Teel Composites broke ground last month on a 6,000-square-foot addition that will allow it to double pultrusion capacity in the next two years. The Baraboo, Wis.-based company will spend roughly $770,000 to bring plant space to 15,000 square feet and buy more pultrusion machines, said Tim Teelin, who heads the division of Teel Plastics Inc.
Teelin said growing demand for TCI's pultruded profiles is greater than its current capacity, which he would not disclose. The division also plans to double its work force of 15 within two years, bringing on five new hires in the next six months, said Teelin, who also is part-owner and vice president of Teel Plastics.
``The pultrusion industry has been growing in double digits for well over a decade,'' and should continue to climb at that rate into the year 2000, he said.
Teelin said he expects TCI's pultrusion sales of more than $1 million to triple in two years' time.
When Teel entered pultruded thermoset composites four years ago, it planned to marry that process with its custom extrusion tubing and profiles operation, which makes up Teel's largest piece of business. The firm still hopes to use thermoplastics in its pultrusions, which now are mainly fiberglass-reinforced polyester, Teelin said. He declined to provide details.
Three Baraboo facilities house Teel Plastics operations, including the manufacture of private-label low density polyethylene bags used in dairy and laboratory applications for longtime customer Nasco Inc. of Fort Atkinson, Wis.
Its largest composites market is lawn and garden, especially pultruded handles replacing wood or metal in such products as tree pruners, shovels and brooms. But TCI also makes custom pultrusions for recreational vehicles, building products and the marine market.
``Our philosophy has always been to ... ally ourselves with what we hope to be the market innovators in the industry,'' Teelin said.
The custom plastic tubing business contributes roughly $12 million in sales and employs 150. Teel's total sales are $15.5 million.