Part of the proprietary product family of Mar-Bal, Inc. since 2018, Detectable Warning Systems™ (DWS) has been providing quality ADA and DOT compliant detectable warning products for more than 28 years.
With one of the industry’s most complete line of tactile warning products for visually impaired pedestrians, the company continues to expand its growth trajectory into this growing market by increasing the production capacity of their manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia. In addition to installing two new large compression presses, the company’s warehouse at the Pulaski, Virginia, location was also expanded to approximately 2X (72k sq ft) its previous size.
The Dublin, Virginia, plant, one of Mar-Bal’s three manufacturing facilities in the US, produces all of the DWS composite panels. The DWS panels highlight Mar-Bal’s vertical integration which includes the molding of panels in Virginia from its own compound (produced in Ohio) and then the assembly, storage, and shipping also out of its facilities.
Continuing this market expansion presence, DWS also has two offices at the Virginia Tech (VT: Blacksburg, Virginia) Corporate Research Center (CRC). The public university, via state funding, recently continued its main campus expansion of ADA accessible ramps using DWS panels.
Since the acquisition, and coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, DWS has doubled sales as its proprietary molded panel products are on the rise. With a core commitment to sales expansion in North America, states like Virginia, and bordering territorial states, are key target sectors for growth. The DWS portfolio of products, which includes composite, cast iron, and polyurethane materials, addresses each region’s specific product profile needs—meeting their unique ADA and weather-related requirements. For example, Virginia specifies and leans toward the use of cast-in-place detectable warning products (DWS’s AlertCast®) for new concrete applications over DWS’s AlertTile® which is used for existing concrete applications.
AlertCast Profile: Considered “The industry’s best replaceable detectable warning”, it is a premium glass-reinforced thermoset, cast-in-place, rigid composite engineered for superior impact resistance, slip resistance, wear resistance, and long-term durability. Its exclusive lightweight design incorporates a slip-resistant surface and truncated domes designed to comply with ADA standards. Should the need arise, these panels are also replaceable.
AlertTile Profile: A glass-reinforced thermoset composite engineered for superior impact resistance, slip resistance, wear resistance, and long-term durability for retrofit applications. The exclusive design of AlertTile incorporates a thin, slightly flexible profile with a perimeter beveled edge to provide a safe pedestrian transition.
Currently, DWS services the North American market with a combination of full-time employees and experienced industry representatives. With its parent company located in Ohio, the state is also primed as a key growth territory for DWS. To advance this regional progression, DWS partnered with the construction-focused rep firm Blak Kat Group, LLC (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) to service its Ohio and Michigan customers. Headed by managing partners Kyle Torres and Brian Zak, they promote the line’s value-added innovation engineered for visually impaired pedestrians.
Additionally, to expand its presence and service into the Canadian marketplace, DWS entered into an exclusive distribution and project management agreement with one of the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) leading construction material providers: Cityscape Supply Group (CSG). CSG spearheads the product line’s comprehensive compliance with Canada’s AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) requirements coast-to-coast.
The increase of production capacity, warehousing, and sales/service force will allow DWS to penetrate deeper into the concrete, asphalt, and paving-focused entities at a competitive cost. Market applications include: Public Rights of Way, Parking Structures, Health Care-Disability (including senior and assisted living facilities), Rail Transport, Architecture, Infrastructure, Commercial Shopping Centers, and Apartment Communities, etc.
In conjunction with its expanded presence at the Virginia Tech (VT: Blacksburg, Virginia) Corporate Research Center, DWS’s AlertCast detectable warning panels are now part of the universities’ new multi-modal transit facility. The facility is a hub for its all-electric buses and ensuing commuter traffic and the panels are strategically placed around the curves surrounding the bus parking, charging, and commuter areas.
The installation was done by woman-and-family owned ACCÃD Corporation (Ivydale, West Virginia)—which has a deep-rooted tradition and a family history in the West Virginia construction market. According to ACCÃD Superintendent, Cam Dunmire, “We used over 300 DWS panels on the project and the installation was seamless as they are light weight, easy to cut, and hold up great−with no chipping, etc. Out of all the panels we’ve installed over the years, DWS’s detectable panel line is the most durable and easiest to use by far.”
About the Author:
Detectable Warning Systems is part of the Mar-Bal, Inc. proprietary family of products. Headquartered in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Mar-Bal, Inc. has been an innovative leader in the custom composite, molding and material manufacturing industry since its founding in 1970. For more than three decades Mar-Bal, Inc. has manufactured and engineered quality, customized parts and materials while delivering unmatched client cost-effectiveness through superior customer service and the Total Value Commitment. Mar-Bal, Inc. operates manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Virginia, and Missouri. For more, visit www.detectable-warning.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, December 2023
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