A new extruder of vinyl lumber is gearing up for the commercial launch of its coextruded fence, deck and railing products in the spring.
Right now, Dakota Vinyl Extrusions Inc. officials are assembling both their plant and workforce.
The firm is looking to capitalize on consumer demand for low-maintenance products while changing the perception that vinyl fence, deck and railing products have to look like glossy, cheap plastic, said President Darryl Tonak in a Dec. 12 phone interview.
``There's definitely a demand for quality products, and not just price-based,'' he said.
The Madison, S.D.-based company will operate out of a 37,500-square-foot plant. It will have initial capacity to process 32 million to 36 million pounds of resin annually, Tonak said.
The company will not fabricate its own fence, deck or railing systems initially, but will add fabrication capacity later, he said.
Despite the downturn in housing in 2006, Tonak remains confident about the remodeling market. He also believes that vinyl remains the gold standard for plastic lumber. Competitors that make composite lumber helped to create the segment, and have grown due to their products' more-natural look, he said. But Dakota Vinyl will introduce a vinyl version that has that same natural look, he said.
``Composites don't appear to have the colorfast nature of vinyl,'' Tonak said. ``The challenge is to get the natural looks. And we've done that here.''
Dakota Vinyl worked with the state to secure start-up capital through an economic development loan program. Bill Even, director of the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development, said the state is bucking a national manufacturing decline
``There's no personal income tax, no corporate income tax, no business inventory tax and no inheritance tax,'' Even said. ``We, as a state, roll out the red carpet for businesses and workers. What you earn in South Dakota, we let you keep it.''