Worthington: We're going to 'dazzle'

Thursday, July 22, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Worthington Cylinders recently let it be known loud and clear that it plans to be a major player in the home respiratory market.

On June 21, Worthington announced that it had acquired Hy-Mark Cylinders. The deal came one year after the company bought Piper Metal Forming Corporation, U.S. Respiratory and Pacific Cylinders.

The Piper deal gave Worthington a platform to build on in the aluminum cylinder market, and a product offering that included the popular E and M6 cylinders, which represent about 85% of the market. Hy-Mark rounds out the company's offering of medical-grade aluminum tanks, said Dusty McClintock, vice president of sales.

The VP views Luxfer and Catalina as Worthington's major competitors and relishes the opportunity to go head-to-head with them.

"We are the world-leading supplier of pressure-vessels, not just aluminum and not just medical," he said. "We have a diverse product offer; we have manufacturing expertise and we will dazzle (HME providers) with our service level."

Hy-Mark, based in Hampton, Va., generated about $10 million during the past 12 months, about 70% of that coming from the aluminum, medical-cylinder market. Worthington will transfer Hy-Mark's manufacturing equipment to its Mississippi facility.

Going forward, Worthington expects "steady-Eddie" growth from the medical-cylinder market, about 2% to 4% a year, McClintock said.

"When we did the due diligence on Hy-Mark and Piper, we recognized that alternative technology is coming into the market--portable concentrators and portable liquid device," he said. "We recognize that these are going to eat into cylinder technology to a degree, but cylinders are going to maintain a sizeable contribution to the marketplace."