Announcing the Winners of the 2021 USGlass Readers’ Choice Awards

The votes are in and it’s time to announce the winners of the USGlass magazine Readers’ Choice Awards. This year’s awards span a variety of categories, from architectural metals and glass machinery and equipment, tools, hardware and more.

To determine the winners, USGlass turned to its readers to find out what they found to be the most significant products from the past year, asking them to vote for their favorite products in a variety of categories. The winners are featured in this special section. They are the products that received the most votes among the nominees, which were in the USGlass Showcase department, New Products Guide or other news section, and various show previews in the magazine. Product submissions are welcome throughout the year. Please email releases to Ellen Rogers at

Apps and Software

AGC Glass: Glass Configurator
AGC Glass launched its AGC Configurator, allowing selection, review and specification of the optimal glass solution for projects based on the customized specifications the user creates. Available on the company’s website, the new configurator provides users with the ability to create their own profile and preferences. Users then enter a “drag-and-drop, user-intuitive” site, which AGC says simplifies the specification process for glass products. As users review the solution recommendations, they can gather and synthesize granular details so they can specify the right product for the job. Once selections are made, users receive a detailed summary on all the key metrics connected to a specific glass product: light management, energy efficiency, acoustical characteristics, and thermal performance, including a visualization of the selected product.

Architectural Glass

Guardian Glass: SunGuard SNE 50/25
SunGuard SNE 50/25 is a high-performance, low-E coated glass developed to offer a visible light transmission of 50% and a low solar heat gain coefficient of 0.25. The glass features a crisp, neutral blue-gray color aesthetic and medium reflectivity.

SNE 50/25 was designed to be used on the #2 surface of a standard insulating glass unit and is available on multiple Guardian substrates. The new coated glass is available in jumbo and split jumbo sizes and thicknesses of 6 mm, 8 mm, or 10 mm. Its durability and processing requirements are similar to other SunGuard low-E coated glass products, and it can be fully tempered or heat-soaked in accordance with technical guidance.

Architectural Metal Products, Coatings and Films

AkzoNobel: Trinar TC
AkzoNobel launched Trinar TC, a new PFOA-free PVDF coil coating system that provides increased scratch, abrasion and stain resistance across diverse applications, including building and construction. Trinar TC is formulated from AkzoNobel’s latest proprietary resin and pigment formulation technology to strengthen product performance and hardness, providing what the company calls increased resistance to abrasions and scratches during and after transport, fabrication and installation. It also offers improved stain resistance and durability, the company says.

Bird-Friendly Glass

Guardian Glass: Bird1st Etch Guardian Glass North America offers Bird1st Etch on translucent glass in four distinct, bird-friendly patterns for exterior building applications. The glass products include Threat Factor scores to quantify collision-avoidance effectiveness.

Bird1st Etch products are available on Guardian UltraClear low-iron glass and standard clear glass and can be paired with SunGuard SuperNeutral 68, SNX 62/27 and SNX 51/23 coatings on the same lite of glass, as part of an insulating glass unit. The glass can be heat-treated and used with laminated glass for safety and other benefits.

Coating Equipment

Unelko: Invisible Shield
The Invisible Shield Microburst vertical two-sided glass coating machine from Unelko Corp. was designed together with Perfect Score Technologies. The compact, high output, two-sided automatic coating machine utilizes ultraviolet and infrared curing to instantly form an instant molecular bond and protective coating on the glass, according to the company.

The machine protects glass with a Nano Scale hydrophobic coating that seals, preserves and protects glass against water, soil and stains, scratches, pitting and corrosion. It can coat up to 60 inches per minute and has a height capacity of 84 inches of glass treated in one minute. The machine can treat more than 7 million square feet of glass per year.

Curtainwall, Storefronts, and Entrance Systems

Kawneer: Trifab VersaGlaze
Kawneer introduced its Trifab VersaGlaze 601/601T/601UT front set framing system, which it says is the first front set, ultra-thermal, 6-inch storefront system available. Trifab VersaGlaze 601 offers a choice of front and center glass applications in non-thermal, thermal and ultra-thermal configurations.

The 3-in-1 series includes the non-thermal Trifab 601, the single thermal break Trifab 601T and the dual thermal break Trifab 601UT. The Trifab VersaGlaze 601/601T/601UT front set framing system employs screw spline, shear block and stick joinery construction for efficient fabrication and installation. Structural silicone glazing options allow for even more design possibilities. In addition, the system’s 6-inch depth accommodates
higher spans than conventional 41/2-inch storefront framing systems, according to the company.

