With the dawn of the new decade, Tubelite Inc. celebrates its diamond anniversary.
For 75 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises Inc., the company is known for its eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and it is recognized for its reliable delivery.
“We’re proud to be known as one of the industry’s premier architectural aluminum manufacturers specializing in pre-engineered aluminum framing systems,” says Steve Green, Tubelite 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. The name Tubelite was coined to represent the tubes of aluminum and lites of glass. After five years working from a 50-by-60-feet alley-front building, Miller moved its operations to a 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, Mich., for assembly, warehouse and distribution operations. Three years later, this became its corporate office with added fabrication capabilities. Tubelite’s Dallas location, opened in 2013, provides 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. A few notable examples through the decades are:
- 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, N.M.; and EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
- 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, Pa.; Irene Hernandez Middle School in Chicago; Air Academy Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Dan Dipert Career & Technical Center in Arlington, Texas
To learn more about Tubelite’s 75-year history, visit online. Here are a few highlights:
- 1945 Tubelite founded by James T. Miller in Reed City, Mich.
- 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 Corp.
- 1977 Tubelite purchased by Consolidated Aluminum Co. (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, Mich.
- 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 ideal 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 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 Inc.