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CFA Members Tour Bilco’s Manufacturing Facility

Sixteen members of the Concrete Foundation Association (CFA) from around the county recently attended an open house tour of The Bilco Company’s Zanesville, Ohio manufacturing facility. The group learned more about the company’s history, technology and residential product line.

The facility houses both blow-molding and injection-molding equipment used to manufacture Bilco’s line of polyethylene products for the residential market. These products include the Ultra Series Basement Door, ScapeWEL® Window Well System and stakWEL(TM) Modular Window Well System. The plant also contains equipment to manufacture Bilco’s flagship steel basement doors.

During the tour, members enjoyed an up-close look at a number of different areas within the plant, and were particularly impressed with the cleanliness and overall operation of the facility. Being able to observe first-hand the blow- and injection-molding techniques for window wells, as well as intricate steel fabrication of Bilco’s basement doors, provided a better understanding of what goes into creating the company’s quality products.

“Bilco has a fantastic operation, so I can see why its products are of such value to the market,” one member commented.

Bilco operates two of the largest plastic blow-molding machines in the United States, each with a 60-pound drop that allows for molding a 4’ x 8’ product, such as a basement door or a ScapeWEL window well, in one shot. The extensive blow-molding capability is complemented by a 15-pound machine that provides a platform to produce a small-to-medium-sized product. Window well panels are blow-molded from high-density polyethylene resin and filled with rigid-setting closed-cell polyurethane foam for added strength and rigidity.

In addition to blow-molding, Bilco uses a 2,200-ton injection-molding machine to produce large scale products such as the stakWEL window well. Rounding out the company’s plastics capability is a 10’ x 10’ vacuum forming machine that is used to create domes for ScapeWEL and stakWEL window wells, as well as to construct other architectural products.

For steel product manufacturing, Bilco operates punching and forming presses and welding units, which are arranged in a one-piece-flow configuration and feed products into the paint line. The paint line incorporates a three-stage wash and 3,300-gallon dip tank that can submerge an entire door at once. The paint line guides a single unit at a time through the entire process, including packaging. With this technology, Bilco can change from one product to another within six minutes, allowing an array of products to be created for next-day shipping.

New to the plant is a one-piece-flow powder coating cell that applies a durable powder-coat finish to Bilco’s Classic Series steel-sided basement doors. A door is constructed and washed on the paint line before it diverges to the powder-coating booth for application. Once the powder adheres to the door, it is melted and fused together into a solid coating in a curing oven.

For more than 85 years, The Bilco Company has been a building industry pioneer in the design and development of specialty access products. The company has built a reputation among homeowners, builders, architects, and engineers for products that are unequaled in design and workmanship. Bilco – an ISO 9001 certified company – offers a line of basement doors, egress window wells, and specialty access products for commercial applications.

For information on The Bilco Company or its products, call (203) 934-6363 or visit www.bilco.com.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us