Linetec joined with government, community and company leaders to celebrate the opening of a third anodize line at its facility in Wausau, Wis.
In addition to Linetec’s president Rick Marshall, other company leaders and employees were in attendance. Honored guests at the event included: Jim Porter, CFO of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., Linetec’s parent company; Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple, Wisconsin State Rep. Dave Heaton, plus other representatives from the State of Wisconsin, the City of Wausau and the Wausau Regional Chamber of Commerce. Marshall expressed his appreciation for all involved in the expansion’s success.
As one of the largest architectural finishing companies in the U.S., Linetec completed its 180,000-square-foot addition and associated improvements to expand its existing capacity and capabilities by more than 50 percent. In January 2014, Linetec opened a 30,000-square-foot building addition and a 33 percent capacity increase to its existing anodize lines, which are operating at full capacity.
“As our industry and customers have continued to grow, Linetec has continued to expand our facilities and processes,” said Linetec’s president Rick Marshall. Linetec’s Wausau campus now spans more than 750,000 square feet and provides room to further enhance production flow throughout the facilities. The estimated $15 million investment in Linetec’s growth also brings at least 90 jobs to the city of Wausau, 80 of which already have been filled. New finishing capabilities are another anticipated benefit.
Linetec’s anodize is specified on architectural aluminum products, such as window and door systems, storefront framing, sun shades, light shelves, canopies, column covers, panels and flat sheets. Unlike other finishes, anodizing highlights aluminum’s metallic appearance. Because it is an integral part of the substrate, the anodic coating results in a hard, durable substance providing excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance.
The addition supports Linetec’s anodize customers across North America. Local, Wausau-based customers include Arow Global of Mosinee, Gordon Aluminum Industries of Schofield, Graham Architectural Products of Merrill, and Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Kolbe Windows and Doors, and Greenheck Fan Corporation of Wausau. “Our successful supply chain partners also attract more businesses to the area, such as Polywood Fabrication and Southern Stretch Forming,” added Marshall.
“Anodize capacity in the industry remains very tight. Our third line provides additional anodize capacity. This helps our customers continue to benefit with short and reliable lead times, supporting their growth and their clients’ project timelines,” he continued. “The strategic investments we’ve made to better service our customers have positioned them for a successful future as U.S. construction industry gains strength and national demand for aluminum is estimated to increase 20-30 percent with federal fair trade enforcement.”
Marshall emphasizes that strong, long-lasting customer relationships are at the core of the company’s success. For some customers, Linetec serves as an off-site warehouse that manages inventory, pulling the exact quantities to finish when needed. This saves time, reduces waste and provides a very high-level of consistent quality.
“Our anodize consistency is truly the best in the world,” Marshall boasted. “The new anodize line, like Linetec’s other anodize lines, are fully automated and use the most recent technology, giving us the best-in-class color consistency and the tightest color ranges in the industry.”
Linetec also pioneered environmental innovations in anodize that resulted in its industry-leading, eco-friendly anodize process. Compared with traditional anodize, Linetec’s process reduces waste by as much as 80 percent, decreases energy use, creates recyclable byproducts and enhances the durability and lifecycle of the finished product.
With the expansion completed, Marshall proudly stated, “Linetec has twice the anodizing capacity as any other anodizer in the U.S. under one roof. We have three anodize lines with 30-foot tanks and four anodizing baths in each line. When running at full capacity, we will have the capability to anodize up to 24,000 pounds of aluminum per hour.”
Marshall concluded, “Over the past year we have expanded the capacity of both our paint and anodize facilities. Linetec is dedicated to supporting our customers growth and will continue to make the investments necessary to keep our capacities at pace with our customers’ requirements.”
For more information about Linetec’s facility and finishing services, please visit www.linetec.com.