October 18, 2019
For Immediate Release:
Mar-Bal, Inc. Positioned for composites growth with acquisition of innovative Detectable Warning Surfaces safety product lines.
Chagrin Falls, OH−October 2019
Mar-Bal, Inc., (Mar-Bal: Chagrin Falls, OH) is one of America’s fastest growing companies and the largest manufacturer of BMC molded Standoff Insulators in North America with the industry’s two leading brands–Glastic and Mar-Bal. In an effort to progressively expand their base of proprietary products and diversify beyond their core electrical, appliance, and industrial market stronghold and into the construction and safety industry, Mar-Bal recently acquired (September 2018) all of the assets of both AlertTile® (including AlertCast®) and Detectable Warning Systems (including RediMat™). The businesses acquired by Mar-Bal will now be branded under the umbrella brand of Detectable Warning Systems™ (DWS) as part of the Mar-Bal proprietary family of products.
Known as ‘The One-Source Solutions Provider’ of BMC thermoset composites, the ISO 9001: 2015 Registered Company provides their customers with comprehensive thermoset composite solutions–including part design, specialized material formulations, and customized automation. As the first year anniversary of the DWS acquisition approaches, Mar-Bal has put a stewardship plan in place for a growth trajectory into the $60 million warning surfaces market–with a value-added focus on commitment to innovation and market advancement for the growth and benefits of composites.
DETECTABLE WARNINGS / MARKET PROFILE:
Today, there are over 40 million people with disabilities in the United States, including more than 10 million blind or visually impaired people, and that number is projected to grow dramatically as the population ages. One of the most seminal federal laws for civil rights ever passed to address this issue is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 4.29) of 1990, which ensures that public domains in the United States are safe and accessible to everyone–regardless of health or handicap. In 1991, the ADA implemented specific Accessibility Guidelines for Detectable Warning Surfaces that were required on hazardous vehicle ways, transit platform edges, reflecting pools, curb and wheelchair ramps, etc.
These detectable warning surfaces, also called truncated domes, are tactile indicators and tactile pavers that provide ‘cues’ to persons with vision impairments–alerting them that they’re walking into a hazardous vehicular area or change of grade. These are the products that comprise the broad scope of the DWS line–which are now a part of the proprietary product family of Mar-Bal, Inc. DWS is now one of the industry’s most complete lines of ADA compliant tactile warning surfaces, engineered for visually impaired pedestrians at a reasonable cost to contractors, distributors, states, and municipalities for a myriad of market applications including: Health Care-Disability, Rail-Transport, Architecture, Infrastructure, Composites-Plastics, etc.
Mar-Bal’s advanced DWS line of detectable warning surface products offers both composite and flexible materials for either cast-in-place or surface applied applications including the following brands:
RediMat™: Surface applied, flexible, glass-filled polyurethane on existing asphalt (or concrete).
AlertTile®: Surface applied, rigid composite, truncated domes.
AlertCast®: Cast-in-place, rigid composite–“The industry’s best replaceable detectable warning”.
Cast Iron™: Premium grey iron detectable warning plate designed for use in cold, harsh climates.
DWS ORIGIN / MAR-BAL ACQUISITION PROFILE:
Both AlertTile and Detectable Warning Systems have been pioneers in manufacturing and providing innovative and economical detectable warnings since the first installation for the Florida DOT in 1993.
In 2012 AlertTile President/Owner Alex Munroe and DWS President/Owner Mike Keels formed a strategic partnership enabling both companies access to the others’ product lines. Combining Redimat (Flexible, Glass Filled Polyurethane; Peel & Stick) with the AlerTile and AlertCast product lines gave each company two surface applied options and the industries’ best replacement cast-in place detectable warning.
With an existing customer/supplier relationship already in place with Mar-Bal, Munroe approached Mar-Bal principles about a potential acquisition of AlertTile / DWS. Ultimately, the acquisition would allow DWS total vertical integration with the composite tiles (AlertTile / AlertCast) and control over the other product lines Redimat and CastIron. On September 14, 2018 the acquisition was finalized.
According to Munroe, “The acquisition allows Mar-Bal to provide consistency, leadership, and innovation to this growing industry. It’s a huge market and the idea was to get the best products on the market out to the customer base ASAP. Sales and distribution expansion were also key factors, as was maintaining the already impeccable level of customer service by both companies.”
INTEGRATING MAR-BAL, DWS & THE COMPOSITES INDUSTRY:
Under the entrepreneurial leadership of the second-generation Balogh family, Mar-Bal’s President Scott Balogh and Vice President Steven Balogh, completed the acquisition of DWS in September 2018. The integration into the privately held Mar-Bal adds to their existing portfolio of industry leading proprietary products– including electrical insulators and fire resistant fiberglass-reinforced wastebaskets (Fire-Guard™/ Waste-Safe™).
Mar-Bal is an integrated solutions supplier–from developing and compounding their own materials, injection, compression, and transfer molding, value-added finishing (assembly, metalizing, decorating, and screen print), and distribution. Given these ‘one-source’ capabilities, Mar-Ball will be able to take DWS’ limited value supply chain and enhance it as a value-added thermoset composite supplier to the construction/safety market.
