Vortex Liquid Color is a 25-year-old firm with new ideas.
Vortex — a liquid color supplier based in Sheboygan, Wis. — marked its silver anniversary on Aug. 15 at its office and plant in Sheboygan. Owner Andy Ubhi was there, along with Brock Brownrigg, who founded Vortex in 1998 and sold it to Ubhi in 2020. Employees and customers also attended the event.
"Vortex is set up for significant growth," Ubhi said in a recent interview with Plastics News. "In this economy, customers are looking for new products."
New products in development by Vortex include liquid colors for blow molding applications, which traditionally have used masterbatch concentrates. The firm also is developing metallic liquid colors for food packaging.
Vortex employs about 20 at a 28,000-square-foot location.
"We've been loyal to the local community and are laying the foundation for the next 25 years and beyond," Ubhi said.
Brownrigg founded Vortex after his friend and customer Peter Bemis asked him to find a solution to color plastics with liquid color. Bemis, who died in 2013, was co-owner of Bemis Manufacturing Co., an injection molder in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Bemis, a member of the Plastics Hall of Fame, was a pioneer in coinjection molding and coextrusion.
After a few years of collaboration and encouragement from Bemis, Brownrigg — who owned Sheboygan Paint Co. — created a solution and found a location.
Vortex officials said that when Brownrigg was ready to retire, he was very selective with potential buyers for the company. It was important to him that certain standards and policies would remain in place for the future, they said.
At the Aug. 15 event, Brownrigg said he was confident that when he accepted the offer from Ubhi to purchase Vortex, Ubhi would grow the company while at the same time keep the family atmosphere in which Brownrigg took pride.
In addition to Vortex, Ubhi owns color concentrates maker Peacock Colors Inc. of Addison, Ill., and Poly Compounding LLC, a toll compounder in Elgin, Ill. Ubhi has more than 20 years of plastics experience, including positions with GE Plastics and Kraton Performance Polymers.
Ubhi acquired Poly Compounding in early 2022. He told PN that he's interested in making more acquisitions.
Vortex is set up for significant growth. In this economy, customers are looking for new products."
Vortex Liquid Color