Because of demand for Noran-dex vinyl siding, Fibreboard Corp. plans to build a 200,000-square-foot siding plant, and to increase capacity at another. The new plant in the south central section of the United States will be complete by mid-1997. Fibreboard is investing $15 million in the building and equipment.
The facility is expected to increase Fibreboard's vinyl manufacturing capacity by 40 percent with revenues of $50 million. Officials would not disclose the location of the plant nor the number of people to be hired there.
Norandex, purchased in 1994 by Fibreboard, has ``a great concentration of customers in that geographical location,'' said Linda Manzeck, coordinator for coorporate relations.
``After review of several alternatives, we determined that building a new facility will provide the most cost-effective solution,'' Fibreboard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John D. Roach said in a news release.
Fibreboard claims to be North America's fifth-largest vinyl siding manufacturer.
``Our objective is to be one of the top three competitors in this rapidly growing segment by the turn of the century,'' Roach said in the company's annual report.
In a wood-to-vinyl transformation, Fibreboard Corp. has emerg-ed as a major vinyl siding extruder in just two years.
This year, Fibreboard also has broken into the Plastics News ranking of pipe, profile and tubing extruders. With 1995 extrusion sales of $98 million from three plants, the company ranks 23rd.
Fibreboard also is increasing blending and raw material handling capabilities by 15 percent at its Claremont, N.C., plant.
The equipment is to be installed by year's end and will be operational early in 1997. Plant capacity will increase from 1.9 million to 2.2 million square feet per year.
Wood had been the core of Fibreboard since 1870, when the company started a sawmill near Saratoga, Calif.
Last year, Fibreboard sold off its wood products business - 76,000 acres of California timberland, two sawmills and several lumber and plywood plants - for about $250 million.
The move into vinyl siding extrusion actually began in 1994, when Fibreboard bought Noran-dex Inc. of Macedonia, Ohio. In 1995, the company added Vytec Corp. of London, Ontario.
Norandex's vinyl siding operation is housed in a modern, 450,000-square-foot plant in Clare-mont, N.C.
Fibreboard has expanded Norandex's production capacity by 22 percent, to 186 million square feet of siding annually, during the past two years.
Norandex, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has its roots in aluminum siding. The firm was founded after World War II as Weather-Tite in Cleveland.
Noranda Aluminum Inc. bought the company in 1968 and changed its name. Norandex got into vinyl siding by selling CertainTeed Corp. products, then began its own extrusion.
The North Carolina plant was built in 1989.
Norandex retrenched a few years ago, closing a vinyl and aluminum window fabrication plant at Walton Hills, Ohio, in 1991 and selling its Master Shield Inc. siding business in Weatherford, Texas, to Jannock Ltd. of Toronto in 1993.
Previously, Norandex was just a small part of Noranda, the Cana-dian aluminum giant. That status has changed.
Now vinyl is central to Fibreboard's future. Norandex and Vytec make up the Residen-tial Products Group, which accounts for more than 70 percent of companywide 1995 sales. Wood products used to occupy that top spot.
The Residential Products Group reported 1995 sales of $276.2 million. Of that total, 34 percent, or $93.2 million, came from extruded vinyl siding and accessories. Most of the extrusion sales came from Norandex; 1995 figures include only one month of Vytec. The company's goal is to build Residential Products to $500 million by the year 2000.
Resale products - building products made by other companies and sold through Norandex's distribution network - accounted for 66 percent of the group's sales.
Fibreboard has been beefing up that network, adding branches in the South. Norandex has 102 distribution plants in 31 states - an increase of nearly 50 percent since Fibreboard bought the comany.
Recently, the company signed letters of intent to purchase Nos. 103 and 104 building product distribution centers.
The centers are in Bismark, N.D., and Billings, Mont. For a combined purchase price for assets of about $5 million, the acquisitions will come on line during the third quarter this year.
Fibreboard reported companywide profit of $95.8 million on sales of $380.8 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31.
Besides vinyl siding, Fibre-board also makes calcium silicate pipe insulation and metal jacketing, and is California's largest ski resort operator.
Fibreboard is based in Walnut Creek, Calif., but will move its headquarters to Dallas in August.