Decorative Glass

Walker Glass, Vitro Architectural Glass: Low-E Acid-Etched Glass
Walker Glass has teamed up with Vitro Glass to expand their selection of low-E coated acid-etched glass. Two full-surface finishes from Walker Textures® are available on the first surface, with Solarban® coatings from Vitro Glass on the second surface. The combination provides privacy and energy performance, according to a release.

Walker Textures® Satin and Opaque finishes utilize stain- and scratch-resistance properties. The products offer high visible light transmittance and glare control, with no significant impact on solar performance. According to the company, they are also effective as bird-safe glass solutions and meet the requirements for local law 15, New York City’s bird deterrent regulation.

Digital Printing Equipment & Supplies

Tecglass: Jetver Duo Inks
Jetver Duo inks from Tecglass, the digital branch of the Fenzi Group, were developed to help ensure high opacity in light colors while maintaining fast printing speeds. According to the company, the inks can conceal visible silicone effects for full compliance with industry requirements and are ready to use in the printers developed by Tecglass without any additional setup.

Tecglass also offers its Jetver Translucent inks, which create a color story without being completely opaque. According to the company, the translucent ink can cast a veil of color or texture while bringing in plenty of light. Different gradations are also provided, according to the level of privacy required.

Doors and Windows

Kawneer: Glassvent UT
Kawneer Co. Inc. has added an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant operating handle option for its Glassvent UT (ultra-thermal) project-out windows. The option is designed to meet the ADA recommendation that operable windows require no more than a 5-pound operating force, while also providing a coordinating handle for non-ADA applications. The horizontal handle configuration comes in two sizes: a 12-inch handle size for ADA compliance and an 8-inch handle size for other non-ADA applications.

Door and Window Components and Supplies

American Renolit Corp.: Exofol FX Black
Following the ongoing trend toward dark colors, Exofol FX Black exterior films are new to American Renolit’s standard offerings. Five different black options are now available, with different hues and surface embossing. The latest options round out the company’s standard offering of colors, such as architectural bronze, grey, clay, almond and more.

Officials say Exofol FX remains the only true acrylic/PVDF film on the market, including an industry-leading 20-year warranty, which applies to all U.S. and Canadian climate zones.

Fire Protection

SAFTI First: SuperClear 45-HS-LI
SuperClear 45-HS-LI (hose stream, low-iron) from SAFTI First is a patent-pending 45-minute glazing product that can replace wire glass and ceramics without any wires or amber tints. It is listed by both UL and Intertek, and meets NFPA 252, NFPA 257, UL 9 and UL 10C for fire and CPSC Cat. II for safety. Officials say it does not need any films or laminates to meet impact safety requirements.

SuperClear 45-HS-LI has an approximate visible lighttransmission of 90%, compared to 88% for premium filmed ceramic and 85% for premium laminated ceramic. SuperClear 45-HS and SuperClear 45-HS-LI have a 37 STC/35 OITC rating in standard hollow metal framing, compared to 29 STC/28 OITC for filmed ceramic in standard hollow metal framing and 31 STC/30 OITC for laminated ceramic in standard hollow metal framing.

Folding and Sliding Doors

C.R. Laurence: Palisades Series
The Palisades S90 bi-folding door is one of the newest developments from C.R. Laurence. The doors feature a slim 4 3/4-inch sightline, 12-foot maximum frame height, and completely concealed hinges with minimal hardware to maximize views.

With a CW40 performance grade rating, the bi-folding door is ideal for exterior residential and commercial applications where large openings, high loading requirements, deflection limits, and heavy use are expected, according to the company. The doors have bottom rolling panels to simplify installation, compensating channels and adjustable spacers and a 1/16-inch (+/-) adjustable roller height. They also sport a thermally broken frame and 1-inch insulating glass and stainless steel components.

Handling and Lifting Equipment

Wood’s Powr-Grip: MRT Dolly Stock 98790
Designed for use with a Wood’s Powr-Grip model MRT4 or MRTA8 lifter, the MRT Dolly Stock 98790 option moves the lifter around a jobsite easily. Lifter and extension arm mounts hold equipment in place securely with cotterless hitch pins. It has a compact design for storage in tight spaces, and solid-core tires that require minimal maintenance, according to the company. In addition, it has built-in handles that help ease lifting into or out of a vehicle when not in use. Its fixed axel can also be used as a handle.


