Volume 2   Issue 3               Fall 2001

What'sNews

Rohm and Haas Closes Plant in Moss Point, Miss.; Competitors Hope to Fill Void

Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas has announced it will close its operations at its facility in Moss Point, Miss., by the end of the year. The closing will eliminate 210 jobs, according to the company. The news comes two months after the company announced it would discontinue the liquid polysulfide and insulating glass businesses in Moss Point—a move which affected 140 jobs. (See Summer 2001 Door & Window Maker, page 24, for related story.)

“This is a very disappointing day at the plant,” said plant manager Jane Bowen. “The employees have worked hard to improve productivity, safety and environmental performance.”

Now that Rohm & Haas is leaving the liquid polysulfide business, the fenestration industry will need to obtain its liquid polysulfides from other companies, or turn to other technologies. According to Rohm & Haas, the increase in these new insulating glass sealant technologies—including the increase in polyurethane technology—was its main reason for leaving the business.

“Our plan is to bring the production 
down at the end of this year. During
 that time we’ll meet any contractual
 obligations with our current customers
 and some of that will go into 2002.”

- Brian McPeak

“We’re working with the customers now. Our plan is to bring the production down at the end of this year. During that time we’ll meet any contractual obligations with our current customers and some of that will go into 2002,” said Brian McPeak, a spokesperson for the company. “Over time customers already were beginning to transfer to other technologies such as polyurethane technology.”

McPeak said several other companies have already made the transition to manufacturing polyurethane insulating sealants, as Rohm & Haas is doing now, and he is sure others will do the same in the near future.

In the meantime, companies such as Frankfurt-based Chemetall GmbH say the exit of the polysulfide market by Rohm & Haas “will dramatically affect the global market for insulating glass sealants,” according to a news release issued by the former liquid polysulfide customer.

As Rohm & Haas withdraws from the market, Chemetall says 30 percent of the worldwide production of secondary seal insulating glass sealants will have to be replaced, leaving others to fill the void. According to Art Katz, transitional sales manager for insulating glass sealants for Rohm & Haas, Chemetall is one of the company’s largest customers—if not the largest.

“There are other manufacturers of liquid polysulfides, including some out of the European market, including Akros, as well as in Asia, Thiokol Toray. They currently are active producers of polysulfides,” Katz said. “In regard to filling the void, Rohm & Haas produced far more polysulfide than either of those two combined, so there is going to be a void. Even after they get some of the Rohm & Haas business, there will still be more [business] that could be available.”

Likewise, Katz said some companies will be compelled to make a transition into new technologies, due to the impending shortage of liquid polysulfides, which are also used in the construction industry, automotive industry, leather business, printing industry, electrical encapsulation usage and dentistry.

“Some of them are going to have no choice. There won’t be sufficient material to cover all the needs of the liquid polysulfide business,” Katz said. “Some of them will have to involve themselves in other technologies, including polyurethane technologies.”

DISTRIBUTION

PGT Partners with Linsalata Capital to Further Own Manufacturing Capabilities

PGT Industries of Venice, Fla., has partnered with Linsalata Capital Partners of Cleveland. As part of this transaction, PGT and Triple Diamond Glass, also of Venice, will become sister companies under the leadership of PGT executives.

In addition, PGT’s management team and Linsalata have acquired all of the equity of PGT’s founder and chairperson, Paul Hostetler. Randy White will continue as president of the company.

LEGAL

Marvin Reaches Settlement in Class Action Suit


Marvin Windows and Doors of Warroad, Minn., has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that will give customers who own certain Marvin windows or doors manufactured from 1985 to 1989 a discount on replacement products. The suit was brought against the company when customers allegedly experienced decay in some wood windows and doors manufactured during these years. According to a release issued by the company, Marvin treated its products with a wood preservative, during this period, PILT. PILT was manufactured from Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries. In turn, Marvin filed a suit against PPG for breach of warranty (see premier issue of Door & Window Maker, page 24, for related story). 

