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Supplement, November 2000




Solutia Submits Post-Trial Motion

Solutia Inc. has filed a post-trial motion to amend a September 14 ruling in its case against Crown Operations International Ltd. of Sun Prairie, Wis. According to the ruling by Judge John C. Shabaz in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Crown breached its agreement to use only Solutia’s Saflex plastic interlayer in processing encapsulates for solar control in laminated glass. However, while the ruling found Crown guilty of breaching the agreement, it offered no solution to the problem for Solutia, according to the

Originally, Crown made eight charges against Solutia in the case. The judge dismissed Crown’s five claims that Solutia had unlawful patents on the solar control plastic interlayer used in laminated glass in two rulings prior to this one. Later, two of Crown’s other claims were dismissed completely, according to Solutia. Finally, on Crown’s final claim, Crown received only a partial reprieve.

Victoria Holt, vice president and general manager of Solutia’s Saflex, is pleased with the earlier decision of the court, but hopes this part of the case fares well also. “We’re gratified that the court has dismissed seven of the eight claims made by Crown,” she said. “We believe, however, that our contract requires Crown to use only Solutia’s Saflex plastic interlayer when it manufactures these products. We’ve asked the court to enter a judgment requiring Crown to honor its contractual commitment.”

However, despite Solutia’s dissatisfaction with the previous trial, Crown’s attorney, Joe Leone, said his client is pleased with the results of the case. “We feel we got what we wanted,” Leone said. “We have no animosity against Solutia. We still think they make the best stuff. We’re just not too pleased with their business practices.”


Marvin Windows Pursues Court Case Against PPG

A key claim in a 1999 U.S. District Court ruling has recently been reversed, allowing Marvin Windows and Doors of Warroad, Minn., to pursue a jury trial against Pittsburgh- based PPG Industries for breach of warranty, according to a statement released by Marvin.

About six-and-one-half years ago, Marvin says it began receiving customer complaints concerning windows that were prematurely decaying. The company believes the decaying to be a result of a preservation treatment from PPG called PILT, which it was using during the mid- to late-1980s, explained Brenda Baumann of Marvin.

“We have claimed all along that PPG misrepresented the performance of its wood preservative,” the statement said. “Because PPG’s wood preservative did not perform as promised, some of our windows and doors manufactured during the late 1980s began to rot prematurely. We intend to seek compensation for damage caused by PPG.”

Baumann also said PPG did not offer to help take care of the situation in replacing the customer’s windows. Currently Marvin is offering a significant reduction on the cost of replacement windows. “We will do whatever we can to help,” said Baumann.

Marvin says it still receives complaints, but the number of calls received has slowed.

“The eight circuit court affirmed the dismissal of 12 of the 13 counts and a vast majority of the 13th which is the breach of warranty,” said Michael Nilan, trial council for PPG. “It is a relatively narrow issue that has come back and we are confident we will prevail on this issue as well.”


G-U Hardware Inc. Doubles Floor Space

G-U Hardware Inc. of Newport News, Va., has expanded its office and warehouse facilities. According to the company, this is the third time it has expanded in three years and the latest improvement will double the space the company originally occupied. The company attributes its ability to expand so rapidly to the success of its new line of multiple-lock door systems and the recent introduction of its casement and awning window systems.


Friedman Corp. Acquires First Systech

The Friedman Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., recently announced that it has acquired First Systech, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Friedman hopes its new acquisition will help the company to extend its business across NT, UNIX and IBM AS/400 platforms.

“This acquisition allows us to expand our vertical market dominance by providing an integrated solution across all hardware platforms, which has been a requirement of many manufacturers within the fenestration marketplace,” said Craig Yamauchi, Friedman’s president. “As we move forward, both the [Friedman] Frontier and Systech applications will be positioned as a solution for new customers, as well as providing our existing Frontier AS/400 customers an option to deploy an NT, UNIX or AS/400 solution as they continue to expand their manufacturing operations domestically or internationally.”

Mark Leonard, founder and chief executive officer of Friedman’s parent company, Constellation Software Inc., is also pleased with the venture. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to invest in vertical solutions that will better position Friedman Corp. as the leading software provider within the fenestration industry,” Leonard said. “We are confident that the combination of the Systech product line along with Friedman’s integrated CRM applications ... provides tremendous growth opportunities within Friedman’s strategic markets.”


 Cardinal Extends Its Reach

Cardinal IG of Minnetonka, Minn., has begun production on a new LoE2 coating with a visible light transmission of 70 percent. Likewise, the 170 dual silver coating has an ultraviolet fading function of 31 percent and an SHGC of 0.36. In addition, Cardinal-Buford is now servicing the residential coated glass needs of the east and northeast.


