Deceuninck NV announced Jan. 30 it is closing the Acro Extrusion Corp. vinyl window plant in Wilmington, Del. - an operation that the Belgian extrusion giant bought nine years ago, marking its entrance into the U.S. market.
Deceuninck said Acro is now its smallest U.S. window profile extrusion factory. In 1997, Deceuninck bought Dayton Technologies LLC, followed last year by Vinyl Building Products LLC. Together, Dayton Technologies and Vinyl Building Products have factories in Monroe, Ohio; Oakland, N.J.; and Little Rock, Ark.
Meanwhile, Darwin Brown, who just retired as head of Deceuninck North America, said company officials are studying a fourth location, in the West.
``We're pretty sure that we'll go there at some point in time. If that's a year or two from now, I'm not sure,'' said Brown, interviewed Feb. 2 after he spoke at the Plastics News Executive Forum 2004 in Summerlin.
Brown retired from his post as chief executive officer and vice chairman. The veteran executive of Dayton Technologies continues to be an adviser to the company.
Acro Extrusion is a small but historically significant player in the vinyl window industry. Leon Slocomb founded the company in 1959, selling vinyl windows. The firm got into window fabrication in 1960, then began extruding its own profiles in 1979.
Brown said Acro now is running four extrusion lines. The equipment will be moved to the plants in Ohio or Arkansas, he said. The Acroline brand of windows has been phased out. Deceuninck said it has offered jobs at its other U.S. plants to the 35 people employed by Acro.
Based in Hooglede, Belgium, Deceuninck, reported 2003 sales of 469 million euros ($531 million). It employs 2,700 around the world. The North American operations employ about 600 and generate annual sales of more than $150 million.
Ralph Weiss, president of Vinyl Building Products, was named the new CEO of Deceuninck North America. Dayton Technologies President Michael Hutfless will become chief operating officer.
Hutfless said the decision to close Acro Extrusion was based on the higher efficiency of the larger plants. The company expects minimal or no disruptions of deliveries during the transition.
During the forum, Hutfless said Deceuninck plans to cut internal costs and move into new markets, since the vinyl window market is maturing. Dayton Technologies has partnered with Alcoa Home Exteriors to reach the hottest market, decking and railing. Dayton Technologies will extrude the composite decking at its plant in Monroe. Alcoa will handle the marketing and sales.