According to the terms of the settlement, owners of Marvin windows or doors manufactured from 1985 to 1989 are eligible for net discounts ranging from approximately 38 to 58 percent on new windows or doors.

Both parties said they were pleased that the trial was over and a settlement had been reached.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement. Resolving these legal issues allows us to continue to focus on working with our customers to fix the problem,” said Susan Marvin, president of Marvin Windows and Doors.

Likewise, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Charles Zimmerman, senior partner at Zimmerman Reed, and Steven Schwartz, a partner at Chimicles & Tikellis LLP, said they, along with their clients, are satisfied with the settlement.

Currently, Marvin’s case against PPG is scheduled to be heard in federal court in October 2001.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

STIK-II Acquires RPM

STIK-II Products of Easthampton, Mass., has purchased Richards, Parents & Murray Inc. (RPM) of Mount Vernon, N.Y., a manufacturer of adhesive films and foam tapes.

“This purchase expands our ability to serve new or existing customers,” said James McKeon Jr., director of sales and marketing for STIK-II. “Also, it fits with our current growth and plans for future growth.”

STIK-II will now sell RPM’s products under the STIK-II name. RPM’s equipment has been moved to Easthampton, and many of RPM’s employees have also moved to Easthampton to work for STIK-II.

Masco Corp. Acquires Milgard Manufacturing

The Masco Corp., which is based in Taylor, Mich., has acquired Milgard Manufacturing Inc. of Tacoma, Wash. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Under its new ownership, Milgard will continue to operate under the Milgard name as an independent entity, according to Gary Milgard, president. 
“We are delighted to become a part of the Masco family of companies. We share similar cultures and values,” he said. “This transition has been seamless and we will continue to provide our customers with the same quality and outstanding service. As far as our customers are concerned, it will be ‘business as usual.’”

Masco’s chairperson and chief executive officer Richard Manoogian hopes the acquisition will help his company expand into the domestic window and patio door markets. “The acquisition of Milgard offers opportunities for Masco to further expand into the $15 billion domestic market for windows and patio doors,” he said.

IFC Breaks into Fenestration with Purchase of G.F. Technologies

International Fenestration Components Inc. (IFC) of Northville, Mich., has announced it has purchased the assets of G.F. Technologies, according to John McKeegan, president of IFC.

“The added technology of the optimization, positioners and material handling acquired when we purchased G.F. Technologies will enhance IFC’s already-expanded line of machinery for the window and insulating glass industry,” McKeegan said.

IFC assembles and delivers precision cutting machinery for the window and door industries but is working to branch into other markets, including the door and window industry of which G.F. Technologies is already a part.

Ultra Hardware and Gainsborough Hardware Strike Deal

Ultra Hardware Products LLC of Pennsauken, N.J., has received the exclusive selling rights for the United States for Gainsborough Hardware Industries. Under the new agreement, all products will continue to be sold under the original name. Both companies expect the partnership to be profitable, according to Daniel Carpey, president of Ultra Hardware, and Geoff Oliver, general manager of Australia-based Gainsborough Hardware Industries.

RESEARCH

NFRC Study Reveals On-time Shipment and Availability on Builders’ Minds

Builders’ Concerns
On scale of 1 (not important) to 5 (very important)

Concern                                                                   Score
On-time Completion                                                  4.6
Shipment and Availability                                           4.6
Warranty and Service Terms                                        4.5
Durability of Products                                                4.3
Manufacturer’s Reputation                                           4.1

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) recently conducted a nationwide survey revealing that when selecting a manufacturer of windows, doors and skylights, builders are most concerned about on-time shipment and availability of product. The NFRC asked builders to indicate the importance of each of 16 attributes in selecting a fenestration manufacturer, with “very important” assigned a score of 5 and “not important” assigned a score of 1. On-time completion and shipment and availability tied for first with an average score of 4.6. Warranty and service terms was next with an average score of 4.5. Durability of products (with a score of 4.3) and manufacturer’s reputation (with a score of 4.1) also followed closely.

