Construction Specifier shares Linetec’s anodizing expertise

Flapper2-webThe April issue of Construction Specifier features “Five Factors for Variation in and Anodize Finish,” authored by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder.

The six-page educational article describes the anodizing process and key considerations to minimize color variation. These essential factors include:

  • Aluminum alloys and their alloying elements
  • Mixing aluminum alloys means mixed results
  • Primary vs. secondary aluminum
  • Chemistry of the anodize process
  • Surface preparations

Construction Specifications Institute members received the printed magazine, and all can view the feature online, page 62.

After April, please visit https://www.constructionspecifier.com to create a free account and access the archived digital editions.

Follow the links to learn more about Linetec’s anodize process and how we ensure the most consistent color.

Linetec honors Mark Hall for 50 years of service

50yr-sign3-webWausau, Wisconsin (May 2017) – In 1967, future president Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as governor of California, The Beatles released “Magical Mystery Tour” album and Mark Hall began his career with what would become Linetec. Reagan left the governor’s office in 1975 and The Beatles broke up in 1970, but Hall is still happily at work today.

“I was 19 years old and a year out of high school when I started at Wausau Metals (now known as Wausau Window and Wall Systems), making $1.75 an hour,” Hall says. “I was part-time at first and worked in shipping, crating windows and loading them onto the truck. For extra hours, I’d clean anodize tanks. In May 1970, we added color to the anodize tanks and I moved to third shift. I’ve been there ever since.”

Continuous Improvement

In 1968, Apogee Enterprises Inc. was formed as a holding company to oversee a growing number of profit centers including Wausau. In 1983, Apogee founded Linetec with a single paint line. When it added the anodizing line in 1986, Hall officially became a Linetec employee.

According to Rick Marshall, Linetec’s president, “Linetec is honored and thankful to have someone of Mark’s loyalty, commitment and expertise. He was the beginning and foundation of the anodizing business for Linetec.”

Hall has seen significant changes at Linetec throughout the half century. He continues to be amazed at the growth of the company and the pace of technology that has improved efficiency and quality. “I used to have four people working with me to manually move the anodize loads from tank to tank. We’d set timers for each tank load to move to the next tank. Buzzers were always going off. Now, it’s just me running the line and everything is automated. The loads are bigger, but they take less time.”

He continues, “Back then, normal rework was 30 to 50 percent. A day with just 25 percent rework was great. Today, our rework goal is less than one percent!”

Tankline2-webDependable Teamwork, Consistent Quality

One thing Hall says has not changed during 50 years is the quality of the people—something that, along with a reliable paycheck and good benefits, has kept him loyal and happy at Linetec for so long. “I’ve always worked with great people,” he emphasizes. “I appreciate our teamwork and have enjoyed training many of our current tank operators.”

“Mark has set the standard for not only tenure at Linetec, but also in quality and consistency of our color anodizing. He remains the most consistent quality anodize line operator Linetec has in its ranks,” praises Andy Joswiak, vice president of operations.

Tank-operator-web“During my 11 years as Mark’s supervisor, he has always been very professional and does his job very well,” reiterates Tim Lynn, “Drawing from his many years of knowledge and experience, he matches the customers’ requested color with one of the highest accuracy rates of all the tank operators throughout the anodize plant.”

Keep on Workin’

Outside of his work at Linetec, Lynn says many people in the Wausau area also know Hall as their former school bus driver. For 28 years, he drove for the Marathon School District as bus driver on the kindergarten route, after school routes and sometimes took teams to athletic events at night. It is highly possible that Hall transported multiple generations. In addition to driving the school bus, and never missing a single child on his route, Hall also drove an oil truck for several years.

Between his part-time driving jobs and his full-time position at Linetec, Hall has not found much time for hobbies or travel. Instead, he enjoys watching NASCAR and the Green Bay Packers, and focusing on his family.

“I have a lovely wife, two daughters and two sons. I worked so many hours my kids would want pizza for Thanksgiving so they could have an ‘everyday meal’ with their dad,” he says.

