Volume 7, Issue 9 - October 2006

GlassBuild America
Revolutionary Products are Absent yet Success is Prevalent
by Sarah Batcheler and Tara Taffera

While many attendees and exhibitors noticed the absence of “revolutionary” products at this year’s GlassBuild America (GBA) show, exhibitors and attendees alike did sum up the event as a success (For the view from door and window manufacturers, see article, page 47). 

Alan Lechem, vice president of first-time exhibitor Weston Wood Solutions says he was pleased with the show. 

“It’s a new show (for us), and it’s in Las Vegas, how can you lose—except at the craps tables? We have lots of customers in the door and window business. We’ve seen a lot of our customers and met a lot of new people.”

Not Even Launched Yet
Many companies use the annual show as an opportunity to show products that aren’t even available yet, or to gauge interest in particular product ideas.

For example, Alumet Manufac-turing offered a variety of products including its new two-inch wide muntin bar. “We wanted to show it to manufacturers to get their input on the product,” says president Larry Peterson. 

And while their single-head friction welder is still in testing, Sturtz’ Mike Biffl says the company is showing it to get feedback from manufacturers. 

EDTM introduced two products that are so new that they won’t even be available until December. The Strength Glass Detective allows companies to identify quickly whether or not a product is tempered. The company says it will prove very helpful when dealing with inspectors. Additionally, the battery-operated Spectrum Detective quickly renders a rating for UV, visible and infrared light percentages. 

On the hardware side, Truth Hardware featured its new Fusion lock for vinyl windows and Matt Kottke says attendees were “intrigued by the concept.” With the new hardware system, the lock can be operated and the latch can be tilted from one central point, making it simple to use and aesthetically appealing.

The company assessed whether or not homeowners would want to carry the look of the hardware in their windows throughout their home. 

“On the wood side, people are very interested,” says Kottke. “We want to be the leader in something like this … Anything is possible.” 

New Product Variety
Edgetech I.G. displayed two extensive booths with a focus on its new Edgetech 360° theme. The customer service approach includes line layout design, production automation, technical support, marketing support and long-term durability. 

The company partners with a variety of companies, several of which were at the show to promote new products. 

This includes the Uvekol A Glass laminating system from Cytec that offers manufacturers the ability to produce laminated glass in house, thus saving 40 percent on glass costs with a low capital investment.

This is all part of our 360° solutions approach,” says Edgetech’s Joe Erb.

Another solution offered by Edgetech is the Form8tor offered by Uniform Engineering which can produce to eight bends at one time.

Edgetech is also the exclusive distributor of the new product, the Eco-Coat Protective Coating System. The coating is applied by the fenestration manufacturer and designed to protect the exterior of fenestration products during the construction process. Once construction is complete the product is sprayed off with a garden hose.

The response to the product, which was commercialized in May, has been tremendous according to the company.

Screens, Hardware and Software
A number of screen companies were present to showcase their products. Preferred Engineering Products Ltd. displayed its Screenless Screen System, a patented screen system process that uses a T-shape on the end of the screen. Director of business development, Rob Sida, explained how the new system is less labor intensive and does not depend on skilled installers, like other screen systems.

Genius Retractable Screen Systems featured its Sheer Screen for the first time, which is already a big seller in the European market, according to Randy Deering. The product, made of a pleated screen fabric, also includes a low profile bottom glide rail that is virtually flat. This makes it ideal for handicapped access, according to the company. The product is designed for openings as wide as 28 feet.

Ultra Hardware Products of Pennsauken, N.J., introduced its patent-pending Eclipse Operator, which features a flipable cover with attractive sight lines that don’t interfere with window treatments. Rob Munin, vice president, says there’s been “fantastic reception of the product.”

At G-U Hardware Inc.’s booth, Read Elred, regional sales manager, says they are encompassing a lot, including lift and slide hardware for patio doors. “We think we’ve got a better solution for automatic openings,” says Elred. The application itself is not new, but its master operator is new.

Roto Frank of America of Chester, Conn., displayed its new line of casement hardware, X-Drive. The hardware features a compact design, optional removable cover and a variety of colors and finishes. 

In the software category, PMC Software had an array of products on display, including Scoremate, which interfaces to glass cutting machinery. Sales manager Ron Chill says it “takes the complexity out of the scene.”

Windowmaker launched several new products recently that it featured at GBA. Windowmaker ERP is a fully integrated solution developed to allow a business to run a single software system. Windowmaker SQL is designed for the medium to large fabricator and allows unlimited storage options. Finally, Windowmaker Express is designed for the small to medium sized fabricator and runs using the free version of Microsoft SQL Serve 2005. 