TruSeal Trademarks Swiggle® Seal

TruSeal Technologies, based in Beachwood, Ohio, is now marking its Swiggle Seal with a trademark imprint. The imprint, Swiggle® Seal made in the USA, includes product information such as location, time and date. “This new imprint not only provides valuable tracking information, but also helps manufacturers guarantee that they are using TruSeal’s Swiggle Seal and not an inferior imposter,” said Lori Postak, product manager.


Marley Mouldings Places Stake in Bristol, Tenn.

Marley Mouldings, located in Marion, Va., is heading south. The company recently announced that it is opening a new 150,000-square-foot plant in Bristol, Tenn. It expects to house 100 employees by fall 2001. The plant will manufacture the same types of products made in the company’s current plant in Marion, including windows and doors.


Custom Service Hardware Inc. Tries New Branch and New Concept

Custom Service Hardware Inc. of Cedarburg, Wis., has opened a factory outlet operation. The Woodworkers Outlet, which will serve as an addition to the company’s headquarters in Cedarburg, will display and sell thousands of Custom Service Hardware products, including a few exclusive outlet-only items, according to the company.

In addition, the company hopes to host educational workshops at the new factory outlet. “Customers will learn from experts, including our president, also an experienced woodworker, contractors and industry suppliers,” said Dale Kaetterhenry, manager of the Woodworkers Outlet.


Crystal Window & Door Acquires New Rights

Crystal Window & Door Systems of Flushing, N.Y., has acquired the manufacturing rights and fabrication tooling for the former Acorn Windows aluminum product line. The company plans to incorporate Acorn’s rolling glass patio and terrace doors, slider windows and single-hung windows into its current product line. Crystal plans to sell the rights to the rest of Acorn’s products, which it considers inconsistent with its product philosophy.

Thomas Chen, president, expects the company to fare well with the product line from Acorn. “Acorn has a long history in aluminum window technology. “Acorn is also a leader in the new construction markets, so having Acorn products as part of the family means continued success for Crystal.”


Woodgrain Acquires Atrium Wood Patio Doors

Woodgrain Millwork of Fruitland Ind., has acquired Atrium Wood Patio Doors, located in Greenville, Texas. Atrium Wood Patio Doors, which is a division of Dallas-based Atrium Companies Inc., will become a part of Woodgrain’s window and door division.

John Smit, president of Windsor Windows and Doors, will manage the division as vice president of Woodgrain, while also maintaining his present responsibilities.

Although the two divisions will remain separate entities, Smit said he is looking forward to carrying both into the future. “Because Atrium and Windsor share suppliers, raw materials and lend themselves to similar manufacturing methods, it makes sense for the two companies to have shared philosophies and visions.”


Taylor Building Products Inc. Goes Abroad and Expands Product Offering

Taylor Building Products Inc. of West Branch, Mich., has undergone several changes lately. The company recently agreed to supply both Taylor entry and garage doors internationally through one of its major customers, P.P.H. Terrazyt S.C. of Poland.

In addition, the company is working to establish a pan door product line which will have the same engraving options as its own Encore and Taylorcore product lines.


Wood/Aluminum Windows Compete
With Vinyl in Europe

According to the InterConnection Consulting Group's 1999 Market Monitor Panel® Windows report, 82 million vinyl window units were sold in Europe in 1999 alone. The vinyl windows dominated the market that year, accounting for 40.9 percent of all European window sales in 1999; the previous year, vinyl windows accounted for 40.0 percent of European window sales, showing a .9 percent increase in popularity.

In contrast, wood and aluminum windows have seen a decrease in popularity in recent years, making up only 4.8 percent of all sales in Europe for wood-framed windows, and 26.4 percent for aluminum frames. However, by combining the two materials—placing wood on the window's inside and aluminum on its outside frame—the two mediums are attempting to make a comeback. In 1999, wood-aluminum windows accounted for 30.1 percent of window sales in Europe, just 10.8 percent behind vinyl windows.


TRACO Restores Buildings with 2,505 New Windows

Pittsburgh’s TRACO recently united with Southern Sash Supply of Montgomery, Ala., to complete the Fulton Cotton Mill, a historic building complex in Atlanta. 

To restore the complex, which is made up of nine historic buildings, TRACO designed an exclusive tube mullion to match the complex’s original wood windows. In addition, the company developed an interior trim to allow each window to anchor to an offset in the building. Altogether, 2,505 TR-9100 and TR-7100 windows were manufactured to restore four of the nine buildings.


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