Roto President Discusses Fasco Purchase
Roto AG, the parent company of Roto Frank of America Inc.
anno- unced the acquisition of Fasco Die Cast Inc., a Canadian-based manufacturer
of window and patio door hardware earlier this year. DWM interviewed Roto
Frank president Chris Dimou about the acquisition.
DWM: Why were you interested in Fasco? Did their
Canadian location play a role in your decision?
Dimou: First, to give a little background, when I came here from
the German headquarters in 2009, my first task was to discover how to
develop the company further and determine what our next step would be
in North America. We analyzed market segments—residential versus commercial–and
U.S. versus Canada and the third item we looked at was product offerings
and whether we had gaps in the market. I came up with acquisition targets
and Fasco was a great fit for us. Their location did play a role as they
have a manufacturing facility in Ontario. In September they acquired Vanguard’s
zinc products so they have warehouses on the West Coast. I wanted a company
that offered a less premium product and that was geared more toward the
medium price point. Lastly, Fasco has been around for many years, and
all that led me to the conclusion that [the company] would be a nice target.
The acquisition also gives us sales force synergies, new customer bases
and cross-selling opportunities. When you want to buy there are two parties.
Fasco was one of the first ones I approached and, for me, it was target
number one. Harvey Blatt, former owner, told me he saw growth opportunities
for Fasco as well through becoming part of a larger group. DWM: What other
plans/growth strategies are there to further increase your North American
presence? Dimou: We have been focusing on just the residential market
but where I see growth moving forward is the light commercial market,
particularly for our European product offerings. There are growth opportunities
for products with a European heritage. We can also expand in the vinyl
DWM: Why is Roto posting increases when others
are not? How are you able to gain market share as you referred to in your
Dimou: We focused on specific market segments and I call it the
right customers in terms of size. We also increased the sales force by
adding independent reps. We were also doing a lot of market research and
developing products that were market inspired. We focused on the right
decision makers and offered different benefits according to their specific
needs. Overall we have defined very well what our mission is and how to
position ourselves. So we have the right tools and the right sales structure.
It is also about how to manage the organization–it’s not just sales-oriented
but improving the cost structure. We became much leaner and improved our
processes and are well-balanced.
DWM: When you addressed your employees regarding
the change, what did you tell them about changes coming for both companies?
Dimou: I developed a post-merger acquisition plan and we will analyze
Fasco’s existing structure and identify real synergies for us in terms
of products, personnel, etc. This will be the first step but until then
it is business as usual. But at the end the consolidated effort will be
the outcome and we will take advantage of the two locations.
Industry Discusses Thermal Optimization
The insulating glass (IG) business has gone through continuous transformation
in the last 30 years, and the accumulation of these options has resulted
in a much higher performing, and better quality window than produced in
the past. This is according to Mike McHugh, president of Integrated Automation
Systems, who presented at FeneTech’s Annual User Conference which took
place in June in Cleveland and included a number of presentations, including
a discussion on thermal optimization of residential windows. While each
change was often labeled “incremental” and not worth the investment, McHugh
said these changes have presented a new challenge: How do we best combine
all these improvements to produce the highest performing window that is
both durable and cost effective? He said there are a number of options
to consider, including:
• Hard coat or soft coat;
• Single, double or triple silver coating;
• Fourth-surface coatings in two pane units;
• Sixth-surface coatings in three pane units;
• Double pane vs. triple pane;
• Symmetric vs. asymmetric;
• Edge effect of the spacer;
• Argon, krypton or air;
• Argon and krypton and air; and
• Overall IG unit thickness.
McHugh explained that the purpose of his analysis was not
only to provide specific answers to the cost/value question, but also
to demonstrate a methodology to evaluate the cost of different IG process
options and compare it with the resulting U-value for a generic vinyl
“Using this methodology provides a better understanding
of both the cost and ability to affect performance,” he said in the presentation.
“I am excited to be conducting an analysis that does not discuss center
of glass or even the U-value of an entire unit, but only its contribution
as a component of a window.”
He broke the market into three segments based on window
• ¾-inch units;
• 7/8-inch units; and
• 1-inch units. The base unit is a ¾-inch two pane with:
• 2.5-mm clear panes;
• Stainless steel spacer;
• 0.563 air space;
• Air filled; and
• 2.5-mm double stack low-E.
McHugh said the ¾-inch unit was used as the base; he then
accounted for the cost to upgrade from this base to the different unit
designs considered. The same incremental costs were used consistently
for all designs.
“Keep in mind that if you regard the process as a credible
way to make evaluations, it would be relatively easy to substitute your
particular numbers for cost considerations,” he said. In his conclusions,
McHugh said R-5 windows are cost effective. He pointed out that:
• Whatever glazing pocket size you make, thermal optimization will play
a significant role in your product development;
• There are lots of options using the above combinations, and no wrong
• If there is a wrong answer, it is that producing an R-5 window is not
cost effective. “With a manufacturing cost premium in the range of $2
per square foot of glazing, I believe we as an industry can provide solutions
to the rising cost of energy, as well as CO2 reductions,” he said;
• He added, “The incremental changes have not stopped happening. We as
an industry are continuing to develop better performing products for our
customers and the outlook is positive;” and
• “It is clear Energy Star has leveled the playing field. Window companies
that win in this new competition will be incorporating thermal optimization
as tool for developing future products.”
THV Compozit Acquires Paragon Door Designs THV Compozit Windows & Doors
has acquired Paragon Door Designs. According to the announcement, the
acquisition gives THV Compozit a line of premiere entryway products, while
offering coast-to-coast distribution and added support for regional distribution.
