History of Zeus

For more than 50 years Zeus has been forming successful strategic partnerships with our friends in industries such as medical, automotive, aerospace, energy, fluid management, fiber optics, and many others. We have built these relationships through our dedication, skill, and desire to see our customers succeed as well as ourselves. Our team continues to deliver polymer extrusion solutions that transform businesses, markets, and lives.

Zeus performance extrusions are everywhere. Every day we are breaking new ground in multiple areas: Our biomaterials have enabled novel medical procedures; our high temperature insulated wire has been used to search out new oil and gas reserves; Zeus seamless release aids have improved composite fabrication; and much more. The Zeus team has been and continues to be here to help you overcome design challenges, and we are excited to grow as a company even more over the next 50 years!

Selected Zeus Milestones

1966 – After working for 10 years in the extrusion industry, Frank P. Tourville, Sr., founds Zeus in 1966 in Raritan, NJ. After acquiring his first extruder from Times Wire & Cable (Wallingford, Conn.), Mr. Tourville rents a facility and hires his first employee, Ray Coulombe. Together, these assets – both people and machines – form the foundation of what would become Mr. Tourville’s thriving business.

1968 – Zeus develops Sub-Lite-Wall® tubing – a tubing with super-thin walls. In conjunction with this development, Zeus manufactures PTFE 4:1 heat shrink tubing for intravenous catheters for Jelco – a division of Johnson & Johnson – and one of Zeus’ first medical customers.

1972 – Mr. Tourville opens a second shift at Raritan. Zeus now has 17 employees working in production and related functions.

1976 – Mr. Tourville purchases the Raritan, NJ, plant and celebrates Zeus’ 10th anniversary. Bill Cook, of the Cook Group, Inc., flies from Indiana to New Jersey to pick up an urgently needed order of tubing.  Mr. Tourville along with Zeus’ National Sales Manager John Worley personally deliver the order to Cook at an airport; the act cements Zeus’ long-standing value of commitment to its customers – including the Cook Group, Inc. Also at this time, Zeus establishes its business model of forming collaborative relationships with customers focusing on the development of custom extrusions. This tact results in Zeus’ special products accounting for 70 % of sales by the 1980’s.

1977 – Zeus achieves Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approval for its products. Meanwhile, the Raritan plant produces automotive push-pull cables with filled abrasion-resistant tubing

1981 – Mr. Tourville visits South Carolina with the State Development Board to look at potential facilities for expansion. A short time later, Zeus announces that it has purchased a facility in Orangeburg, SC. The building is an 1897 Santee / South Carolina Cotton Mills building on the National Registry of Historic Places. A PTFE extruder is subsequently built for Orangeburg, and the first ten employees are trained at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

1982 – The Orangeburg, SC, facility opens with ten employees working a single shift. Barry Stewart is the first plant manager and Donald Kirby is the first production employee there. In time, Zeus moves its headquarters to Orangeburg.

1989 – Executive Management and Sales offices are relocated from the facility in Raritan, NJ, to Orangeburg, SC.  Mr. Tourville becomes Chief Executive Officer, and John Worley is named President and Chief Operating Officer. Zeus also purchases a warehouse next to the Orangeburg plant and begins renovations for new Sales and Marketing offices to be located there.

1991 – Zeus celebrates 25 years in business, and Mr. Tourville is awarded the Key to the City of Orangeburg. PEEK extrusion process is also developed.

1994 – Zeus attends as an exhibitor at its first trade show, Medical Design & Manufacturing East in New York City.

1996 – A new facility, located in Gaston, SC, opens; and the first Zeus website is launched.

1999 – A fourth facility opens in Aiken, SC, and expanded PTFE (ePTFE) process is developed.

2002 – A new Sales and Marketing building opens in Orangeburg, SC, located on Industrial Boulevard.  Mr. Tourville is presented with DuPont’s prestigious M.I. “Whitey” Bro Lifetime Achievement Award in Fluoropolymers, “for his contribution as a foundational pioneer to the fluoropolymer tubing market.”

2005 – Zeus opens its first international location in Letterkenny, Ireland, giving the company a total of nine facilities at six sites and with over 1000 employees. Also during this time, the facility located in Aiken, SC, expands; and the Corporate Machine and Fabrication Shop doubles in size. Zeus’ Oracle-based ERP system is established.

2009 – Zeus attains AS9100 certification enabling the company to increase its presence in the aerospace and related industries.

2010 – Zeus achieves ISO Class 7 certification for its entire biomaterials facility.

2012 – Zeus’s Corporate Machine Shop receives AS9100:ISO9001 certification.

2013 – A new facility opens in Branchburg, NJ, replacing the original plant in Raritan.

2015 – Zeus launches its free Virtual Sample Locker service, an online portal where registered members can order samples quickly with expedited shipping. FluoroPEELZ® peelable heat shrink, the most significant improvement for catheter construction in years, is launched, and Zeus begins coating fiber optics. The Letterkenny, Ireland, facility is also expanded.

2016 – Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) monofilament is announced as a replacement for metal braiding in catheter construction. The Letterkenny, Ireland, facility achieves TS16949 automotive certification.

Today, Zeus operates a total of nine facilities located in the US, Europe, and Asia with 1,300 employees. What grew into one of the nation’s leading fluoropolymer extruders is also a bedrock for innovation in polymer extrusions. We at Zeus have a world-class R&D Division with analytical labs and a corporate laboratory dedicated to polymer research with a focus on collaboration. We are proud of our reputation and the customer dedication that each of our employees has shown to earn us a top-flight standing in the polymer extrusion industry.