Tubelite’s Michigan Facility Expands Extrusion Capacity

At its facility in Reed City, Mich., Tubelite Inc. has increased production capacity, as well as its aluminum extrusion capabilities, offering larger and more complex shapes for storefront, curtainwall, entrance and daylighting systems. These improvements were accomplished with the addition of a third aluminum extrusion press and the application of Lean manufacturing principles.

Tubelite_MI_Capacity1-300x146“The successful integration of Press 3 required a company-wide effort – from equipment acquisition in late 2012 through production-capable operations as of March 1, 2014,” says Tubelite’s vice president of operations, Glen Barfknecht. “This is a great example of the dramatic results that can be achieved using Lean to drive continuous improvement year-over-year.”

Leading these continuous improvement efforts in Reed City, Barfknecht recognizes an entire team effort, but identifies four key Tubelite associates:
* Eric Ziegler, Process Engineer
* Bill Martin, Process Engineer III
* Dave Carr, Maintenance Technician
* David Smith, Maintenance Supervisor

Tubelite_MI_Capacity2-300x156“Working with the four walls of our 245,000-square-foot facility, we reclaimed underused storage space to house Press 3. This not only has allowed us to be productive, but also more efficient. We are maximizing our use of materials and space, and minimizing waste,” says Martin.

Barfknecht agrees and adds, “Our production throughput has doubled and our aluminum billet recovery has improved. We regularly invest in technological automation, upgrades and training. We are optimizing our employees’ time and efforts by building upon our existing best practices for safety, quality and delivery. We remain dedicated to providing customers with the industry’s most dependable, on-time delivery and personalize customer service. Supporting our success and growth, we anticipate increased employment opportunities in Reed City and throughout our company.”

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Media contact: Heather West, heather@heatherwestpr.com

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New Dallas/Fort Worth Facility Now Operational

Tubelite_Texas_FrontTubelite Inc., a leading manufacturer and supplier of architectural aluminum storefront, entrance and curtainwall systems in the United States, is pleased to announce that is has completed the initial set-up of its new Texas facility at 4900 Langdon Rd., Suite 500 Dallas, Texas 75241. The new facility is now staffed and operationally ready to service the company’s clients within the Texas and South Central region.

“We are very pleased with how well everything went on the project,” says Mary Avery, Tubelite_Texas_InteriorTubelite’s vice president of marketing. In addition to carrying stock product inventory and servicing clients with damage-free delivery service, the new 27,500-square-foot building area will provide on-site CNC machining for door and frame fabrication. Employees previously working out of the company’s Mesquite, Texas office in addition to several employees from the company’s Walker, Michigan plant have already transitioned to the new location.

Avery adds, “This facility is easily accessible to accommodate shipping needs and is centralized within the region to provide even faster lead-times and damage-free shipments to our customers in the region.”

An upcoming open house is being planned for clients in the region.

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Aluminum Finishing – PVDF Coatings (Part 2 of 2)

by Tom Minnon, LEED® AP, CDT, Eastern Region Sales Manager for Tubelite Inc.

Know the Code

When specifying a paint code for your project, always double check for accuracy. The specific code is what drives the ordering process and the achieved color. The color name is only a guideline; many times manufacturers and applicators will have the same paint name for different paint types and colors. Relying on a color name alone can be a risk. As an example, one manufacturer can have 50 paint codes all named “Hartford Green.”

Coated aluminum panels have been tested for performance in the high-salt, high-humidity, and high-UV exposure environment of South Florida. Image courtesy of Linetec.

Coated aluminum panels have been tested for performance in the high-salt, high-humidity, and high-UV exposure environment of South Florida. Image courtesy of Linetec.

Accuracy of the paint code is vital. Paint manufacturer and many applicators have their own coding system for assigning paint codes to colors. Each letter and number within the product formula has a specific meaning related to the color and tint, gloss, primer, topcoat, or the use of mica and metallics. Due to the immeasurable number of different paint codes, one incorrect number or letter within a code can completely change the paint formulation.

Architects’ specifications for fluoropolymer finishes often read as: “PVDF-Based Coating: AAMA 2605, fluoropolymer finish containing minimum 70 percent PVDF resins, color to be selected from manufacturer’s full color range.”

This generic specification makes it very difficult for the aluminum manufacturer and glazing contractor to determine what price level they should include in their quote. Most aluminum manufacturers have a list of stock paint colors that have a lower price point than other colors. Does “manufacturer’s full color range” include all possible colors available from the paint manufacturer? Will it be a two-coat or XL three-coat finish? Whenever possible, the architect should clearly state what color will be required on the project.

AAMA Specifications

AAMA 2603 is typically an interior specification. Baked enamel (acrylic/polyester) paints should meet AAMA 2603. The baked enamel coatings are harder than the fluoropolymer PVDF coatings and often are used for interior application where color retention is not required. These paints are less expensive, but have poor resistance to color fading and chalking.

AAMA 2604 is an “intermediate” specification. A paint meeting this specification would be a 50% fluoropolymer. An application for this paint would be storefront, doors or other high-traffic areas. This finish will provide good color and gloss retention. It also will provide good hardness and abrasion resistance.

AAMA 2605 is the high-performance exterior specification. A paint meeting this specification would be a 70% fluoropolymer. These finishes exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss and chemicals. An application for this finish would include monumental architectural projects.