Assa Abloy: Vertical Stiles

Assa Abloy vertical stiles seal gaps on the right and left sides of all-glass door openings, providing weatherization all year round. This dry glaze pre-assembled design helps prevent heat and cooled air from leaking in or out of the building. The stiles attach to the top and bottom door rails in 4-inch, 6-inch or 10-inch heights, with installation requiring only one assembler.

The stiles measure 2 inches in width and 1-1/16 inches in height with cladding. They have a maximum length of 120 inches in both stock and made-to-order. Pre-fit gasketing sits on one side; and pressed in on the other, with optional hardware preps available.

Vertical stiles are suited for a variety of glass thicknesses and come in stainless steel, aluminum and powder coat finishes.

Health and Safety Product

HMI Glass: C.10 Glass Protectant

Microban® International has partnered with HMI Glass to develop specialty glass products with built-in antimicrobial action for clean shower enclosures. HMI’s C.10 Glass Protectant is a clear coating for shower glass formulated with Microban technology for invisible product protection against the growth of microorganisms. It creates a bond with glass and works to actively help reduce the growth of microbes, for less mold, mildew and early product deterioration. The technology is incorporated into the glass manufacturing process, becoming a permanent feature of the molecular structure. Officials say it never washes off or wears away throughout the lifetime of the coating, according to the company.

Inspection Equipment

Glaston, Softsolution: Online Quality Measurement
Glaston Corp. and Softsolution collaborated to create quality inspection solutions for tempering lines. The goal of the partnership is to establish a new industry standard in glass quality, and the companies are working to develop new solutions to benefit high-quality glass processors, according to the announcement.

The first joint project addresses anisotropy, a glass quality issue visible after the tempering process. Glaston will utilize Softsolution’s LineScanner anisotropy inspection technology as part of its iLooK quality measurement system to deal with this issue.

Insulating Glass Components and Supplies

Quanex Building Products: Super Spacer T-Spacer

Super Spacer T-Spacer from Quanex is ideal for high-speed automated production on high-volumes of insulating glass units. Its triple-seal design incorporates an inner acrylic adhesive seal, enabling unit handling and compatibility with automated production. The T-Spacer can be used with high-speed lines from all major equipment manufacturers, according to the company. A polyisobutylene primary seal enables enhanced gas retention and low moisture vapor transmission, and an outer silicone seal provides a high level of structural strength and superior durability.

Insulating Glass Product

GGI: Commercial Insulating Glass
General Glass International (GGI) offers commercial insulating glass units designed for aesthetics and multi-functionality. The company has installed a Lisec insulating glass line, so it can now provide IGUs that offer energy-efficient, low-E glass combined with its Alice direct-to-glass printing, bird-protection glass, satin-etched, patterned and other decorative glass solutions.

Tie: Machinery– Beveler, Cutting, Edgers, Polishers and Seamers

Bovone: ELB 11/45
The ELB 11/45 Automatic straight-line edger from Bovone is meant to create an active control system for the wear of all the grinding wheels through an actuation on each motor: the automatic system compensates for the reduction in height through software equipped with an intuitive and easy-to-use HMI. Once the parameters have been set, operator intervention is not needed to control the process, according to the company. With the automation of each motor spindle, the adjustment is carried out through remote control by selecting one or more wheels from the display.

Schiatti, DeGorter: SME10

Represented in the U.S. by DeGorter, Schiatti offers the model SME10 straight edger. This line is designed to perform quality polished finish of the flat edge and variable miter angles on thickness ranging from 3 to 30 mm, according to the company.

Machinery – IG Production

Erdman: One Man Robotic IG Line
The Erdman One Man Robotic IG Cell (OMRC) IG line requires just one operator. It has a cycle time of approximately 45 seconds per 2 feet by 3 feet IG unit without a grid and approximately one minute and 15 seconds with a grid. The throughput expected would be near 500 with a 40-50% grid mix or more than 600 with no grids in a full eight hours.

Machinery – Tempering Lines and Equipment

Mappi: Supertemper
The Mappi Supertemper furnace tempers glass so that it can be certified to E30 glass for fire resistance, according to the company. The Supertemper technology was implemented to give glass processors maximum flexibility in glass processing, but also to allow many to enter the fire-resistant glass market niche easily, through the use of a single tempering furnace.

