Volume 41, Issue 9 - September 2006

NewsNow

BEMA-AGA Fail to Reach Agreement on Shower Door Standard’s Development

The Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association (BEMA) and the Americas Glass Association (AGA) have failed to reach agreement on developing a standard concerning shower enclosures. 

BEMA has issued a statement saying the Americas Glass Association (AGA) has again rejected its request to reconsider an offer to jointly develop construction and performance standards for shower enclosures and to withdraw its code submission. 

“While the AGA decision is regrettable, BEMA intends to continue its efforts to develop consensus standards for the construction and performance of bath enclosures and to oppose the code changes submitted by the AGA.”

BEMA executive director Chris Birch stated, “It is unfortunate that the associations could not come together in the interest of the public and the industry. However, it is no longer a question of standard or code change for BEMA, [as we] simply cannot support the code change as written. Without reference standards for evaluating enclosure construction and performance, it is hard to imagine that code officials will be any better equipped to interpret the proposed code requirements than they are now.”

But Donn Harter, president of the AGA said that they have never had a list of BEMA’s concerns regarding the AGA’s code development, but have asked for one several times.

“Our consensus was based on eight shower manufacturers and scores of installers in response to concerns voiced by the public,” said Harter of the AGA’s code submission. “We are still open to working with BEMA on any changes during the next code cycle.” The AGA’s current code submission is before the International Code Council (ICC) and will be voted on during the ICC Conference taking place next month in Florida.

According to BEMA’s statement, it had hoped to use its “limited resources” to fund the standards process, [but] will now use them to oppose the AGA code change. 

“Regardless of how well intentioned, it is imperative that the industry not let government officials or regional interests speak for the industry in regulating our products,” read the BEMA statement. “Other prominent industry associations and organizations support the standards approach and will provide assistance in opposing the code change. BEMA members simply will not let a handful of individuals determine what is best for the public and the industry when it comes to the construction and performance of our products.”

“No one has a lock on safety issues,” said Harter. “They extend beyond any one product category.”

Kawneer Co. Canada Pursues Purchase of Tekna Equipment

Kawneer Co. Canada Ltd. of Lethbridge, Alberta, is in the process of acquiring equipment from Tekna USA of Crystal Lake, Ill.

Rob MacDonald, plant manager at Kawneer’s Lethbridge facility, said the recent addition of a new product line lead them in search of reliable technology to reduce costs and to help them stay competitive in the marketplace.

“Earlier this year Kawneer contacted [us] seeking opportunities to increase productivity by implementing advanced CNC extrusion milling technology,” explained Kyle Hendrickson, vice president of Tekna USA. “We reviewed the relevant Kawneer products targeted for the project, conducted testing and fabricated samples of Kawneer’s products at our facility. We demonstrated the process and equipment to Kawneer representatives at that same facility and proposed solutions based on this effort.”

MacDonald said Kawneer decided to pursue the purchase of a Tekna 441/2 four axis CNC machining center with X-axis capacity of 22 feet. The purchase is in final approval stages with Alcoa, Kawneer’s parent company.

“It is our hope to have the equipment purchased and installed by November of this year,” said MacDonald. He adds that he hopes the new equipment will result in “productivity and capacity increases in the double-digit ranges.” 

With so many equipment suppliers on the market, what was it that made Kawneer choose Tekna? Their history, according to MacDonald.

“They are family owned and have developed their product over the years in response to the demands of the extrusion-end product industry,” MacDonald said. “Service is another reason, they appear to have a good after-sale service process, with parts and technical help available in North America.”

USG
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