Charles L. Smith, CEO of THV Compozit, talked to DWM magazine to offer
more details regarding the purchase.
He says the company identified a need for a door program
a few years back and this acquisition offers its customers the opportunity
to purchase both its door and window products from one supplier.
“Often a company buys windows from one company and doors
from another and coordinating the two is often a hassle for the remodeler,”
THV began pre-hanging its own doors about two years ago
but it was a limited program. “We decided to start out small before learning
to run, so to speak,” he says. “It was so highly successful that we were
swamped and were surprised about how successful it was even in a slow
Smith says the company was considering expanding its door
line by adding more manufacturing space, but was lucky in that Paragon
and THV share Louisville, Ky., as their headquarter city so an interesting
opportunity presented itself.
“I knew David Burks, Paragon CEO, for a number of years,
and they happened to be pre-hanging the same product we were but doing
it for 20 years,” says Smith. “It was a no brainer for us to talk to them
about a possible merger.”
As a result, the company has shut down its small door fabrication
facility in North Dakota but continues to make windows there.
‘The people who lost their jobs in the door plant have
now bolstered our staff in window manufacturing so we are expanding there
ten times fold,” says Smith. “Overall, this just creates a lot of opportunity
for us,” he adds.
David Burks, THV Compozit executive vice president, sales
and former president/CEO of Paragon, adds,
“This acquisition gives the dealer partners of THV Compozit
and Paragon access to window and door products from one supplier with
one vision—ensuring dealer success. We’re excited about broadening our
product offerings and we expect our combined talents to create great opportunities
at THV Compozit to help our dealer partners prosper and grow their businesses.”
Ridgeview Capital Purchases Krosswood Doors
Ridgeview Capital has purchased Krosswood Doors and committed growth capital
in order to increase the overall service it provides, according to a statement
by Krosswood CEO Brad Boyle. The management team will stay in place to
ensure a smooth transition, according to the announcement.
“… We will be focusing on getting the production of product
back up to speed and adjusting our inventory to better suit the needs
of our wholesale distributor customers,” says Boyle in the statement.
“We are committed to having the best doors, and having them available
to sell as soon as possible.”
Washington Congressman Visits Quanex Building Products
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) visited Quanex Building Products in Kent, Wash.
on May 21. Company officials say the visit was part of their efforts to
engage with lawmakers and support policies that are in the best interest
of the door and window industry, as well as local communities. The company
says this is the first of many such congressional visits as it aims to
get the voice of the door and window industry heard on Capitol Hill.
U. S. Commerce Secretary Bryson Tours Schlegel Facility
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson toured Schlegel’s 350,000-square-foot
manufacturing facility in Rochester, N.Y., in April. He met with company
employees, including general manager Kathleen Ferrara and the engineering
team to learn how the Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership
in New York is helping Schlegel accelerate new products into the marketplace
and expand its markets.
Gulf South Forest Products Receives Presidential “E”
Award for Exports
Gulf South Forest Products of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was awarded the Presidential
“E” Award for Exports by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary John Bryson
at the White House. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S.
entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion
of U.S. exports, reports the company.
The U.S. Department of Labor secured a settlement agreement with Bostik
Inc. to resolve litigation stemming from citations issued by the department’s
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safety violations
following a March 2011 explosion … Seven-D Industries in Hollidaysburg,
Pa., was named a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)
site by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) … The
Window and Door Manufacturers Association and the Fenestration Manufacturers
Association announced an agreement in principle to formally affiliate
and eventually integrate operations. Over the coming months the two groups
will begin the process of formalizing the details of the agreement for
final approval by both organizations, with the formal change expected
to take effect in January 2015 … Soft-Lite Gorell LLC has moved manufacturing
of its newly acquired Gorell brand windows into Soft-Lite’s Streetsboro,
Ohio, plant … MI Windows and Doors Inc. and its Gratz, Pa., manufacturing
facility received a SHARP award from OSHA in recognition of its safety
and health management systems. This is now the second manufacturing facility
that has received this award. The Hegins, Pa., facility also received
a recertification of its SHARP award … MIWD also donated and helped install
a complete window package of its EnergyCore windows for a Homes for Our
Troops home being built in Parker, Colo., for Army Corporal Nick Orchowski
and his family … Thompson Creek Window Co. was recognized with the Capital-Gazette’s
Readers Choice Best of 2012 Awards in the best windows and doors category.
The Readers Choice Awards poll the publication’s readers to find their
choice of the best of the best in more than 100 categories in the Annapolis,
Md., area … Royal Building Products announced that its new logo was honored
with a gold medal for Elements of Advertising in the Charlotte, N.C.,
chapter competition of the ADDY Awards … Niles, Mich.-based Tem-Pace LLC
acquired Atwood Spec-Temp Glass in Antwerp, Ohio, from Atwood Mobile Products
LLC. Production will remain active in both locations, according to the
announcement … Window World Inc. and Good Housekeeping announced that
windows from five Window World product series earned the Good Housekeeping
Seal of Approval for the fifth consecutive year. Windows from the 1000,
2000, 3000, 4000 and 6000 … Perennial Wood, a modified real wood product
made by Eastman Chemical Co., was named honorable mention for the Medium
Award for Material of the Year by Material ConneXion … Sunset Moulding
Co. is installing a new moulding and finishing line at its Idabel, Okla.,
plant. Capacity output on the new line will be up to an additional 10
loads per shift of primed mouldings and primed boards per week … Atrium
Companies Inc. has changed its name to Atrium Corp. According to the announcement,
the name change is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to provide its
products and services throughout multiple distribution channels across
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