Volume 13, Issue 8 - October 2012

From The Publisher

Things May Be Looking Up
by Tara Taffera
ttaffera@glass.com

I am not going to say that fear among door and window companies have dissipated. Yes, housing starts are still low, and yes the threat of more window company closures still loom as a very real possibility as the industry continues to shed capacity. But there are definite signs of optimism at GlassBuild America held in Vegas last month.

Following are some of my favorite conversations and products seen at the show.

Strong Canadian presence: Grant Skippen, Amesbury Products, told me he was “blown away by how many Canadians were in Las Vegas” for the event. When asked if that was due to a strong Canadian market he said that is a factor. I am now looking even more forward to the upcoming Win-door show in Toronto November 6-8.

Best product: I saw a lot of innovative products but I have to give the award to VEKA for its Solutions product—the “Sol,” standing for solar. The window includes a solar collector that harnesses the sun and then provides power to a USB or power mat allowing the charging of devices of phones, batteries and other items.

Best conversation: Steve Chen, president, Crystal Windows and Doors. Poor Steve was on his way to lunch when I cornered him regarding what he has seen interesting at the show. He mentioned the product that incorporates low-E on the fourth surface at the PPG booth. Fourth-surface products have received a lot of attention recently and he told me was initially concerned about condensation but with some retooling and checks and balances it’s not a concern.

Best explanation of a problem: Some window manufacturers have expressed hesitancy over using a coating on surface four of the glass. I asked Guardian’s Tim Clancy about this and he explained that it depends on so many factors, frame style, spacer, and that the key is collaboration between manufacturer and supplier.

Best way to serve the customer and save money: Train online—Mecal. A Mecal representative explained to me that the company performs some training online and for its saws even performs remote installs. It’s a great way to keep the pricing down for the customer.

Vinyl penetrating into the commercial market: Filip Geeraert, president and CEO, Deceuninck North America, and David Petratis, CEO, Quanex Building Products, and talked about vinyl inching its way more and more into commercial applications.

“It’s happening but not at the pace I would like,” joked Petratis.

“Some aluminum companies are adding a vinyl line to meet the thermal requirements and I expect that to continue to grow,” said Geeraert.


DWM

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