Vinyl Plastics Inc.'s extruded profiles division is entering a new market by purchasing Complex Medical Products, an Exeter, N.H., medical tubing and device maker. From two extrusion lines in Manitowoc, Wis., in 1992, the division is jumping dramatically in size and targeting growth in the medical industry. The fast-growing, family-owned Vinyl Plastics' revenues are expected to top $86 million this year, after reaching $80 million in 1995 and $70 million in 1994.
Terms of the Complex Medical acquisition were not disclosed. The purchase of Complex Med-ical, also family-owned, coincides with a move of the 4-year-old division of the 50-year-old company to a 17,000-square-foot Sheboy-gan, Wis., facility. The move involved the transfer of nearly 20 employees from the former extruded profiles division operations at Manitowoc.
Although the Sheboygan-based VPI needed six truckloads to carry two extrusion machines and ancillary equipment to the new Wisconsin plant, none of its previous management made the trip from New Hampshire, according to Deborah G. Wente, general manager of Vinyl Plastics' extruded profiles division.
Besides medical extrusion, VPI's divisions include floor products, also in Sheboygan; contract manufacturing, producing sound-barrier material for the automotive industry, in Manitowoc; and sheet products, which makes custom plastic sheeting for the printing, food and medical packaging industries, in Sheboygan Falls.
Vinyl Products President R. Bruce Grover said the latest buy ``initiates VPI's strategy of growth by acquisition. Until this time, VPI's growth has been accomplished internally.''
Of the new building's floor space, 6,000 square feet is a controlled environment for medical tubing extrusion and 1,500 square feet is given over to a Class 100,000 clean room. Operations began April 8, Wente said.
Wente, who is Grover's daughter, said the new extruded profiles divison facility in the Sheboygan Business Park, is also the first building built by Vinyl Plastics, founded in 1946 and in her family since 1970.
Wente said the acquisition doubles the size of the company's newest division. Medical extrusion, along with medical packaging performed by another Vinyl Plastics division, are the fastest growing of the company's four divisions, she said.
Bringing the Complex Medical business to Sheboygan meant a significant expansion in Vinyl Plastics' medical work. Wente said Complex Medical was producing close-tolerance medical tubing and had a large medical assembly operation and two Class 100,000 clean rooms at its New Hampshire plant. Vinyl Plastics produces more funnel tubing, she said.
``We were in medical assembly in a very small way. We were doing coextrusion, conductive stripes and multilumen tubes,'' she said.
The acquisition has allowed the company to pick up new customers and expand into new tubing, Wente noted.
``It's a new area for us to have a 100,000 clean room. It's a logical thing, since we make the tubing.''Wente said the final details of the acquisition of Complex Med-ical were not known until construction on the new division's Sheboygan building was well under way.
``I drove the general contractor crazy. We had the foundations up and we had planned for eventual expansion. But we were at capacity with the purchase of the Exeter plant,'' Wente said.
Vinyl Plastics still is busy fulfilling a large contract in the floor products division with Armstrong World Industries Inc. to extrude residential baseboard. That contract, announced in June, caused Vinyl Plastics to boost wall-base extrusion capacity 30 percent.