Walker, Mich.-based Tubelite Inc. announced it is celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary. “We’re proud to be known as one of the industry’s premier architectural aluminum manufacturers specializing in pre-engineered aluminum framing systems,” said Steve Green, Tubelite’s president. “Each of our products is manufactured to meet the project’s aesthetic, performance and environmental goals. They also are manufactured for easy fabrication and installation to meet timeline and budget constraints.”
Tubelite was founded in 1945 by James T. Miller. Its name, Tubelite, was refers to tubes of aluminum and lites of glass. After five years working from a 50-by-60-feet alley-front building, Miller moved the company’s operations to a new, small building in Reed City, Mich. The building has been added to more than 20 times since 1949, and continues to serve as Tubelite’s aluminum extrusion operation. In 2003, Tubelite opened an additional location in Walker for assembly, warehouse and distribution operations. Three years later, this became the company’s corporate office with added fabrication capabilities. Tubelite’s Dallas location opened in 2013 and houses additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. The company also has an office in Warwick, R.I.
Tubelite’s products and expertise have contributed to thousands of building projects across the U.S. including:
- 1950-60s: Miller Airport auditorium entrance, the Holland Ford dealership, and the Big Dutchman Co. in Michigan.
- 1970-80s: World Trade Center in Norfolk, Virginia; 388 Market St. in San Francisco; Sun Healthcare in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
- 1990s: NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis; Crown Cork & Seal near Philadelphia; The Colonnade in Memphis; Core Center in Chicago.
- 2000-10s: Kress Event Center in Green Bay, Wis.; Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, Penn.; Irene Hernandez Middle School in Chicago; Air Academy Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center in Arlington, Texas.
- For more information about Tubelite’s 75-year history, visit www.tubeliteinc.com/history.
Highlights in the company’s history include:
- 1945: Tubelite founded by James T. Miller in Reed City.
- 1949: Tubelite moves from the garage of Miller to the current location of the extrusion operation in Reed City.
- 1949-1967: Period of continuous expansion, including construction of plants in South America
- 1961: Extrusion press purchased an addition to the building
- 1968: James T. Miller sells company to Olin Corporation
- 1977: Tubelite purchased by Consolidated Aluminum Company (Conalco)
- 1981: Tubelite purchased by Indal Limited
- 1986: Tubelite begins strategic relationship with Linetec for paint finishing
- 1994: Senior Tubelite managers buy company, return it to private ownership
- 1996: Tubelite makes major expansion in its distribution network
- 1997: Last of regional service centers are consolidated to Reed City to improve client service
- 2000: Tubelite launches e-business website for clients
- 2001-2002: Tubelite invests in new state of the art CNC equipment as well as new press, aging ovens and handling equipment
- 2003: Assembly, warehousing and distribution operations relocate to Walker, Michigan
- 2006: Tubelite’s corporate office moves to Walker
- 2006: Max/Block sun shades for reduction of solar heat gain on vision glass areas are launched
- 2007: Assembly, warehousing and distribution operations move into the same 80,000-square-feet facility occupied by the corporate office
- 2007: Tubelite joins Apogee Enterprises, Inc., an excellent fit as both are known for quality and on-time services
- 2009: Tubelite changes standard anodizing process from caustic etch to acid etch to decrease waste by-product and improve eco-friendliness
- 2010: Thermal=Block thermally broken doors and frames are launched
- 2011: ForceFront Blast doors and curtainwall framing systems are launched.
- 2012: Tubelite adds fiberglass pressure plate for 400 Series Curtainwall for improved thermal performance.
- 2013: ForceFront Storm hurricane-resistant entry doors receive Florida Product Approval for HVHZ use.
- 2013: Tubelite releases TU24000 High Performance Thermal Storefront with dual pocket poured-and-debridged thermal breaks.
- 2013: Dallas, Texas offices, fabrication and warehouse operations opens.
- 2015: Tubelite releases TU24650 2-by-6.5-inch high-performance thermal storefront.
- 2016: Tubelite releases 900RW Window Wall System with single or dual thermal breaks.
- 2017: Tubelite releases 400T Curtainwall with improved thermal performance.
- 2019: Tubelite adds polyurethane pressure plate for 400 Series Curtainwall for improved thermal performance.
2019: Steve Green named president of Tubelite.