With the dawn of the new decade, Tubelite Inc. celebrates its diamond anniversary.
For 75 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery.
“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. The name “Tubelite” was coined to represent the tubes of aluminum and lites of glass. After five successful 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, Michigan. 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, Michigan 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, provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. The company also has an office in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Tubelite’s products and expertise have contributed to thousands of building projects across the United States. A few notable examples through the decades include:
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, Wisconsin; Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Irene Hernandez Middle School in Chicago; Air Academy Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Dan Dipert Career & Technical Center in Arlington, Texas
To learn more about Tubelite’s 75-year history, please visit /history/. Here are a few highlights:
1945 Tubelite founded by James T. Miller in Reed City, Michigan
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 Inc.
Today, Tubelite and its staff continue to share its years of knowledge and experience as members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA), the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America (NGA/GANA), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).