Special-Lite, Inc. Acquires Arkansas-based Door Manufacturer

Jan. 25, 2012
Universal Pultrusions doors provide an all-fiberglass solution for locations involving corrosive atmospheres

DECATUR, MICH. — January 25, 2012 — Special-Lite, Inc. has acquired Universal Pultrusions, LLC, a manufacturer of pultruded fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) doors, frames, thresholds and related accessories for commercial entrance applications.  The purchase includes a manufacturing facility located in Marshall, Arkansas.  The company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Special-Lite, Inc.  The prior management team will remain in place, and all manufacturing will remain in Marshall.

The doors manufactured by Universal Pultrusions are the only ones on the market produced using the pultrusion process, whereby glass fiber reinforcements are saturated with resin and pulled through a heated die, completely encapsulating a foam core to create a seamless door panel.  After cutting the door to length, FRP top and bottom rails—also produced using the pultrusion process—are bonded to the door to create a sealed assembly.  The resulting all-fiberglass door, along with pultruded frame, threshold, vision lite kits and louvers, are well suited to locations involving corrosive atmospheres such as pulp and paper plants, wastewater treatment facilities, and petrochemical refineries, or involving exposure to harsh cleaners and sterilizers, such as food or pharmaceutical manufacturing plants.

“This acquisition will allow us to provide an all-fiberglass solution for applications where the operating environment or maintenance practices favor this type of product,” according to Special-Lite CEO, Henry Upjohn.  “We have had a relationship with Universal Pultrusions for some years now, purchasing their FRP framing, and have come to respect the quality of their products, the abilities of their management, and the compatibility of our two cultures.  We are excited about the possibilities for future growth with this acquisition,” he added.

Based in Decatur, Mich., Special-Lite manufactures complete entrance systems consisting of flush, monumental, wood grain doors, colonial doors, panels and framing for new construction and replacement installations in educational, commercial, institutional, industrial and municipal applications.  The company was founded in 1971 and pioneered the use of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) material for door skins in the early 1980s, and today is the largest volume producer of FRP doors in the U.S. Special-Lite’s entrance products were the first to earn GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification, including the stringent Children & Schools Standard.

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