

“It gives us a West Coast presence in sales and manufacturing,” explained TMI President and CEO Frank Mummolo in a phone interview from TMI’s head office in Pittsburgh, Pa. “In our business turnaround time is a key driver.”

Simplex is based in Fontana, Calif. Mummolo said the deal also makes it easier for Simplex to do business in the eastern United States.

Simplex also expands TMI’s stake in clean room and data center environmental control systems. Mummolo said TMI “has dabbled in those markets” but hasn’t had a big presence in them.

TMI extrudes PVC in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and sells and converts the film and sheet in-house. Its end products include factory strip doors, air curtains, panels and similar systems. Simplex uses PVC products in many of its systems and has sourced the materials from TMI.

TMI will keep the Simplex brand name and turn the acquired business into a division. Duane McKinnon, Simplex president and a former co-owner of the company, will continue as president of the new division. TMI will consolidate its current Anaheim, Calif., distribution facility into the Simplex plant in that state.

Mummolo declined to provide sales figures but said Simplex was about 20 percent the size of TMI. Simplex employed about 40 while TMI’s roster counted about 100 before the purchase.

Since 1979, Simplex has produced PVC strip doors, industrial curtains, clean room environmental control and data energy management systems and accessories. Its enclosures can meet Class 100,000 and Class 10 rating levels for clean rooms.

TMI, founded in 1988, was bought by private equity firm ShoreView Industries of Minneapolis in 2006. TMI’s product slate extends to PVC-coated and laminated fabrics, air curtains, insect screens, swinging impact doors, modular enclosures and dock accessories. Its processes range from slitting, heat sealing, interleaving and sheeting to die cutting.

TMI recently announced a solution to a PVC film problem. TMI developed a low-cohesion PVC formula that makes it easier to separate, fold and unfold PVC film, which has a tendency to stick to itself.