Redline Plastics, the new name of the former Dowco plastics operation, will build a new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wis.
The former Dowco Inc. is in the process of renaming its plastics operation Redline Plastics after shedding its marine business segment that mainly made pleasure boat covers and related accessories, according to Jason Scruggs, director of marketing for Redline Plastics.
Dowco entered plastics processing about two years ago when it bought Premier Plastics Inc. and its subsidiary Leisure Design. Premier Plastics was based in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., where it did rotational molding and vacuum forming. Dowco closed the Hoyt Lakes facility in late 2017 and moved the machinery to its existing Manitowoc facility.
Leisure Design makes boat seating in Pine City and that operation was sold to Patrick Industries Inc. along with Dowco's marine business that focused on boat coverings.
Redline probably will expand its operations, Scruggs said.
“There is a lack of rotomolding in the market and we will need more equipment,” Scruggs said. “We are starting to hire more engineers.”
Redline now has two rotational molding lines and five thermoformers. About 17 employees ran the machinery when it was in Hoyt Lakes. A few of them moved to work in the Manitowoc facility but the commute time from Hoyt Lake to Manitowoc is about 10 hours, and most did not move with the business.
Scruggs said rotomolding is growing in several markets, including fuel tanks and enclosures. Redline has an agreement to keep supplying rotomolded components for the boat furniture operation in Pine City. In addition to rotomolding and vacuum forming, Manitowoc buys polycarbonate sheet and cuts and bends it to make windshields.
Scruggs said details on the new Redline facility are still being worked out. He could not provide an estimated cost or timeline for the project.
Patrick Industries bought Dowco's marine business in late May for undisclosed terms. The Elkhart, Ind., company has been expanding its stake in recreational vehicle components production and related plastics processing through acquisition.
“Dowco Marine has been a great business and has grown tremendously since the recession, but it came time to divest that portion of the business to focus on the growth of our powersports and plastics businesses,” stated Dowco President and CEO Chuck Webster in a news release.