Creative Aluminum Products Company

CAPCO is an acronym for Creative Aluminum Products Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Winnebago Industries. CAPCO is responsible for providing aluminum extrusions and related assembled components to production. Items manufactured for motorhome assembly include: windows, screen doors, access doors, roof racks and ladders, corner trim, rocker trim, etc. CAPCO occupies approximately 194,000 square feet and has two aluminum extrusion presses. The 2,200 ton press can process eight- and nine-inch diameter billets and extrude shapes like roof cove or wide flooring sections. The 1,650 ton press can extrude seven-inch diameter billets and is used for the smaller sections like trims.

The extrusion presses process over 426,000 net pounds of aluminum per week of which 24 percent is for Winnebago Industries. The balance comes from about 120 external customers with heavy emphasis in the window and door industries. In total, CAPCO ships about 700 orders per day (internal and external) and averages 3,000 inventory transactions per day. An extrusion is made by heating an aluminum billet to a temperature of 850 to 950 degrees F, then pushing it through a steel die. As the soft aluminum makes contact with the outside air, it hardens and retains its shape. The extrusion presses extrude about 170 miles of usable aluminum per week with nearly 3,000 active dies.

CAPCO has two different paint systems available for the finishing of extrusions and assemblies. A powder coat system is especially effective in coating parts where an extremely durable finish is desired. The powder coat system applies paint powder to the parts using electrostatics. The parts are charged with an opposite charge than the paint. The material is drawn to the part building a complete film. The powder paint system processes parts up to 16’ long.

The second alternative to finishing aluminum extrusion is with the vertical wet system. Extrusions up to 22 feet in length are hung vertically on the paint conveyor. After pre-treatment, the extrusions enter a pair of silos containing reciprocating disk applicators. Rather than spray the paint, the disk spins it into microscopic particles as a cylinder raises and lowers the disk. The disk also electrostatically charges the paint so it is attracted to the part. The extrusions make a loop within the silo and are bombarded with the paint. A second silo coats the opposite sides of the extrusions. Conventional baking cures the paint film. Both paint systems employ four stage washers and dry ovens that clean and treat the extrusions for maximum adhesion and corrosion protection.

With a wide range of fabrication equipment, extrusions can be straight cut to length or mitered. The punch area includes a full line of punch presses for piercing and notch operations in addition to drilling, routing, and milling. Computerized and conventional benders offer bend radius capabilities to suit the most demanding design requirements.

CAPCO'S welding department has both mig and tig capabilities.

In a move toward more efficiency, CAPCO has moved away from the traditional job shop layout and set up a number of work cells. Each cell is designed for a particular group of products, such as windows or screen doors. The necessary equipment for processing from start to finish is laid out in a smooth flow and dedicated to that particular operation. The result is reduced inventory on the floor and a significantly faster throughput from raw material to finished assembly.

While the cost of aluminum has fluctuated through the years, CAPCO has reduced inventory costs by JIT manufacturing of many Winnebago Industries and OEM parts, where throughput time has been reduced from five days to less than one day. Work cells have been set up to process windows, access doors, rack and ladders, screen doors, and parts for OEM customers.


Shapes and Standards Manual (PDF)


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Creative Aluminum Products Company
Forest City, Iowa 50436
Phone: 641-585-6870