According to Scott Balogh, “Ultimately, the DWS acquisition helps Mar-Bal diversify into the vital growth markets of construction, infrastructure, and safety. It will provide these industries and customer bases with the ability to replace traditional materials (cast iron, ceramic pipe, etc.) with the advanced benefits of composites.”
Scott Balogh was also named as the ACMA Chairman in July 2019, and views the DWS acquisition and his appointment as an opportunity to serve the composites industry as a whole as it grows noting, “The goal of our Composite Growth Initiative (CGI) committees is to cultivate all uses of composites in a multitude of industries. These collaborative efforts will allow us to prosper via educational outreach platforms to create new and repurposed products with composites.”
Balogh considers DWS an investment in innovation stating, “Mar-Ball will provide DWS customers with full- service, innovative, and economical detectable warnings products (and adjacent products) with composites. Through customer collaboration, we will grow the business and offer everything the market needs as one source–including meeting evolving state specifications.”
DWS EXPANSION / GROWTH TRAJECTORY:
In anticipation of an aggressive growth trajectory for the DWS line of products, Mar-Bal has increased its production capacity across the line in their three US plants (OH/VA/MO)–from advanced equipment, material volumes, warehousing, etc.According to Vince Profeta, Mar-Bal’s VP of Product Engineering and Manufacturing Technology, “The DWS line represents a radical change so product development and manufacturing technology will play a key role. Investments in new equipment were made to ensure that the product can be produced on-time and just-in-time. These included 1,000 and 500 ton compression presses, robotics, and secondary equipment. Additionally, we are expanding capacity for the plants and increasing warehousing space to hold all inventory, and make sure systems are in place to ship quickly to our expanding customer bases.”
Eric Stump, Mar-Bal’s Dublin, VA Plant Manager, acknowledged the line’s growth potential and initial investments required to reach their goals stating, “Since the DWS line was procured, we’ve added large tonnage machines, additional employees were hired, and we even had to add an outside warehouse that we also staff–just for distribution and due to the large size of the product.” In addition to the local VA warehouse, Mar-Bal also has another warehouse in CA to service its’ West Coast customers and plans to add another strategic location in 2020.
According to Stump, the expansion is all encompassing stating, “This has also increased our consumption of compound–by a large amount. Setting the schedule and inventory targets is also vitally important. So many part numbers are produced from one mold, so it’s imperative that we plan it out well to decrease downtime to change from version-to-version. We are also fully assembling this product at the press and it consumes a lot of area for the work cell, but prevents further handling.”
Mar-Bal is a growth oriented company and Jim Wojtila, Mar-Bal ‘s CFO for the past eight years, recognizes the importance of the planning process, from top-to-bottom, in reaching their aggressive financial goals stating, “DWS is a whole new product offering and it will help us accomplish two key things. First, is it will help us diversify more as a lot of sales have traditionally been in the appliance, industrial, and electrical markets. Now we are adding the construction and safety markets. Our goal is for these new markets and products to ultimately represent an increasingly higher percentage of our annual sales. Secondly, adding these new custom, proprietary, and value-added sales offerings provides us with more balance. Essentially, adding the DWS propriety line to the mix will give us more control over the entire cycle.”
Wojtila also noted the vast opportunity to grow the DWS products and capture more market share stating, “Ultimately, Mar-Bal’s target goal is to double the DWS business in three years.”
The Mar-Bal team has all their collective ‘ducks-in-a-row’ to grow the newly acquired DWS business, and promote composites growth in the construction and safety markets. As the ‘one-source’ detectable warnings surface supplier, Mar-Bal will truly be the manufacturer of the entire Detectable Warning Systems process–from production to sales, and new product development.
Mar-Bal Vice President Steven Balogh is confident that they will swiftly impact the market stating, “As a company, we are quick, nimble, and have custom based capabilities. Through a team effort, we will work closely with contractors via direct interface–providing them with the ability to modify products at a high level when needed, offer direct shipments, and provide unparalleled customer service relationships.”
Anthony Lignetta, Mar-Bal’s Director, Proprietary Products, also noted their progressive commitment not only to composites advancement, but to the higher cause of the DWS line helping the visually impaired via their involvement with The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education. According to Lignetta, “Mar-Bal will be donating a percentage of the sale of every DWS tile to The Helen Keller Foundation. As a partner with the Foundation, there is a great opportunity to provide stewardship and ally Helen Keller’s legacy with solutions to those with disabilities–including blindness and deafness.”
For more information on The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education contact: hellenkellerfoundation.org.
For more information on Mar-Bal’s line of DWS products please visit www.detectable-warning.com or contact us at: (440) 543-7526.
Corporate Profile: Detectable Warning Systems is part of the Mar-Bal, Inc. proprietary family of products. Headquartered in Chagrin Falls, OH, Mar-Bal, Inc. has been an innovative leader in the custom composite, molding and material manufacturing industry since its founding in 1970. For over three decades Mar-Bal, Inc. has manufactured and engineered quality, customized parts and materials while delivering unmatched client cost-effectiveness through superior customer service and the Total Value Commitment. Mar-Bal, Inc. operates manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Virginia and Missouri.
©2019 MAR-BAL, INC. ### All rights reserved.
MAR-BAL, INC. / DWS CONTACT
Anthony Lignetta/Director, Proprietary Products
Ray Farrar/ Method Media LLC