Hall has no plans to slow down or retire, but says, “If I ever retire, I’d probably help out at the Humane Society.”

Mark-Rick-TimLynn-webHall’s 50th anniversary celebration breakfast was held May 4. Jane Kessel, vice president of human resources, notes, “The 50 years of knowledge that Mark has helps us ensure our customers get the highest quality anodize finish. It’s also a tremendous asset to our newer team members—especially during the extraordinary growth the company is experiencing.”

 

Architectural Anodize Data Sheet

Process  .  Warranty  .  AAMA Specifications  .  Guide Spec

Download Complete Data Sheet

architectural-anodize-data-sheet-1Architectural Anodizing combines science with nature to create one of the world’s best metal finishes. The coating produced is extremely durable, and the second hardest substance on earth.

The typical anodizing employed in the architectural industry is called two-step electrolytic.” The actual anodizing and coloring of the aluminum occur in separate steps…    read more

Class I and Class II Anodize

Class I and Class II anodic coatings are designations created by the Aluminum Association for the purpose of codifying the specification of anodized aluminum.

Class I coating has a mil thickness of 0.7 (18 microns) or greater
Class II coating has a minimum mil thickness of 0.4 (10 microns)

Class I coating is a high performance anodic finish used primarily for exterior building products and other products that must withstand continuous outdoor exposure. read more

Strengths of Anodizeimg_0137

  • Durability, abrasion resistance
  • Metal appearance
  • Excellent weatherability (Class I)
  • Color stability
  • Non-hazardous, produces no harmful or dangerous by-products

Anodize Warranty

Linetec’s documented testing allow us to offer warranties of 5 years, on Class I Anodize finishing, with confidence that your product will perform as intended.

In some cases, with prior approval and a minimal up-charge, Linetec can offer an extended anodize warranty up to 10 years.  read more

AAMA Specifications

In order to ensure the anodize performance expected for an architectural / commercial application, AAMA 611-14 specification should be referenced along with the anodize color.

Beyond the stringent standards and regulations, Linetec offers a downloadable guide spec with specifiable differences that contribute to a project’s long life, durability and sustainability.  read more

Cleaning and Maintaining your Aluminum Finish Guide

damaged_anodize-mcdonalds-door-brickwashThis paper discusses the recommended care of painted and anodized finishes on architectural metal and examines three levels of concern: care and cleaning, minor repairs, and more complex refinishing.   read more  

Logan airport garage’s dynamic façade features 48,000 metal panels finished by Linetec

Flapper2-webBoston Logan International Airport’s new, 10-story West Garage Extension features an attractive, kinetic exterior to distinctively screen the facility. Designed by Arrowstreet Inc. and manufactured by EXTECH, the dynamic façade system consists of more than 48,000 aluminum flapper panels that move in response to wind currents. Each flapper panel was finished by Linetec in Class I clear anodize.

The 6-inch square curved flapper panels are set within 353 extruded aluminum framing support assemblies that span eight stories high by 290 feet wide. Subjected to 130 mile per hour winds to test system resiliency, the system’s anodize finish also contributes to its durability. Class I coating is a high-performance anodic finish used primarily for exterior building products and other products that must withstand continuous outdoor exposure.

Logan3-webAnodizing successfully combines science with nature to create one of the world’s best metal finishes. Because it is an integral part of the substrate, the anodic coating provides excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance.

Choosing clear anodize to create the unique façade for Logan Airport’s West Garage Extension not only contributes to its lasting performance, but also accentuates the intended sense of movement as the light reflects off the aluminum flapper panels that seem to dance in the wind.

“Various shapes, material thickness and finishes were tested, resulting in the curved anodized aluminum pieces that reflect light and ripple with the breeze,” noted David Bois, principal at Arrowstreet. “Our partnership with EXTECH allowed us to develop and fabricate a system for the facade that would have been difficult – if not impossible – without their collaboration.”

