At Ceco, we love seeing our products put to creative use – a passion that’s at the heart of each year’s Ceco Project Awards. For the 2020 Awards, we received numerous entries and while it’s always hard to choose, we were especially impressed with the way Manitowoc, Wisconsin’s Redline Plastics made creative use of Ceco products with their new headquarters and manufacturing center.
Redline Plastics’ history dates to 1922, when it was founded as Dow Canvas, a tent manufacturing company. Through the years, the company merged and divested to become Redline Plastics. Today, Redline is a leading manufacturer of powersports OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarket motorcycle covers and luggage for brands that include Harley-Davidson, Polaris and other well-known powersports names. In addition, the company is a rapidly growing manufacturer of rotationally molded and vacuum formed plastic products for a variety of industries that include construction equipment, powersports, marine, commercial trucks and many more. In 2020, Redline was named by Plastics News as the fastest growing rotational molder in the U.S. and in 2021, Redline received a Plastics News Best Places To Work award.
Several years ago, Redline refocused its operations and decided to build its own, new purpose-built plant in Manitowoc. That’s where Ceco Builder Hamann Construction Company and the McMahon Associates architecture firm came in and were immediately faced with a challenge.
One of Redline’s central manufacturing processes – plastic roto molding – produces a significant amount of heat, requiring heavy rooftop heat exchangers. This, in turn, meant a substantial roof load and the need for conventional steel construction. However, as Hamann’s president, Steve Hamann, explained, “When we priced it out for them, it came in way over their budget.”
They were back to square one – but this is where bright ideas so often occur. In fact, the combination of two bright ideas turned the project on its head. In a good way.
Manitowoc is known for its cold winters, and a facility like Redline’s needs to stay warm – which is especially tricky in areas that tend to leak warm air, such as loading docks. McMahon Associates’ Senior Architect Gary Schneider proposed an idea: Instead of directing all that roto molding heat through heat exchangers on the roof, what if they directed some of the waste heat to heat cold parts of the building? This not only negated the need for additional heating equipment in the loading docks but made heavy rooftop heat exchangers unnecessary.
The Redline building began with a rigid multi-span frame. As Travis Ladwig, Ceco Sales Rep, explained, “It was a very complex structure and had a lot of parts and pieces that you normally don’t have in a metal building.” One of the most challenging parts was the 10,000 square feet of office space to be constructed inside the building itself. To make this possible, the office was situated above a portion of the production space that didn’t require much height. Such a mezzanine isn’t a typical feature of engineered buildings, so Ceco designed a custom solution in-house.
The rest of the structure – from the frame all the way to the striking red exterior eyebrow – is a veritable showcase of innovative Ceco product use. The walls were constructed from Ceco’s cost-effective, 26 gauge PBR panels finished in Ash Gray and reverse-rolled for a unique look, while the entire roof span benefits from the durability and longevity of Ceco’s 24 gauge Double-Lok® standing-seam metal roof panels in Galvalume Plus®.
Part of what made the Redline facility project a standout in this year’s Ceco Project Awards was how the trifecta of construction company, architecture firm and material supplier worked together to solve problems. “Hamann is a great contractor to work with,” said McMahon’s Gary Shneider, “and it was exceptionally helpful to have them on board from day one.” And thanks to the streamlined construction process enabled by Ceco’s single-source system, the project took just over a year to build, with Redline moving into their new facility in late Fall of 2019.
Congratulations to Redline Plastics, McMahon Associates and Hamann Construction Company for their place among this year’s proud Ceco Project Awards Winners!
As we know, success tends to breed more success, and this is no exception. A 100,000–square–foot expansion is underway at Redline Plastics, featuring even more Ceco products.