Field Repair

Whether your building’s finish has faded and discolored, or your new building has been damaged during construction, it can be corrected on-site with a knowledgeable team and the proper product.

Storefronts and other high-traffic areas may need to be repainted periodically. As good as it is, painted aluminum is not completely maintenance-free, nor does it last forever. Painted aluminum can chip and scratch on high-wear areas such as sliding doors and entrance ways.

For more than 40 years, PVDF-based finishes have held the position as the world’s premiere exterior metal finish. PVDF-based Air Dry System (ADS) offers the same superior weathering properties as factory-appliced PVDF, and can be field-applied on almost any building material, restoring surfaces to last and look like new.

PVDF-based ADS coatings are designed for repairing, restoring and/or repainting the metal on buildings that have a factory-applied PVDF-based coating. These coatings only can be applied by licensed fluoropolymer applicators. PVDF-based ADS coatings are intended for use as a two-coat system. PVDF-based ADS provides very high resistance to fading, chalking, UV degradation and chemical corrosion. PVDF-based ADS restores structures to their original luster, while meeting weathering requirements of AAMA 2605, the most stringent specification for architectural coatings.

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Resources:

* Arkema Kynar
* Linetec05Tubelite_LEED-AP_TomMinnon
* Tubelite Inc.
* Solvay Hylar

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Tom Minnon, LEED® AP, CDT, is the eastern region sales manager for Tubelite Inc., serving clients from Maine to Georgia. With nearly four decades of industry experience and many professional accreditations, he regularly provides educational and consultative support to architects, buildings owners and glazing contractors regarding storefront, curtainwall, entrances and daylight control systems.

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Tubelite announces expansion in Dallas/Fort Worth

Tubelite Inc., a leading manufacturer and supplier of architectural aluminum storefront, entrance and curtainwall systems in the United States, has finalized the location of their Texas facility. The selected site at 4900 Langdon Road is on the southeast side of Dallas and near the I-20 / I-45 interchange.

“The expansion project is progressing nicely,” says Mary Avery, Tubelite’s vice president of marketing.

The building plans have been drafted for the greater than 27,000 square foot area that will provide on-site CNC machining for door and frame fabrication, as well as warehousing stock products. The plan layout also includes an office area to accommodate the transition of existing client services personnel, who currently are working out of the company’s Mesquite, Texas office.

Avery adds, “This facility is easily accessible to accommodate shipping needs and is centralized within the region to provide even faster lead-times and damage-free shipments to our customers in the region. This is a top priority for us and the team is committed to keep this project moving quickly.”

An open house is planned for the location once it is fully operational.

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Media contact: Heather West, heather@heatherwestpr.com

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Tubelite Announces Expansion in Dallas/Fort Worth (2013)

Tubelite Inc., a leading manufacturer and supplier of architectural aluminum storefront, entrance and curtainwall systems in the United States, has announced it will be expanding its operational footprint during the second quarter of this year with the establishment of a new regional facility in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The site selection is in process and will be greater than 25,000 square feet.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be expanding upon our already-established presence within the Texas and South Central market with this new facility,” says Mary Avery, Tubelite’s vice president of marketing. “This new facility will allow us to provide even faster lead-times and damage-free shipments to our existing customers in the region through the use of on-site CNC machining for door and frame fabrication, as well as warehousing stock products.”

Existing client services personnel, who currently are working out of the company’s Mesquite, Texas offices, will relocate to the new facility where they will join new hires for the operation. To complement the investment and commitment to the region, the company has begun recruiting for additional sales and architectural specification positions to further assist their customers in the area.

Avery adds, “This expansion strengthens our current strategy and commitment to both our glazing contractor clients, as well as distributors in the region.”

About Tubelite Inc.
Tubelite was established in 1945. The company’s headquarters, and primary distribution, warehousing and assembly operations are located in Walker, Mich. Its facility in Reed City, Mich., houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG). Apogee, headquartered in Minneapolis, is a leader in technologies involving the design and development of value-added glass products and services.

Forward-Looking Statements
The discussion above contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements reflect Apogee management’s expectations or beliefs as of the date of this release. Apogee undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All forward-looking statements are qualified by factors that may affect the operating results of Apogee, including the following: operational risks within (A) the architectural segment: i) competitive, price-sensitive and changing market conditions, including unforeseen project delays and cancellations; ii) economic conditions, material cost increases and the cyclical nature of the North American and Latin American commercial construction industries; iii) product performance, reliability, execution or quality problems that could delay payments, increase costs, impact orders or lead to litigation; and iv) the segment’s ability to fully and efficiently utilize production capacity; and (B) the large-scale optical segment: i) markets that are impacted by consumer confidence and trends; ii) dependence on a relatively small number of customers; iii) changing market conditions, including unfavorable shift in product mix and new competition; and iv) ability to fully and efficiently utilize production capacity. Additional factors include: i) revenue and operating results that are volatile; ii) financial market disruption which could impact company, customer and supplier credit availability; iii) self-insurance risk related to a material product liability event and to health insurance programs; iv) cost of compliance with governmental regulations relating to hazardous substances; and v) foreign currency risk related to certain continuing operations. Apogee cautions investors that actual future results could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, and that other factors may in the future prove to be important in affecting Apogee’s results of operations. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or a combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. For a more detailed explanation of the foregoing and other risks and uncertainties, see Item 1A of Apogee’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 3, 2012.

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