The study also revealed that most builders buy their windows from a dealer, lumber yard, home store or local distributor. Eighteen percent buys from the manufacturer. In regard to energy performance, builders care most about air leakage, comfort, long-term energy performance and condensation resistance.

Complaints in Home Improvement Surpass Those in Auto Sales

With an increase in remodeling and the maintenance of steady construction, more consumers now report complaints in the area of home improvement than they do in auto sales for the first time in history, according to the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA). The percentage of complaints in this area raised from 68 percent to 82 percent from 1999 to 2000. The NACAA says this increase could possibly be attributed to the thriving economy and increasing demand for builders and remodelers. Most complaints involved the failure to complete jobs or poor-quality work.

MANUFACTURING

Davis-Standard Makes Transition Toward Lean Manufacturing

Davis-Standard, a Crompton Business of Pawcatuck, Conn., has been working with the Connecticut State Technology Extension Program (CONNSTEP Inc.) since April 2000 to integrate what it calls “lean manufacturing” into its operation. According to the company, lean manufacturing requires companies to “re-evaluate their manufacturing environment and develop practices that continually improve internal efficiencies, adding value to the enterprise and benefiting customers.” 

Davis-Standard has incorporated this practice into its gear-case production area with the eventual goal of using it through the entire manufacturing process, from order to shipment.

“We contacted CONNSTEP because we wanted to re-examine our manufacturing processes for high-volume key components on extruders,” said Ernie Plasse, vice president of manufacturing operations. “Lean manufacturing challenges the way we’ve manufactured these components in the past and will help us to reduce costs, provide faster delivery and remain competitive globally.”

CONTRACTS

GED Switches Software for Business Management

Glass Equipment Development Inc. (GED) of Twinsburg, Ohio, has signed a contract with IFS North America of Chicago to implement the company’s IFS Applications™ business software at its headquarters in Twinsburg. Previously, GED was utilizing IFS’s Time Critical Manufacturing (TCM™) software.

“The IFS system appears to have the qualities that can help take our business to the next level—a complete solution of more than 60 integrated modules, web-based functionality for taking advantage of the Internet and components that will let us add new capabilities one at a time,” said Gene Jarjabka, director of information technology for GED.

According to Terje Vangbo, IFS North America president and chief executive officer, most of its customers are making the same switch. “TCM users continue to migrate to IFS because we offer an advanced information technology solution that combines functional breadth and depth with the capability to add new web-based software step-by-step, according to their needs,” he said.

GED plans to use the IFS software for accounting, distribution, manufacturing, document management, business modeling and human resources.

ARCHITECTURAL METALS


Alter Steel Adds Customized Architectural Sheet Metal to Its Array of Options

Alter Steel Window Co. of Bronx, N.Y., has announced it has expanded its services to include custom architectural sheet metal fabrication for a wide variety of exterior and interior building cladding and trim applications, including soffits, facades, moldings, column covers and entranceways. The company spent more than $100,000 for the metal fabrication equipment to provide this new service. This included the purchase of two computer numeric control (CNC) hydraulic machines, one for cutting and the other for folding metal. Both were purchased from the Schechtl Co. of Germany.

The cutting machine features special graphic design software to expedite the fabrication of intricate metal pieces, according to the company, and can handle a number of metals, including aluminum, bronze, copper and galvanized stainless steel. In addition, Alter Steel says the machine can handle metal sheets up to 10 feet in length or width and heavy thicknesses. 

“The objective of this new and exciting business venture is to provide New York’s design and construction community with an alternative source for custom architectural metal fabrication offering the best in quality, pricing and turn-around schedule,” said Joseph Ocasio, executive vice president for Alter Steel Window.

MEDIA SPOTLIGHT

Window Companies Featured in Renovation on This Old House

Weather Shield Windows & Doors of Medford, Wis., was featured, recently on PBS’ This Old House, amidst the renovation of a house in Santa Barbara, Calif. 

Architects West was working to remodel the one-story bungalow, built around the 1900s, when it realized the key to opening space would be retrofitting the windows. Weather Shield supplied the house with casement, awning and picture windows, along with several sets of French doors to spread light throughout the home. All of this was done on weekly syndicated television in front of viewers across the nation.

