Volume 13, Issue 9 - November/December 2012

feature

Products and Networking Aplenty at AMD
by Tara Taffera

When members of the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) gathered in Louisville, Ky., in October for its annual trade show and convention, the event had a family feel. From the trade show floor to the opening session, exhibitors and attendees alike reported that the networking opportunities the show provides are invaluable. For the full coverage from AMD go to dwmmag.com

Doors Take Center Stage
When the trade show kicked off, attendees headed to the exhibit hall to see products from companies such as ODL which introduced its On Hand In-Door Storage and Communication System. The product offers a cabinet and customizable activity panel system offering storage on one side and decoration and communication opportunities on the other. Built into an interior door, On Hand expands storage space by capitalizing on previously unused spaces throughout the home, according to Roger Finch, ODL. With the cabinet side, homeowners can keep items they wish to store and organize right in the door, readily at hand, such as pantry items, crafting materials and laundry and bath supplies. The glass marker board activity panel is a framed sheet of clear glass with a removable white deco board that can be personalized as a display and planning and communication center.

Masonite introduced three new textured glasses but also talked about the company’s recent acquisition of Lemieux Doors which also had a booth at the show. Masonite’s Keith Kometer explained that Lemieux’s exterior wood doors offer extreme durability and come with a 20-year warranty, and there is no need for the house to have an overhang. One of the doors on display was a poplar door with just a clear coat “which brings out the highlights,” said Kometer.

“This show is great as it’s for our wholesale distributor partners so they can get a sneak peek at what we are offering,” he added.

Therma-Tru will have new glass offerings for 2013 said the company’s Dan Collins. “We are seeing good success with our sidelites and we hope in 2013 more people will upgrade to a new front door.”

Quanex Building Products displayed its Imperial 5C thresholds which are designed for the high-performance needs of the Canadian market and also introduced to the U.S. market.

“This threshold design surpasses safety requirements for commercial and residential applications as it adapts to expanded widths, eliminating the risk of air and water infiltration,” said Andrea North, product marketing manager at Quanex.

She added that the sill allows customers to build doors up to 13 inches wide.

Endura introduced its new Z-articulating cap sill which self-adjusts for a “perfect seal.”

“We have been solving problems for the pre-hangers for years and now we can do that for the homeowner as well,” said Derick Arends, marketing manager. “Pre-hangers don’t have control of the rough opening so this product will help them as well.”

Tru Tech Doors displayed a variety of its doors but the real news at its booth was the launch of the company’s new iPad App. Carlo Ianni, director of sales and marketing, said a sales rep can now walk up to a home and take a photo then show the homeowner the different options for their new front door right on the App.

“I was working with a homeowner and she emailed a photo to her husband and he said ‘that’s the door I want.’ Talk about eliminating the decision making time,” he said.

He added that five of their dealers have been “using the App religiously and closing rates have gone up. We are now ready to go with it,” he said.

G-M introduced its “next generation of high-performance door frames.” Dura-Tech is a 12-mil rigid PVC film bonded with permanent waterproof exterior polyurethane glue to its lifetime rot resistant Dura-Frame substrate system. The frame is Alaskan yellow cypress, and Dura-Tech offers the strength and rigidity of wood with the low maintenance attributes of PVC components.

First Timers and Return Appearances
AMD also included some first time exhibitors such as Aquasurtech, and the company’s Michael Braeuel reporteds that his display featured the stain products his company offers.

“The door industry is also sensitive to temperatures so we took our technology and built it into our stain bringing heat reflectance to stains,” said Braeuel. The company also offers a stainable paint which allows a company to then stain on any substrate.

Some past exhibitors returned to AMD after an absence and that includinged Truth Hardware which exhibited its full portfolio of door products that now complement its casement products.

“It is very good to be back,” said Truth’s Matt Kottke. “We are seeing prospects we would not have reached through our additional channels. They are very excited to know we are now offering a full line of door hardware.”

Windows, Software and More
TrimLine showcased a new casement window and the company reported that pre-hangers in attendance were looking to add a window line. The company’s products are ideal for retrofitting existing openings, a company representative said.

Many software suppliers were also in attendance and that included WoodWare. President Nick Carter reported that the company has added to its WebConnect software since last year’s AMD show. The company also announced that it is partnering with DQ Technologies to optimize truck routes and the two companies demonstrated the technology at AMD. DQ will optimize the best way to ship the product, and then track it and this tool can be an add-on to Woodware’s software, said Carter.

Ponderosa showcased its web-based portal in through which customers can create their own door or window product.

“The system will walk customers through the process so they can’t make a mistake,” said Ponderosa’s Dennis Sullivan.

On the moulding side, many suppliers, including TLC Moulding, noted that they are busy which is welcome news, said TLC’s Craig Young.

Sunset Moulding’s John Morrison reported that supply is easing now “so supply and demand is more in pace.”

Overall, those at the event proved optimistic about the future.

“Overall I am seeing optimism as a whole,” said Ron Safford, president Parrett Manufacturing.

“People are actually asking us now if we can supply them a particular product,” added Morrison.

“This is great news.”

Bright Wood’s Lonnie Ramey also reported that wood windows sales are picking up slightly. Company president Dallas Stovall added that “everyone has to change and adapt.”

There is even optimism in one product category that has struggled heavily in recent years—machinery.

“We are busier than last year and people are looking at equipment again,” said Kval’s Gary Routh.

Tara Taffera is the editor/publisher of DWM/Shelter magazine. She can be reached at ttaffera@glass.com. Follow her on Twitter @dwmmag, read her blog at dwmmag.com and like DWM magazine on Facebook.


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