Adhesives and Sealants
National Adhesives introduced its PURFECT GLAZE® 91-169 sealant, the first in a series of glazes suitable for vertical glazing operations, at GlassBuild. 

“The sealant, which provides immediate green strength and a high-performance durable seal, is the first of our PURFECT GLAZE products that meet the needs of manufacturers who use vertical glazing machines to produce patio doors and large, high-quality specialty wood windows,” says Tony Longen, marketing manager.

The strength provided by the product speeds production by eliminating the need for manufacturers to stack windows while waiting for curing, he says. Additionally, the adhesive results in handling strength within two minutes of applying the bead to the sash. 

Other companies, such as Tremco, used GBA as a vehicle to announce new partnerships. The company has formed an agreement with Q’SO Inc. to distribute its line of Instalam™ sealant to window manufacturers throughout the United States.
 
Machinery and Equipment
Billco Manufacturing Inc. of Zelienople, Pa., displayed its patent-pending FlexiGlyde, an automatic flexible spacer application system for insulating glass unit production. John Bridgen, the company’s new product manager/product development demonstrated the machine at the booth, and explained how easy it is to operate.

Closely located on the show floor was the Nordson Corp., which was introducing its DuraDrum™ IG bulk melter, AD-41 handgun and AG-900 dispense gun for backbedding.

GED Integrated Solutions featured its vinyl fabrication equipment, and Pete Chojnacki says attendees are recognizing the company’s innovation in the vinyl market. 

“We revamped out sash multi-processor with a more modular design. We’ve also added tool packs for better use in the field. This will offer better manufacturability and also an upgraded quality of the components,” he adds. 

The company also revitalized its PC programmable cleaner by upgrading the controller which is now 33 percent faster. It also includes enhanced safety features such as an air brake and a joystick for programming. 

“More and more attendees are looking to increase automation to help save money and labor,” says Chojnacki. “The MC multiprocessors replace up to seven people compared to manual sawing and processing.”

Abe Diehl from Joseph Machine says attendance at his booth was great and individuals were from the East and West Coasts. “I consider this a national show,” says Diehl. 

“The growth in the West Coast is phenomenal so we had to show at full force,” he adds.

Showing at full force included bringing one million dollars worth of equipment to Las Vegas. 

This year was the first time the company displayed its machine centers including full sash processors and full frame processors. It also introduced a new software update to interface with the machines. 

A new product featured at the booth was its new QSC four head vinyl cleaner that can clean four heads simultaneously. 

Carlson Systems Engineering LLC featured its RES-1600 IG Vertical Super Spacer® processing line for the first time at the show. The system can handle 500 units per shift capacity. It features several components including an in-put glass conveyor section, 8-brush glass washing and drying section and an automatic tilting Super Spacer application table. 

The new Dali 40/70 was on display at CMS North America Inc.’s booth. The Dali machining centre is designed to perform boring and milling work on profiles in aluminum and PVC. The mechanical specifications of the machining centre and its control system provide economical use in the production of single pieces and limited or medium series with high precision. It is available in a version of Dali 40 and Dali 70.

Greller & Co. of Cleveland displayed its new S 400 Four Point Vertical Sash Welder. The welder features stand-alone motion control, a PC-based operator interface and is quadruple stack capable. The company says it boosts an industry-proven design and is network ready.

Extrusions
On the extrusion side, Chelsea Building Products showed a variety of products it is offering. It now offers cellular foam trim pieces in four shapes. “Everything is going that way due to low maintenance properties,” says Chelsea’s Les Lundeen. 

The company also introduced a variety of windows styles for both the replacement and new construction markets. This includes a high-impact window system that is DP-50 rated and120 mph wind tested. It also offers low maintenance and high-performance properties, according to Lundeen. 

“We’re on a campaign to give manufacturers what they want in the different regions,” he adds.

VEKA was focused on impact at the show. Marketing manager Steve Dillon said the company has 50 windows that are impact-rated. One impact-rated window was on display and Dillon says that it’s not new (it’s been in Germany for more than 20 years), but it is new to the United States.

“The market is accepting a heavier-based tilt turn window,” says Dillon.

Spacers
TruSeal Technologies unveiled Duralite, a high-performance no metal spacer. President Gus Coppola says it is the company’s most significant insulating glass product innovation since it introduced its Dura platform in 2001. The new design features a composite laminating technology without the use of metal, resulting in superior thermal and durability performance, according to Coppola. 

