Fast growth in the vinyl window bending industry has prompted leading benders Fen-Tech Inc. and Ventana Plastics Co. to expand. Fen-Tech is building a second manufacturing facility in Superior, Wis., and will take occupancy of the 40,000-square-foot plant Nov. 1, said President R. Michael Mirau.
The company will use both that plant and its current 15,000-square-foot facility.
Mirau co-founded Fen-Tech in 1992.
The company was born when window profile extruder Spectus Systems Midwest moved from Superior to Winnebago, Ill. Mirau stayed in Superior to concentrate on bending.
Curved windows are growing in new construction, where home buyers want more elaborate, architectural windows.
``Now that the builders have been introduced to the products ... they've broken that barricade,'' Mirau said.
Bending vinyl profiles for windows requires a high level of precision, so it has remained specialized with only a few major players.
Fen-Tech has sales of nearly $5 million and it employs about 95, said John Kelly, the company's recently appointed national sales manager.
Kelly had been sales manager of Lindsay Window and Door, a fabricator in Mankato, Minn.
Mirau said Fen-Tech is expected to hire 15-20 more employees by 1997.
Ventana, based in Export, Pa., recently completed a 12,500-square-foot addition, President Tony Pauly said.
In November, the company will close a small plant it opened two years ago in Hayward, Calif. Bending equipment in California will be moved to the expanded Export facility.
Pauly said the company now has 42,500 square feet of space in Export. Ventana, which employs about 95, expects 1996 sales to reach $5.5 million.
Pauly said volumes were less than expected in California, where vinyl windows do not have the same market share compared with other states.
Also, several major window fabricators in California do their own bending.