NASHVILLE, TENN. — Tecton Products, a formerly shy pultruder based in Fargo, N.D., now is trying to make its presence known.
The company, born as a supplier to majority owner Marvin Windows & Doors of Warroad, Minn., recently tripled its manufacturing capacity and is looking for custom work, Tecton President John Jambois said at the International Composites Expo '98, held Jan. 19-21 in Nashville. Tecton exhibited at the show for the first time.
Tecton's Fargo facility grew from 40,000 square feet to 110,000 square feet after an expansion project completed in late 1997, Jambois said.
Jambois, a part-owner in Tecton, said the firm hopes to expand on its experience making lineals for Marvin's Integrity line of composite windows.
``Our expertise is in thin-wall pultrusions with complex shapes and with weatherable surfaces,'' he said. ``Those are the types of applications where we feel we have a competitive advantage.''
While the transition from purely captive production for Marvin to both captive and custom work may seem dramatic, Jambois said the move was in the cards from the start.
``It was really part of our original business plan,'' he said. ``We started out with an aggressive business plan and we're just at this stage now.''
That plan also includes future expansions, Jambois said: ``We have some ambitious growth plans down the road.''
Tecton operates its own tool and die shop, and builds its own pultrusion machines specifically for thin-wall applications, Jambois said.
Marvin's fiberglass products, which feature a composite core with wood cladding, prove pultrusion can be a cost-effective window manufacturing process, he said.
``Our partnership [with Marvin] has been really, really good. We developed breakthrough technology,'' Jambois said, adding that Tecton found ways to boost pultrusion output levels.
``Pultrusion always has been considered a little bit too expensive for mainstream windows, but we don't think it is,'' he added.
Tecton does not talk publicly about sales figures, numbers of pultrusion lines or throughput. But, according to Jambois, the company's 110,000 square feet of manufacturing area, automated resin-handling system and Environmental Protection Agency-approved emission controls should give customers an idea of Tecton's capabilities.
Meanwhile, Fargo is becoming a center for pultruded window manufacturing. Marvin completed a 175,000-square-foot window fabrication plant next to Tecton in 1995, and an insulated glass manufacturer is putting up a plant of its own across the street to supply Marvin, Jambois said.
Marvin, which exhibited at the International Builders' Show, held Jan. 16-19 in Dallas, is expanding its Integrity line to include pultruded patio door lineals.
The window maker touts the high strength of pultruded windows as well as their thermal expansion behavior that matches the window glass.
Vinyl, wood and aluminum window frames expand and contract at different rates than glass, a trait that can create problems as windows made with those materials age, Jambois said.