Posted December 11, 2019

Mar-Bal acquires Detectable Warning Systems

DWS lines includes Redi-Mat Surface applied, flexible polyurethane warning products.

Mar-Bal, Inc., (Chagrin Falls, OH) is one of America’s fastest growing companies and the largest manufacturer of BMC molded Standoff Insulators in North America with the industry's two leading brands–Glastic and Mar-Bal.

In an effort to progressively expand their base of proprietary products and diversify beyond their core electrical, appliance, and industrial market stronghold and into the construction and safety industry, Mar-Bal recently acquired (September 2018) all of the assets of both AlertTile (including AlertCast) and Detectable Warning Systems (including RediMat).

The businesses acquired by Mar-Bal will now be branded under the umbrella brand of Detectable Warning Systems™ (DWS) as part of the Mar-Bal proprietary family of products.

Known as ‘The One-Source Solutions Provider’ of BMC thermoset composites, the ISO 9001: 2015 Registered Company provides their customers with comprehensive thermoset composite solutions–including part design, specialized material formulations, and customized automation.

As of the first-year anniversary of the DWS acquisition, Mar-Bal has put a stewardship plan in place for a growth trajectory into the $60 million warning surfaces market – with a value-added focus on commitment to innovation and market advancement for the growth and benefits of composites.


Today, there are over 40 million people with disabilities in the United States, including more than 10 million blind or visually impaired people, and that number is projected to grow dramatically as the population ages. One of the most seminal federal laws for civil rights ever passed to address this issue is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 4.29) of 1990, which ensures that public domains in the United States are safe and accessible to everyone – regardless of health or handicap.

In 1991, the ADA implemented specific Accessibility Guidelines for Detectable Warning Surfaces that were required on hazardous vehicle ways, transit platform edges, reflecting pools, curb and wheelchair ramps, etc.

These detectable warning surfaces, also called truncated domes, are tactile indicators and tactile pavers that provide ‘cues’ to persons with vision impairments–alerting them that they're walking into a hazardous vehicular area or change of grade. These are the products that comprise the broad scope of the DWS line – which are now a part of the proprietary product family of Mar-Bal, Inc.

DWS is now one of the industry’s most complete lines of ADA compliant tactile warning surfaces, engineered for visually impaired pedestrians at a reasonable cost to contractors, distributors, states, and municipalities for a myriad of market applications including: Health Care-Disability, Rail-Transport, Architecture, Infrastructure, Composites-Plastics, etc.

Mar-Bal’s advanced DWS line of detectable warning surface products offers both composite and flexible materials for either cast-in-place or surface applied applications including the following brands:

  • RediMat: Surface applied, flexible, glass-filled polyurethane on existing asphalt (or concrete).
  • AlertTile: Surface applied, rigid composite, truncated domes.
  • AlertCast: Cast-in-place, rigid composite–“The industry’s best replaceable detectable warning”.
  • Cast Iron: Premium grey iron detectable warning plate designed for use in cold, harsh climates. 

Both AlertTile and Detectable Warning Systems have been pioneers in manufacturing and providing innovative and economical detectable warnings since the first installation for the Florida DOT in 1993.

In 2012 AlertTile President/Owner Alex Munroe and DWS President/Owner Mike Keels formed a strategic partnership enabling both companies access to the others’ product lines. Combining Redimat (Flexible, Glass Filled Polyurethane; Peel & Stick) with the AlerTile and AlertCast product lines gave each company two surface applied options and the industries’ best replacement cast-in place detectable warning.

With an existing customer/supplier relationship already in place with Mar-Bal, Munroe approached Mar-Bal principles about a potential acquisition of AlertTile / DWS. Ultimately, the acquisition would allow DWS total vertical integration with the composite tiles (AlertTile / AlertCast) and control over the other product lines Redimat and CastIron. On September 14, 2018 the acquisition was finalized.

According to Munroe, “The acquisition allows Mar-Bal to provide consistency, leadership, and innovation to this growing industry. It’s a huge market and the idea was to get the best products on the market out to the customer base ASAP. Sales and distribution expansion were also key factors, as was maintaining the already impeccable level of customer service by both companies.”

Under the entrepreneurial leadership of the second-generation Balogh family, Mar-Bal’s President Scott Balogh and Vice President Steven Balogh, completed the acquisition of DWS in September 2018. The integration into the privately held Mar-Bal adds to their existing portfolio of industry leading proprietary products– including electrical insulators and fire resistant fiberglass-reinforced wastebaskets (Fire-Guard/ Waste-Safe).

Mar-Bal is an integrated solutions supplier–from developing and compounding their own materials, injection, compression, and transfer molding, value-added finishing (assembly, metalizing, decorating, and screen print), and distribution. Given these ‘one-source’ capabilities, Mar-Ball will be able to take DWS’ limited value supply chain and enhance it as a value-added thermoset composite supplier to the construction/safety market.

According to Scott Balogh, “Ultimately, the DWS acquisition helps Mar-Bal diversify into the vital growth markets of construction, infrastructure, and safety. It will provide these industries and customer bases with the ability to replace traditional materials (cast iron, ceramic pipe, etc.) with the advanced benefits of composites.”

Scott Balogh was also named as the ACMA Chairman in July 2019, and views the DWS acquisition and his appointment as an opportunity to serve the composites industry as a whole as it grows noting, “The goal of our Composite Growth Initiative (CGI) committees is to cultivate all uses of composites in a multitude of industries. These collaborative efforts will allow us to prosper via educational outreach platforms to create new and repurposed products with composites.”

Balogh considers DWS an investment in innovation stating, “Mar-Ball will provide DWS customers with full-service, innovative, and economical detectable warnings products (and adjacent products) with composites. Through customer collaboration, we will grow the business and offer everything the market needs as one source–including meeting evolving state specifications.” 

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