Volume 11, Issue 9 - November/December 2010


Building Toward Growth

GBA Exhibitors Unveil New Products to Manufacturers
by Tara Taffera

Attendees at this year’s GlassBuild America show, held September 13-15 in Las Vegas, may have noticed two main trends—a focus on R5 products, and suppliers offering manufacturers an opportunity to diversify into other markets. A variety of other products, such as new hardware and other components of interest to door and window companies, were also shown.

Suppliers Offer R5 Options
“Manufacturers may not necessarily want to make an R5 window, but they know they have to,” said Chelsea’s Gary Hartman. As manufacturers know, the Department of Energy is placing a huge emphasis on its R5 volume purchase program so they need to offer a product to meet those needs.

Chelsea was just one of the many companies offering R5 options. In fact the company featured four such products at the show (for more on Chelsea, visit dwmmag.com and watch DWM’s Day 2 GBA video.)

PPG showcased a new insulating glass technology that helps dual-pane residential insulating glass units achieve R5 insulating performance. The dual-coat technology incorporates one lite of 3-mm Solarban 70XL glass on the second surface of the IGU and one 3-mm lite of Sungate 500 glass on the fourth surface, separated by a ½ inch of argon-filled space. “The configuration generates a winter nighttime U-value of 0.20, providing insulating performance that is better than or equal to any competing dual-pane IGU on the market,” according to company literature.

VEKA introduced a new product at the show that generated a lot of interest. It’s deemed the elements program and is a frame-sash system designed to meet or exceed building codes. The system can be used for residential or commercial applications and can offer impact resistance and sound control.

“It is also the answer to R5 and beyond,” said VEKA’s Steve Dillon.

Dillon said the company designed the frame and sash to accommodate triple-glazed glass.

“It’s so versatile,” he said. “Yeah, it’s bigger but you can do anything with it. We already have one major customer using it and the feedback has been fantastic.”

Royal showed its EcoWindow, a complete R5 window system that combines sustainability with high energy performance, high condensation resistance and other factors. The company’s John Vucanovich reports that the system recently was tested to commercial standards so it can be used in those applications as well as residential.

Suppliers Focus on Diversification
Royal wasn’t the only company accommodating residential products for commercial applications, giving manufacturers the opportunity to expand into that market: Mikron also promoted a commercial door.

“Companies are looking to expand into light commercial and other applications,” said Mikron’s Rich Anton. “We’re offering a door system that is commercially rated and that can accommodate impact glazing. It looks like aluminum but is more thermally efficient.”

Royal has several new products on tap as well, including a unique window that it just launched at the Win-door show. The company also has two new patio doors in the works, and will “be getting aggressive with mouldings, which means some new unique trim options,” according to Vucanovich.

New Hardware and Components
On the hardware side, Truth seemed to hit a homerun with its Sentry, multi-hinge patio door system. Truth’s Matt Kottke said the company developed the product more than a year after talking to customers (go to dwmmag.com for video demonstrations of the product in DWM’s November newscast).

The product features Truth’s “Duo-Glide” lock mechanism, which the company says is superior to standard single-drive systems. The two-way action balances the lock system providing a smooth, quiet and easy operation. The company adds that this technology reduces stress on other elements of the lock, thereby offering a longer life of the product.

“The customers who have been here have been all smiles,” said Kottke. “The response is equal to or better than we expected.”

Manufacturers looking for a multi-point lock for entry doors may have found it in Amesbury’s new TruLock. The company says many consumers don’t know how to operate multi-point locks, but still are looking for increased security. Officials say this new product offers increased home security, yet operates the same as a standard deadbolt. The lock works on steel, fiberglass, aluminum and wood doors and is easy to install.

As for window locking systems, DECO introduced the UltraTech 5421 auto-tilt window system. The company describes it as an innovative locking system that combines the lock with a “clean-on-demand” capability into a flush locking system. The product can be used with all window sizes and comes in more than 60 powder colors.

Brandon Lawrence of Lawrence Industries reports that the company continues to gain customers, saying, “We’re averaging one new customer per week.”

