According to Plastics News' ranking of the 15 largest window extruders in North America, window sales rebounded from an unexciting 1995 to post a healthy 1996. Most of the companies enjoyed sales growth of 10-20 percent.
The data reflects information from other industry sources.
Vinyl window production grew 20 percent in 1996, to 17.3 million units, according to the annual report issued by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, based in Schaumburg, Ill. And the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. reports that vinyl resin consumed by windows and doors increased by 12 percent, to 362,723 pounds.
In contrast, 1995 had been a relatively flat year for windows extruded from vinyl and other plastics.
This marks the third year Plastics News has compiled a ranking of window extruders.
This year's ranking has a few changes. In the No. 1 spot, Royal Group Technologies Ltd.'s window extrusion sales are higher than in the past. A calculation error last year resulted in the chart under-reporting Royal Group's 1995 window sales by about $10 million; we corrected the 1995 number in this year's chart.
For the first time in 1996, publicly traded Royal has specified in its annual report the dollar amount of its ``custom profiles'' business — and Royal indicates that window profiles account for almost all of that business. Plastics News figures window sales as 95 percent of the custom profiles business.
Royal's extruders pumped out $198 million worth of window profiles in 1996, according to Plastics News and industry estimates. That means Royal Group is almost certain to surpass the $200 million milestone this year. The company is based in Woodbridge, Ontario.
In the No. 2 spot, Mikron Industries Inc. of Kent, Wash., could top the $100 million level this year. Mikron is doubling capacity of its 2-year-old factory in Richmond, Ky.
The 1996 sales figure in the chart for Mikron reflects general industry growth, not any new production.
The biggest change in this year's ranking is that a new entity — Belgian-owned Deceuninck North America — has moved into the No. 4 spot, sending Chelsea Building Products down a notch, to No. 5. Chelsea of Oakmont, Pa., itself was purchased by a Belgian company, Tessenderlo Group of Brussels.
Deceuninck North America, with $66 million in sales, combines sales of two companies, Dayton Technologies and Acro Extrusion Corp.
Deceuninck Plastics Industries SA of Roeselare, Belgium, bought Acro in 1995. Then Deceuninck bought Dayton Technologies from Aluminum Co. of America. Even though the Dayton acquisition happened in February 1997 — technically too late to impact 1996 sales, the year tracked in the window ranking — we have included sales from both Dayton and Acro to make the chart more useful.
Dayton Technologies is based in Monroe, Ohio. Acro is in Wilmington, Del. In last year's chart, Dayton was No. 5; Acro came in at No. 13.
By combining two companies, Deceuninck has freed up another spot on the chart. The new No. 15 is Croft Metals Inc. of McComb, Miss.
In another change, Silver Line Building Products Corp., a profiles extruder in North Brunswick, N.J., has moved into the No. 6 slot, ahead of CertainTeed Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa.