If you’re within the profile extrusion enterprise and cognizance at the window and door marketplace, you’re entirely a great deal driving the ebbs and flows of the construction industry. That wasn’t an excellent position to be in in the course of the financial disaster of 2008-2009, when the development bubble burst, so Intek Plastics is doing something to save you a recurrence. In a word: diversify. Based in Hastings, Minn., Intek is taking its nearly 60 years’ worth of understanding in growing customized window and door profiles to new markets, now not with “me-too” extrusions however with products evolved in collaboration with clients to provide unique solutions in lighting fixtures, refrigeration, power control, and extra.
Intek has been in commercial enterprise given that 1961. It remains a privately held, family-owned organization, with a second-and 1/3-generation circle of relatives in possession positions. Its roots are in the fenestration marketplace, and it has no plans to desert that role. Instead, Intek is leveraging its expertise in materials, engineering, technology, and right-old school sit-downs with customers to power innovation in additional markets.
Notes CEO Jill Hesselroth, “An important initiative for us now’s to diversify into different markets. That does no longer imply we have to veer from our core. However, it does imply our portfolio must be greater balanced. There is not any such component as a ‘mature market’ where we suppose we can sit back and watch the income roll in. Even in a marketplace wherein we have a dominant position, we hold to invest in R&D with our fundamental customers to explore the capability of new materials and work with customers aspect-via-facet via their product-improvement cycles to convey new products the marketplace. This requires a non-stop dedication to strategic customer relationships, R&D, and shipping of first-rate merchandise subsidized using a fantastic provider.”
Intek has staffed up for this marketplace enlargement: It was introduced in Paul Pedersen as v.P. Income and advertising in 2017. About a yr ago, it employed Lee Johnson as commercial enterprise development and market supervisor for lighting fixtures, signaling the organization’s strong commitment to turn out to be a first-rate force in custom-designed profiles for the burgeoning LED market.
While Intel’s growth in new markets figures to be natural, it has made a few acquisitions to hurry up the manner. In 2008, it obtained Elite Plastics, Hawthorne, N.J., a profile extruder centered on the factor-of-purchase (POP) market. Last 12 months, Intek offered the patron property and production tooling of Hall Manufacturing Corp., Ringwood, N.J. Says Hesselroth, “Hall’s commercial enterprise turned into less than 50% in POP, so with this, but we were looking to diversify in Hawthorne.”
At first blush, it might appear unusual that a processor with a protracted record in home windows and doors—normally taken into consideration a high-volume business in which the equal products are made all day, every day—would also be in a position to consider diversification. Still, Intel’s enterprise has always been, without a doubt, custom. Within the middle fenestration commercial enterprise, it does now not have its very own line of products. Instead, it tackles the area of expertise tasks that its customers aren’t geared to run themselves. Explains Rick Zeien, director of operations, “In fenestration, all of our production is for first window and door producers. But these are custom, tough profiles that the consumer can’t run at the fantastic-high volumes they may be set up for, and that’s where we sit in. ”
For some, fenestration evokes the notion of a processing operation devoted mainly to PVC. Not so, says Zeien. Granted, the hundred and fifty,000 ft² plant in Hastings has 3 Milacron dual-screws—a 55-mm and two 65-mm—that run more often than not vinyl. But “windows and doorways aren’t simply PVC, and we run quite a bit of TPEs, TPOs, ABS, stuffed PPs, TPUs, and other substances for fenestration,” he states. The employer also does solid proprietary fabric formulating to tailor compounds to precise packages.
Intek runs 34 manufacturing traces in both florae and has new single-screw strains from Davis-Standard on the way to Minnesota. Its unmarried-screw machines vary in size from 2.5 to a few. Five in., with extruders from 1 in. To 2.Five in. Intek runs profiles ranging from much less than ¼ in. To over 10 in. In size. It operates on a 24/five basis.