As for its current customers, Lawrence said the company is building up on the products it can offer to them adding weep holes, pivot bars, shoes and other components to its line-up.

Schlegel introduced its Q-LON® fire-rated door seals designed specifically for fire protection, which can be used in residential and commercial applications. The company describes the product as the first foam door seal that includes a Category G Edge Seal Intumescent. The all-in-one seal eliminated the extra installation labor and unsightly aesthetics of secondary seal applications, according to the company.

Software Savvy
Many software suppliers were on-hand at GBA to showcase their newest software and latest updates. (For more on software go to www.dwmmag.com, click on “The Studio,” and watch the video titled “GBA, Day 3” for interviews with WTS Paradigm and 360 Innovations.)

Gineri Technologies was a new exhibitor at the show. Cooper Buranen, marketing manager, said the Vegas-based company is serving as a distributor for this product which has had much success in Europe. The software can prepare cut lists, quote proposals, shop drawings, material lists, production drawings and more. Gineri works to meet the needs of various customers so it offers a heavy version, a complete package to build a project, generate a fill customizable client quotation, utilize a smart optimization in order to minimize waste and calculate a final price. Gineri also offers Quick Quotation which offers a price quote in seconds, manages clients and changes door and window types as necessary.

Fenetech released version 7 of its Fenevision software, which allows users to see key parameters at a quick glance.

How is Machinery Faring?
This year’s show had fewer new machinery options than years past, and suppliers admit that companies are still reluctant to buy. But this also varies by the type of machine and market served.

Joseph Machine’s Rick Wilson reports that the fiberglass market is still strong, as is Canada. Based on this, the company featured a machine geared toward the fiberglass and cellular market.

Kurt Muhittin from ATech Machine also reported on a healthy Canadian market, but said companies also are very interested in machines used to make aluminum windows. Before the show was even over, his company had sold four of the five machines, one of which was to a Florida manufacturer of aluminum windows.

One supplier showed an upgraded piece of equipment that it says is perfect for today’s economy-conscious buyer. Perfect Technology offers its Aculite Wizard computer-controlled glass cutting table. “This is economical and performs,” said Richard Lamden, president. “We made our first machine 20 years ago and it is still running … We’ve had a lot of interest in this cutting table.”

The product scores at a speed of 3,300 inches per minute. It also comes with software and upgrades for the life of the product at no additional cost.

Glass and Glazing
Manufacturers looking for glass and glazing options also had a few products to choose from at the show. American Renolit introduced its Renolit EXOFOL FX, which the company describes as the “next generation of high-performance film for the protection and design enhancement of a variety of exterior surfaces.” What is unique about the product is its use of solar shield technology, which utilizes infrared reflective pigments that reduce heat build-up, explains the company’s David Harris. The technology provides extreme weather-resistant capabilities, which the company says will maintain the finish without cracking, fading, chalking, etc.

“This is a huge step in exterior film technology,” said Harris. “It’s really gaining the attention of the technical people here.”

PPG also featured its SOLARBAN® R100 glass, a transparent-reflective, solar control, low-E glass with a proprietary hybrid coating technology, visible light transmittance of 42 percent and a in coefficient of 0.23.
And manufacturers who want to save on glass costs due to damage in the plant or in the field will be interested in Glas-Weld’s improved version of its popular scratch removal system—Gforce2™. The updated version includes a center water feed which offers more control when performing scratch removal. The company also has introduced two polishing compounds and a new cleaning compound “to get out more difficult damage.” Companies also may add on modules, such as one for abrading and graffiti.

“Customers have been very interested in the product,” said Glas-Weld’s Lori Patch. “It’s still a very simple process.”

One-Stop Shop
Companies such as Edgetech IG and Quanex Building Products sought to offer its customers a variety of solutions. Quanex placed all of its companies under one “roof” for the first time this year, including Homeshield, TruSeal and Mikron. (For more on Quanex, visit dwmmag.com, click on “The Studio,” and watch the video titled “GBA, Day 2.”)

