Plastics Design & Manufacturing Inc. is entering the fence market.
It seems an unlikely change for a custom processor that has handled a wide variety of markets and processes, but President Keith Giacchino said it is the natural evolution of his business.
``We've been around a long time. We've done a lot of things,'' Giacchino said in a Feb. 25 interview at FenceTech, held Feb. 25- 27 in Orlando. ``That's the nature of our business, to not just look at what's there but look outside the box. We are all over the place.''
PDM, based in Englewood, Colo., started 30 years ago by doing acrylic fabrication; then, it grew into vacuum forming. As the industry and technology changed, it began serving the medical industry. Officials needed precision cutting, so the firm grew into computer numerically controlled machining and from there into tooling and engineering. In 1999, the Giacchino family sold its custom rotational molding operation to Low & Bonar plc. About 10 years ago, the family started doing custom profile extrusion.
This diverse background only benefits the company's new position of serving the fence market, Giacchino said.
``From our standpoint, we're in this to diversify our company,'' he said. ``But in addition, we know plastics. ... I know all about vinyl. I extrude vinyl. I know all about high density. I know all about styrene. I know all about ABS. I know all about all the forming characteristics and techniques. I know all about UV stabilization, staining, and all the machining and all the processing features about a barrage of plastics''
PDM markets its fence product as Peak Fence Systems, and touts that the fence is made from 100 percent post-industrial scrap, which it gets from DuPont Co. PDM has 18 patents pending, including patents for specialty additives that create a streaking effect to give the plastic a woodlike appearance. The streaking and texturing is created in the extruder. PDM also uses aircraft paint as a sealant.
Giacchino said a lot of other manufacturers use a roller to press-in streaking and texturing effects.
``We don't do any coloring, any secondaries. As a matter of fact, we don't want you to paint it. We don't want you to stain it. It won't take it. We don't have any fading. We don't have any staining. It doesn't do the typical things that filled polyethylenes do,'' he said.
PDM had dedicated 20,000 square feet of its 110,000-square-foot site to make the profiles, using two of seven extrusion lines.
``My plan is, basically, whatever we need to add for capacity to cover demand, we'll do,'' he said, noting that the current facility can be expanded by another 50,000 square feet.
The company is targeting sales to contractors, municipalities, individual homeowners associations, and retailers. Giacchino said PDM could grow into decking, but right now the focus will remain on fencing. He hopes to appeal to customers by having an adaptable system.
``If an individual's fence framing is still good, rip off the pickets and attach,'' Giacchino said. ``If you want a new frame, great. You can put it on a new wood frame or a steel frame. You don't have to use a specific frame system.''
PDM now has distribution in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and is moving into Utah and northern California.