Injection molded windows in development at Royal
Vic De Zen is set to surprise the construction industry again. The entrepreneur behind the Royal Group Technologies Ltd. empire has cut back on running day-to-day operations of the company and spends ...
Vic De Zen is set to surprise the construction industry again. The entrepreneur behind the Royal Group Technologies Ltd. empire has cut back on running day-to-day operations of the company and spends more time working with his R&D staff to find ever new ways to inject plastic into the building products market.
“Vic gets a kick out of being involved with the R&D,” said Douglas Dunsmuir, who replaced De Zen as president of Royal Group Technologies.
De Zen told a group of journalists gathered at the Royal Group Technologies campus in Vaughan, ON in June that Royal spends $25 to $30 million per year on new product development. One of the more promising products to emerge from the R&D program is an injection molded window frame. De Zen said the injection molded window compliments extruded vinyl window profiles with a versatile large-span casement system, and will be cost effective to produce.
Royal will not assemble the windows on a commercial basis because that would put the company in direct competition with its customers. Instead, it will produce components for the window and sell them to existing window fabricator customers.
The molded windows are targeted at new home construction, and will be casement style.
Other innovations on the way include deck boards produced with a substructure of recycled garbage (using the patented Royal Eco products process), garage doors with a core of recycled garbage, and a siding product that will look like cement board.
Even with this peek at upcoming products, De Zen hasn’t revealed his whole hand yet. “Wait and see what Royal will be in another two or three years,” he said as he wrapped up his tour of the R&D facility.
Through product development, acquisition and internal growth, Royal Group Technologies has increased its product line substantially in the seven years since the company went public. In 1995, Royal estimated the potential sales of its construction products as $2295 per house. Now, that figure is $27,909. Sales in fiscal 2001 were $1.67 billion, and are targeted to be $3 billion in 2005.
Royal now has 9400 employees worldwide. But in spite of its massive size, it faces some of the same problems as smaller Canadian plastics companies.
Operating efficiency, says Dunsmuir, is one of the key concerns right now. In the past few years Royal has consolidated 24 former plants into 14 new buildings at a “campus” northwest of Toronto. The campus incorporates 4 million sq. ft. of manufacturing space. Now that moving and start-up is complete, “we’re spending a lot of time improving our own efficiencies, trying to get the most out of our investment. Our guys are just getting a handle on it now.”CPL
Malpack loses leader
Gaetano Di Petro, president and co-founder of Malpack Ltd., passed away on May 22, 2002, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Di Petro immigrated to Canada in 1962, initially settling in Ottawa. In 1973, he and a partner founded Malpack Polybag Ltd. in Toronto. Today the company is a leader in manufacturing plastic bags and cast stretch film.
A company statement said Di Petro will be remembered for his kindness and generosity, as well as his passion for life and work.