Vinyl Plastics Inc. of Sheboy-gan, Wis., plans to double vinyl wall baseboard extrusion capacity to supply Armstrong World Industries Inc. Vinyl Plastics agreed June 6 to begin making commercial vinyl baseboard immediately for Armstrong, which mainly has made residential baseboard as part of its flooring products business.
Tony Shircel, vice president and general manager of Vinyl Plastics' floor products division, said his firm boosted wall base extrusion capacity by 30 percent in the past few months for the Armstrong deal. He would provide no figures on existing capacity or spending details, but said his firm will add more production capacity as Armstrong's demand increases.
Armstrong described the deal in a news release as a strategic alliance. Shircel said Vinyl Plastics will supply commercial baseboard, which Armstrong will distribute under its brand name. Vinyl Plastics also will continue to sell such products under its own brand name. Shircel said his firm has been supplying Armstrong with rubber baseboard for about two years.
Armstrong estimated the U.S. commercial and residential baseboard market at about $120 million annually. It said it chose Vinyl Plastics as a producer because its coextrusion process gives a flexible, tough product with precisely controlled color.
``If you're not a leader in a mature market, it makes sense to develop an alliance to pool resources,'' Shircel in a telephone interview from Lancaster. The deal with Armstrong is a way for Vinyl Plastics, a relatively small supplier, to increase market penetration, he said.
Shircel said Vinyl Plastics' co-extruded vinyl baseboard has atop wear-resistant, pigmented layer on a lower cost layer designed for enhanced adhesion.
Vinyl Plastics, a private firm founded in 1946, expects sales of about $80 million this year, Shircel said. Its four divisions are floor products, vinyl packaging and printing sheet, automotive acoustical products, and tubing and profiles for medical and other markets. Its plants, all in Wisconsin, are in Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls and Manitowoc.
Armstrong's floor coverings business had sales of about $1.3 billion last year, according to spokeswoman Camilla Collova. Sales were primarily vinyl sheet and tile flooring but also included wall baseboard, ceramic tiles, adhesives and maintenance products.
The publicly held firm's total sales of $2.75 billion included interior furnishings, building products such as elastomeric pipe insulation, and furniture.
The 135-year-old company has 82 plants and 20,600 employees worldwide.