Plasti Dip International, the makers of Performix® products, has been developing and manufacturing its own flexible, protective coatings and adhesives since 1972. It all started with our most popular product, PLASTI DIP®. This rubber coating allowed the average consumer to begin coating and protecting all sorts of items around the home from tool handles to art and crafts and even automobiles.
PLASTI DIP and its companion products soon became available in retail outlets all over the world, creating the opportunity for those in various industries to come in contact with our innovative protective coating products. Since then we have developed hundreds of unique coating products to help make many of the things you use every day better and longer lasting.
Located in St. Louis Park, MN, Plasti Dip International started in December 1972 as a small manufacturer of plastisol (heat cured PVC) products such as toys (Gumby®/Pokey®), handle grips, and chain saw scabbards. Founder and President Robert Haasl quickly realized how valuable an air-dry version of plastisol could be to the home user and other manufactures. Haasl set out to develop the first air-dry rubberized coating and soon introduced PLASTI DIP to the world, which became the first in a series of innovative do-it-yourself specialty products developed and sold during the 70s.
Other products included Vinyl Leather Repair (VLP®), Super Grip® (endorsed by Arnold Palmer and Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins®), 3 Way Racket Spray for leather sport grips, Water Guard (competitor of Scotchgard®), and water bed repair kits privately labeled for most bed manufacturers. These unique DIY products sold through hardware stores (ACE Hardware® and Sears® among the first) and distributors, which put Plasti Dip International on the map.
During the 1980s Plasti Dip International became known as PDI and widened its development scope, specializing in coatings for DIY, industrial and commercial applications. Some of the unique applications included testing on the Golden Gate Bridge and bridges in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, concrete “J” barriers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, concrete swimming pools for Holiday Inn® Hotels, sewage treatment facilities such as McKeesport, PA, and meat processing plants across the country.
In the mid-80s, newly named head of Industrial Sales Scott Haasl (Robert’s son) not only continued in the areas of protective coatings for concrete and steel but also pursued a new direction: protective coatings for flexible foams. By the late 80s PDI was already recognized as the industry leader in low VOC water-based coatings for flexible foams. These new specialty coatings (PDC®) were being used to protect and add value to medical positioning products for x-ray and surgery as well as pool floats, wrestling mats and martial arts gear. The development of these water-based coatings was particularly valuable since the 1990 Clean Air Act was pending and manufacturers had to choose how to deal with new emissions standards.
New DIY products included the first brushable high performance water-based coating PLASTI DIP Brush, PLASTI DIP Spray (aerosol), HCF® (coil coat) and Vyna Bond (fabric/vinyl-coated fabric repair). With new product success and widening markets growth, it was necessary to design and build the first special purpose facility in 1986-1987.
Through the 90s PDI remained a leader in emission reduction with its eccs® (emission control coatings systems) water-based and low VOC/HAP’s technology. By reducing VOC’s and HAP’s, Plasti Dip International and its MURACULON brand of flexible foam coatings provided the opportunity for many of its customers to expand and grow their businesses without threat of shut down or costly environmental controls. New DIY products such as Liquid Tape were introduced, and new private label partnerships were formed.
These product introductions and new industrial distribution opportunities generated growth for Plasti Dip International through the 90s, which was also a time of change. Sadly, in 1998 Founder and CEO Robert Haasl passed away and Scott Haasl took over as President and CEO of PDI. Soon after, Scott, along with newly named Sales and Marketing VP Dan Ruege, identified the need to clarify the market message and position and developed a new umbrella brand with the assistance of Addison Whitney.
In the new millennium Plasti Dip International continues to expand its new Performix Brand product offering and distribution opportunities. With continued growth and the need for greater operating efficiency to remain competitive, President Scott Haasl and the management team decided it was necessary to take the next step towards the future and to design and build a new state-of-the-art 40,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility to house all its operations in one location and not only meet but exceed environmental and safety requirements. The result was a highly efficient facility, which reduced material handling significantly and gained efficiencies throughout the operation. Plasti Dip International made the investment and was prepared for growth.
DIY continues to launch exciting new Performix Brand products such as ReRACK®, Create Your Color Kit, Anything Foam and Liquid Tape Spray, with a great response from buyers and consumers alike.
Industrial distribution continues to grow with the introduction of new Performix Brand products and new partnerships.
OEM continues to lead the specialty foam coatings industry by developing and introducing several new water-based and low VOC/HAP’s coatings. New Performix Brand specialty coatings were also developed and introduced to the in-mold coatings (IMC) market for flexible and rigid foams. The combination of new markets and a focus on products that have lower environmental impact continue to put Plasti Dip International and its Performix brands at the front of the industry.
In 2006 Plasti Dip International began implementation of a customized ERP system, further preparing the business for growth.
2010-2015 brought tremendous growth to Plasti Dip International through its super brand PLASTI DIP and PLASTI DIP SPRAY. The creation of the peelable, removable, decorative protection automotive market was emerging and took the automotive customization industry in a new and exciting direction for do-it-yourselfers and professional users alike. The culmination of hard work, extensive product development, social media and some luck came together to create this worldwide phenomenon. PLASTI DIP became a super brand inviting numerous knock offs around the world but due to the Dipheads™ who support the PLASTI DIP brand most, competitors retreated from the market while others who remain provide inferior products and hope to find some success following in the shadows of the industry originator PLASTI DIP.
To support this growth, Plasti Dip International worked closely with its aerosol packaging partner to open up a new 60,000 sq. ft. distribution center which supplies products to retail customers as well as export sales. Along with other key partners over 100,000 sq. ft. of space was needed to feed the new demand for PLASTI DIP products. This tremendous growth also created thousands of new jobs to support manufacturing and distribution as well as many new businesses started by professional installers of the PLASTI DIP products in the US and abroad. Given the challenging economic times, this already significant growth is even more impressive. Today you will find PLASTI DIP available at nearly every automotive, hardware, home center, discounter and online retailer.
To prepare for the next phase of growth in 2016 and beyond Plasti Dip International has created 2 separate and distinctly different websites to better serve its diverse customer base. Plastidip.com (and social media site dipheadsunite.com) are focused specifically on home use consumers markets while PerfomixCoatings.com is focused specifically on industrial markets and manufacturers. Along with new websites, several new products are being launched including new colors, finishes and low VOC 50 state compliant PLASTI DIP Spray 50 for automotive refinishing professionals and home users located in VOC restrictive areas of the country. New and exciting things are happening at Plasti Dip International. Check it out.
PLASTI DIP, Performix Brand and logo, VLP, HCF, PDC, eccs and Plastiseam are all registered trademarks of Plasti Dip International. Gumby and Pokey are registered trademarks of Prema Toy Company. Scotchgard is a registered trademark of 3M. Minnesota Twins is a registered trademark of the Minnesota Twins. Ace Hardware is a registered trademark of Ace Hardware Corporation. Sears is a registered trademark of Sears Holdings Corporation. Holiday Inn is a registered trademark of IHG.
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