A third generation is adding to the growth at American Vinyl Co.

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: July 28, 2014 4:32 pm ET
Updated: July 28, 2014 4:36 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics United States, Lawn & garden, Windows & doors, Pipe/Profile/Tubing

American Vinyl Co., a compounding and extrusion company that increased its workforce 20 percent this year, is looking to double its space for storing raw materials and producing door and window profiles, pool hoses, and straps for patio furniture.

The Hialeah, Fla.-based company made flexible vinyl glazing when it was founded in 1966 by the late Eric Wiborg Sr. — a World War II veteran who had served with the Army Corps of Engineers.

High-tech silicones and other advances have made the original product almost obsolete, but sales for the current product lines are brisk, totaling $9.5 million, according to Eric Wiborg III, 25, a third-generation owner with his brother, Ryan Wiborg, 29.

That’s up $2 million for the fiscal year that ended July 1, he added.

AVC says it is the largest manufacturer of vinyl patio strap in the U.S. Odds are if you’ve ever sat on a lawn chair made with soft vinyl straps you know the family’s work, Eric Wiborg III, vice president of sales, said in a telephone interview.

Lately, sales of weave and synthetic wicker are picking up for patio furniture applications.

AVC also supplies vinyl tubing to spa companies, makes screen spline from PVC and proprietary variations, and is finding co-polymer extrusion to be a fast growing new sector.

Eric Wiborg Sr. set a good example of embracing change as opportunity. He was just 10 when he emigrated from Copenhagen to the United States with his parents and sister in 1931. He learned to speak English and fit into a new culture. He enlisted during WWII and served in the Pacific, where he built bridges and roads to set up strategic infrastructure. After the war, he got a sales job with an extrusion company and worked for commission.

“He was really successful in this [sales] role. He built up a loyal customer base and in a few years his paychecks began to exceed those of the company executives,” Wiborg said. “After they unilaterally cut his compensation, he decided to strike out on his own, eventually building a successful business.”

AVC’s first focus was on the window and door industry. Company engineers and diemakers still customize complex flaps, channels and bulbs for customers in 15 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Orders for those comfy patio furniture straps took off early, too, and propelled the business to the next level: offering custom colors and compounds. AVC produces most of its 200-plus colors.

“My grandfather was really intelligent to do this vertical integration,” Wiborg said. “It’s really difficult to get into compounding nowadays, and it makes us a stronger company. This integration allows us to pass our cost savings to customers and have total control over finished products.”

After Eric Wiborg Sr.’s sudden death, American Vinyl Co. was dissolved by his business partner. Sensing a void in the market, his three sons, Eric Jr., John and Bob, set out to follow in their father’s footsteps. They formed Wiborg Vinyl Co. in 1982. Fifteen years later, the brothers decided to retire. They sold the business to a large textile conglomerate in 1997. But five years after that, Eric Jr. was bored. He re-launched AVC in 2002 and is the president. Eventually his two sons joined him.

AVC has 14 extruders and plans to add four more over the next year along with additional employees. This year’s new hires filled manufacturing and administrative positions and brought the workforce to 35.

“Currently, our biggest constraint isn’t sales but rather space and capacity,” Wiborg said, adding that AVC operates out of two locations in southern Florida that total 65,000-square feet.

The family would like to double the company’s space. They need more room for raw materials for the compounding operation as well as finished products.


Comments

A third generation is adding to the growth at American Vinyl Co.

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: July 28, 2014 4:32 pm ET
Updated: July 28, 2014 4:36 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

New medical firm buys Clairson Plastics

September 19, 2014 4:33 pm ET

Custom injection molder Clairson Plastics is being sold to a new start-up that plans to dive into the medical market with a new dialyzer, a key...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Plasan investing in capacity, jobs to supply auto market with carbon fiber

September 19, 2014 3:05 pm ET

Growth in the emerging automotive market for carbon-fiber composites has spurred a $29 million investment in a Walker, Mich., factory    More

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in...    More

Exo-s buys injection and blow molder in Mexico, expands footprint

September 19, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Custom molder Exo-s Inc. has bought an injection and blow molding operation in San Juan del Rio, Querétaro, Mexico.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events