Extrusion giant CertainTeed Corp., best known for its vinyl siding, has diversified into PVC fence by purchasing Bufftech Inc. CertainTeed also shuffled its top executives related to vinyl building products, moving Peter R. Dachowski from his post as executive vice president to a new job leading the company's insulation products. Bradford C. Mattson has been named the new vice president of exterior products. Mattson had been president of the firm's glass unit, Vetrotex CertainTeed Corp., and Bay Mills Ltd.
Bufftech in Buffalo, N.Y., is one of the largest U.S. makers of PVC fencing, a small but growing part of the overall market for extruded construction products. Bufftech will become part of CertainTeed's Pipe and Plastics Group.
Group President Lloyd Ambler said Buff-tech employs about 100 and runs six extrusion lines at its single factory in Buffalo.
Market data on PVC fencing is hard to come by - and closely held by the players in the industry. But in 1994, when Houston-based PVC pipe maker North American Pipe Corp. started a fence division, a top official pegged the market at about 100 million pounds, and growing about 20 percent a year.
Ambler declined to provide Bufftech sales or market information, but said that ``the Bufftech brand is the No. 1 brand leader in the market.''
CertainTeed placed No. 1 on the most recent Plastics News ranking of North American extruders of pipe, profiles and tubing, with $432 million in sales of such products in 1995. Based in Valley Forge, Pa., it is part of France's Compagnie de Saint-Gobain. CertainTeed employs about 6,000 at 35 North American manufacturing facilities.
Dachowski said Bufftech's management team is staying with the operation.
``The business has good potential for continued profitable growth,'' he said.
Bufftech fence goes into commercial applications. CertainTeed said the fence also will fit well with its strength in home products. The Bufftech name will remain.
Terms were not disclosed.