Architect J. Allen Zimmer of Architects West credits the window company with a large part of the job’s successful ending.

“The windows help pull this entire home together,” he said. “Heavy interior mouldings, the leading applied to the windows and the cherry hardwood interiors all make the windows a focal point of this house.”

In addition, Venice, Fla.-based PGT Industries’ replacement windows recently were featured on This Old House in a remodeling project in West Palm Beach, Fla. On the show, Dave Olmstead, PGT’s product specialist, reviewed the products’ benefits and features with the show’s co-host, Norm Abram, and then provided a demonstration of the windows’ strength. Olmstead taped $100 in cash to the back of the window and challenged Abram to break through the glass. Abram and his co-host, Steve Thomas, attempted to break through the glass repeatedly by striking it with a 2- by-4, but to no avail.

KUDOS

Davis-Standard Celebrates Milestone with U.S. Plastic Lumber

Davis-Standard of Pawcatuck, Conn., has celebrated its tenth anniversary with one of its customers, U.S. Plastic Lumber (USPL). Davis-Standard has provided the company with NRM extruders for ten years and these extruders are active at USPL’s plants in California, Florida, Illinois and Maryland. The extruders are used for processing a number of products, including deck boards and railing systems, and components for outdoor furniture such as park benches, picnic tables and Adirondack chairs.

Recently, USPL purchased a significant number of 4 ½-inch and 3 ½-inch NRM extruders, according to Davis-Standard. These extruders were custom-designed for USPL to include special heating zones, output capacities and gearbox configurations.

AIA Honors CertainTeed with Award of Excellence

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), based in Valley Forge, Pa., has named the CertainTeed Corp. a recipient of the organization’s “Continuing Education System” (CES) Award of Excellence. According to CertainTeed, the criteria for the award selection involves a detailed analysis of the educational process and attention to quality management. It was chosen from 21 nominees of 2,100 providers of continuing education in the AIA network.

CertainTeed will receive a year of promotion on AIA’s website for this honor, an article in AIA Architect and a full-age announcement in Architectural Record.

Tecton Patents Durion™ Application Process

Tecton Products LLC of Fargo, N.D., has received a patent for the application process of its weatherable finish, Durion. According to the company, the finish, combined with the newly patented process, provides its customers with cost-effective products that resist the harsh effects of the sun, wind, water, chemicals and temperature extremes. Tecton manufactures fiberglass pultrusions calling for a structural thin wall shape. According to the company, the insulating properties of the pultrusions and the Durion finish provide a structural and weatherable material to customers.

“Our Durion finish is extremely hard and it’s married to our structural fiber glass substrate, which allows Tecton’s customers to build products of unparalleled value. The strength, weatherability and appearance of this composite allows us to replace aluminum in some applications and PVC/vinyl in others,” said John Jambois, founder and president of the company.

 

n e w s / b i t s

Paco Building Supply of St. Louis has announced the opening of a second location in Bridgeton, Mo. The new location should be equipped to handle all the siding, window, exterior entry doors and accessory needs for area builders.

Alter Steel Windows of the Bronx, N.Y., has launched a new 24-hour on-location window and glass repair service. The new division will be headed by Joseph Bellino as repair service manager.

Fleetwood Windows & Doors of Corona, Calif., has begun an aggressive pursuit of the Las Vegas market, according to the company.

Nytef Plastics Ltd., Comco Plastics and Transparent Protection Systems Inc., all of West Palm Beach, Fla., have united under a newly created corporate parent, the NYTEF Group. M.R. French Jr. will serve as chief executive officer and chairman of the board for the newly merged company. 

Caliburn Inc. and eGlass Technologies Inc. have formed a partnership to provide software to the fenestration industry. Caliburn is a software provider for the window and door industry and eGlass Technologies is a software provider to the flat glass manufacturing and fabrication industry.

 


DWM
© Copyright 2001 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.