Logan2-web3Before finalizing the facade design, EXTECH provided Arrowstreet with several mock-ups for the Massachusetts Port Authority’s (Massport’s) review and approval. The self-supporting Massport owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, and receives no state tax money to support its operations or facilities. In the last decade, Massport and its airline partners have invested more than $4.4 billion to build a new runway, roadways, terminals, taxiways and garages.

Massport relied on Arrowstreet to lead a multidisciplinary team that evaluated and integrated the new garage within the existing Central Parking, walkways and adjacent terminals. Situated over the existing Hilton Hotel parking lot, it is the airport’s tallest parking structure and offers 1,700 more parking spaces. The resulting garage optimizes the experience for passengers and its dynamic facade enhances the view for the travelling public and visitors of the nearby 9/11 Memorial and Hilton Hotel.

Turner Construction Company served as the general contractor. Construction on the 68,880-square-foot building started in June 2015. Massachusetts-based glazing contractor, Ipswich Bay Glass Company, began installing the dynamic façade in November, and worked through the winter to complete the exterior in Jan. 2016.

flapper-web“The local glazing contractor installed the custom, prefabricated kinetic panels in record time. We believe this is a working relationship between architect and fabricator provides opportunities for innovation within our client’s budgetary and schedule constraints,” added Bois.

He concluded, “The move from the mass-produced to a more custom approach in design and construction provides for new possibilities which parallel clients’ rising expectations. Without the collaborative process, this unique installation could not have occurred within the budget or the project schedule. Simple, common components come together to form an uncommon result.”

Logan International Airport, Walkway and West Garage, 200 Terminal B, East Boston, MA 02128

Architectural Coatings article offers AIA continuing education credits

Licenced Architect Earn 1 LU/HSW continuing education credit by reading Linetec’s Architectural Coatings article in this edition of Licensed Architect.

Achieving a smart synergy of aesthetic, performance and sustainable goals includes carefully selecting high-performance architectural coatings.

Whether building a new facility, renovating an existing one or updating a specific area, thoughtfully choosing the finish for a project’s metal building products and surfaces will ensure the longest lifespan.

Much more than enhancing appearance, a finish specification can be the difference in creating lasting performance and a lasting impression.

For durable, metal building products, the architectural industry most often relies on two types of finishes: anodize and paint. Both offer a long-lasting finish, but each has its own characteristics inherent in its application.

This article explains field performance, application processes, specifications and performances of architectural fluoropolymer (PVDF) paints, baked enamels, powder coating and anodize finishes including strengths, weaknesses, weatherability and environmental considerations.  Read article

Linetec celebrates facility expansion in Wausau, Wisconsin with government, community and company leaders

Architectural finishing company adds a third anodize line, jobs, capacity, capabilities

RibbonCutting-2-webOn Dec. 4, Linetec joined with government, community and company leaders to celebrate the opening of a third anodize line at its facility in Wausau, Wisconsin.

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.

Rick-MajorTipple-webAs 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.

RibbonCutting-5-webLinetec’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.

RibbonCutting-catwalk-web“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.

RibbonCutting-4web“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 http://www.linetec.com.

Located in Wisconsin, Linetec serves customers across the country, finishing such products as aluminum windows, wall systems, doors, hardware and other architectural metal components, as well as automotive, marine and manufactured consumer goods. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG). Linetec is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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A Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for aluminum coatings

High quality architectural painted and anodized finishes are extremely durable. But even the best finishes still need a little TLC.

Even with the most careful treatment of the windows, curtainwall or storefront during installation and in their daily use, occasional damage will occur.

This Protecting-your-aluminum-finish guide shares recommended care of painted and anodized finishes on architectural metal and examines three levels of concern: care and cleaning, minor repairs and field touch-up, and more complex refinishing caused by severe damage.  read more

Recommendations from the Paint Manufacturers

PPG and Valspar – offers two main precautions: (1) do not use wire brushes, abrasives or similar cleaning tools which will mechanically abrade the coatings surface, and (2) certain cleaning agents (listed in full article) should be tested in an inconspicuous area before use on a large scale.

Download the full paper here

PPG’s full cleaning and maintenance guide can be found here.

Valspar’s full cleaning and maintenance guide can be found here.