The product was designed for high-volume production of dual- and triple-pane insulating glass units in a one-step process where units are sealed using heat and compression. Although designed as a single-seal system, it can be used with a secondary sealant to create a dual-seal unit, according to the company. 

“The response has been outstanding and well received,” says Coppola.

The company also unveiled its new Efficiency theme.

“It’s our attempt to emphasize what we’ve been doing for many years—to help our customers become more efficient.”

Continuing on the theme of efficiency, the company raffled off a two-year lease on a Toyota Prius hybrid, a car that’s a model of efficiency in its market.

Editor’s Note: Not all companies were able to be mentioned in this article due to space constraints. Look to future issues of DWM in the Introducing section for more products from GlassBuild.

Sarah Batcheler is assistant editor and Tara Taffera is the editor/publisher of DWM magazine. 

Window Shopping 
Attendees Weren’t “Just Looking” This Year They Were Buying
by Sarah Batcheler

The process of purchasing machinery and equipment can be cumbersome, but attending trade shows such as GlassBuild America (GBA) can speed up the process for decision makers. This year’s attendees were looking, comparing and buying new equipment, products and machinery for their companies.

Bob Pecorella, president of window manufacturing company Northern Building Products of Teterboro, N.J., was on a mission to find new and innovative products and machinery for his company’s use. He says he found a product in the first hour of the show that was extremely innovative. The Quatrolift, originally developed by glaziers, will be a big help to window manufacturers, says Pecorella. “It’s a clever way of moving big glass.”

“There is no question I’m going to buy one of these,” he adds.

Pecorella says the show was not as well attended as people may have thought, but “there were more serious people. Not just people walking around taking chocolates. People came and stayed,” he says.

Pecorella, who came to compare machinery, says that it was disappointing that many machinery companies didn’t exhibit their full lines.

“The interesting thing is that I asked several companies [why they didn’t exhibit their full lines] and they had the same answer: Las Vegas is not a good place to set up a full line,” he says. 

Evidently, not very many companies local to the Las Vegas area use the machinery these exhibitors want to display, so there is a big freight cost for companies that have to ship the machinery in and out, Pecorella explains.

Pecorella did find a solution for packing products, which he says can be time consuming and expensive.

“I saw a something at Syn-Tec’s booth that was interesting. It was a strapping machine with a plastic band that was up to 10 feet wide, and they had a similar machine that was vertical,” he says. “I’ve never seen that before and I think it’s pretty innovative.”

Another attendee, Rick Wuest, president of Thompson Creek Window Co. of Lanham, Md., came to the show with the intention to purchase new equipment for two new window system designs the company is adding this year. He was also looking for new features to add to the product line. 

“In the equipment department we are shopping for a 4-point frame welder, a 2-head CNC frame corner cleaner, a 2-head sash corner cleaner and sill/jamb notch saws and vinyl saws,” he says before the show began. “We’ll be walking the floor looking for new ideas to add to our product line such as new hardware, glass technology and vinyl painting/laminating. These are secondary objectives,” he says.

Before arriving at the show, he already received some quotes from some companies for their equipment, but had a lot of booths he was setting out to see. 

Wuest says he bases his decisions on cost, reliability of manufacturer and recommendations from colleagues in the industry.

“We don’t have the window designs locked down yet, so this (determining which equipment to purchase and finalizing the purchase) is probably going to be a three week process,” he says.

Wuest says the show helps him determine which companies to use and the chain of contact.

“We’re interested in established technology and proven companies,” he says.

After looking for three full days at the show, Wuest says, “I haven’t seen anything revolutionary this year.”

Also at the show, Michael Kosiver, executive vice president of Lockheed Window Corp. of Pascoag, R.I., was shopping for equipment. Kosiver says his company was the first to run the Technoform I-Spacer in the United States, and that the company also signed on to use FeneVision software from FeneTech Inc. While at the show, he approached the booth of Tools for Bending Inc. (TFB) to discuss their bending machine, the F7. Although it was the same model that was displayed last year, Kosiver was able to gain valuable information from TFB’s Jack Campbell, who provided answers to Kosiver’s questions regarding the machine. He wanted to know how the machine would handle spacer size changes, what kind of blade is used and how to replace it, what other companies were using it for and how it would fit in with his new software system.

Overall, attendees agree that GBA proved to be a valuable experience.

“All in all, it was a pretty darn good show,” says Pecorella.

DWM
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