“Working with an integrated vendor is a tremendous opportunity,” said TruSeal’s Ric Jackson. “We want to be that clearinghouse for technical information and help you get the performance you need at the price you want.”

Mikron Industries launched its new SuperCoat™ vinyl window coating for door and window manufacturers competing in the replacement market. The new coating technology features a patented durable color coating system, which is vacuum-applied and cured by ultraviolet light. The SuperCoat system offers a color surface that is eight times harder than paint, according to the company. The company also claims that it is more environmentally friendly than paint since it is made from a zero-volatile organic compound technology. “We’ve had a lot of interest in the product and we just announced it one month ago,” said Anton.

The company also offered its EnergyCore system. (See October DWM, page 38, for more details on this system.)

Imperial Products, a division of HomeShield, introduced its Select Sliding Patio Screen Door. The product features .32-gauge aluminum frames with two-inch wide stiles and top rail which the company says offers a long life for the frame. It also features a large 3 ½-inch bottom rail that reduces damage to the screen cloth.

Tools of the Trade
Edgetech IG’s Mike Burk was busy at the company’s booth showing a variety of tools for manufacturers (For more on Edgetech, visit dwmmag.com, click on “The Studio,” and watch the video titled “GBA, Day 2.”)

The company announced a new partnership with United Kingdom-based Inagas, a supplier of gas-fill machinery. Under the agreement, Edgetech will be the exclusive distributor of Inagas products in North America and Central America, and also will distribute the company’s products in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria.

Edgetech also serves as the exclusive distributor of Sparklike’s Gasglass argon and krypton gas detector and Spyglass glass analyzer in the Americas, Europe and Australia.

All of these were featured in the company’s booth, as well as portable measurement tools offered by EDTM, such as low-E coating detectors and various light measurement tools.

EDTM also exhibited at the show and was featuring its Glass-Chek Pro for the first time. Mark Imbrock reports that the company has added six languages to the tool, which he said is helping with worldwide sales.

“The number-one call we get is people not being able to tell the difference between double silvers—Glass Chek Pro helps with that. It’s bailing people out,” said Imbrock. “It’s been the number-one thing people have come to our booth to see.”


Catching the Eye of Attendees
Now that we’ve seen what exhibitors introduced, the real question is this: what sparked the most interest from attendees?

Bruce Dove of Dove Windows in Wilkes Barre, Pa., said he was most interested in a product he saw from Packsize, based in Salt Lake City.

According to the company’s Tosh Lahy, the technology allows companies to make any size or style of corrugated package or insert, on-demand, in a few seconds, as part of its packaging workflow.

“The ability to make exactly what you need, at the moment you need it, eliminates box inventory and material planning—and assures that every box fits perfectly, greatly decreasing damage,” he said. “There is no capital investment, as we provide the systems, engineering and process flow solutions, and companies simply buy the consumable of corrugated.”

“We’re definitely going to consider it,” said Dove.

Why haven’t we heard of this company more in the past? Lahy said that while the company serves industries serves as cabinetry, etc., it is now expanding into the door and window market, and does already have some customers in the industry.

The OptiGas gas filling system is what caught the attention of Dean Tascarella, purchasing manager for Serious Materials.

“That alone is going to save us six figures,” he said.

The new technology was on display in the Fenetech booth, which created the filling control software and interface. The product was developed by Integrated Automated Systems and the company says it reduces the labor per unit for gas filling by up to 90 percent and krypton loss per fill from 50 percent to essentially zero.

“OptiGas is the first fully engineered gas filling system for insulating glass fabrication,” said Brian Dougherty, product manager. “Its precise control and patent-pending process makes it possible for every fabricator to consistently achieve high-performance U-value IG at the lowest possible cost.”

Conventional gas filling deliver low yields and require operators to overfill with krypton to consistently achieve targeted insulation values, Dougherty explained. OptiGas delivers through a single wand precise control of fill amounts, rates and ratios, eliminating gas waste and overfilling.

OptiGas is available in two models: the 500, which simultaneously fills six doubles or three triples; and the 1000, a revolving carousel that can be customized with a number of stations. The 1000 supports lean and high-volume production in sequence.


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