The Supertemper technology consists of an addition to the tempering process, which makes the glass fire resistant, reaching surface tensions higher than European quality standards that correspond to 160 Mpa, according to the company. In addition, the new furnaces are powered by Siemens and are ready to interface with Siemens MindSphere to integrate with every Industry 4.0 process.

Machinery – Tools and Equipment

Salem Fabrication Technologies: Thunder Cut
The Thunder Cut is a new generation series of stainless-steel body core drills as part of the Storm Series of products, available in multiple lengths. The Thunder Cut diamond core drills are produced in multiple working lengths for manual and automated (CNC) machinery from various equipment manufacturers. According to the company, the Thunder Cut drills have achieved three to five times the standard drill’s life expectancy, resulting in reduced maintenance and replacement costs.

Machinery – Washing Equipment

Billco: Foundation Series
The Foundation Series washer from Billco is designed to produce a mid- to high-volume of production output depending on the requirements. It’s available in a 96-inch working width, and has interchangeable parts, reducing inventory requirements for replacements. The series can anchor any tempering, laminating or insulating line.

Oversized Glazing

Guardian Glass: Super Jumbo Glass
Guardian Glass is producing 130- by- 240-inch or “super jumbo,” SunGuard coatings on clear or Guardian UltraClear float glass at its Carleton, Mich., facility. The glass is available with multiple high-performance SunGuard coatings on clear and UltraClear low-iron substrates, at 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-millimeter thickness.

Personal Protective Equipment

Magid: Cut-Resistant Garments
Job performance is the goal for a partnership between Magid and MISSION. It provides cooling personal protective equipment for workers made from pioneer fabrics that enable technicians to get their job done safely while also being comfortable. “Heat stress is becoming a really big issue,” says Adrianna Carrera, Magid’s product management specialist. All cooling products are chemical-free.

Heat-related illnesses “are directly affected by airflow,” Carrera says. When the human body sweats, the moisture needs to evaporate in the air to “create a cooling effect” on the body like when you get out of the swimming pool and feel a chill, because moisture is evaporating from your body. “If airflow is limited, you have a limited ability to evaporate,” she says.

Magid’s cooling product range can remove moisture from the skin and “help your body to evaporate naturally.” Carrera says that certain textiles remove moisture and enhance the evaporation process in what’s called “moisture-wicking,” but her company’s technology is much more advanced than the wicking ability of athletic clothing.

Protective Glazing

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®: StormMax
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) has released an enhanced version of its StormMax storefront system, which includes additional infill options, 12-foot frame heights and simplified anchoring. Combined with both inside and outside glazing options as well as pre-glazing, the systems have been tested to stringent Florida Building Code standards, particularly for High Velocity Hurricane Zones, to offer Category 5 protection.

The systems are part of OBE’s hurricane-resistant product line including StormMax entrances, curtainwall, architectural glass and more. They replace the company’s FG-5000, FG-5100 and FG-5100T hurricane-resistant storefront systems.

Railing Product

C.R. Laurence: Metropolis
The new Metropolis post windscreen system from C.R. Laurence is designed to offer seamless transparency with an ultra-slim ¾-inch face trim while meeting stringent code requirements. It has a low-profile aesthetic, and provides wind protection and safety while maximizing exterior views, according to the company. An 8-foot maximum system height offers the option to create a glass wall in higher elevations. Applications include rooftops, terraces, swimming pools, and outdoor dining areas. Various post heights, configurations and finishes enable a custom-made specification.

Shower Doors and Hardware

Basco: Rotolo Lux
The Rotolo Lux bypass rolling door is now available from Basco Shower Enclosures. Created as a premium European rolling door option, Rotolo Lux combines ultramodern looks, performance and minimalistic design in both ¼-inch and 3/8-inch heavy glass. It features dual bypassing glass panels, a mitered corner towel bar, and a modern header with snap-lock installation. It also has a Quiet Capture system that minimizes noise.

The Rotolo Lux is available in matte black, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze and chrome finishes. Unique to the 3/8-inch series is a “Zero Threshold” option, which features a no-barrier entry solution.

Solar Glazing Product

Pilkington North America, Ubiquitous Energy: Transparent Solar Glazing
Pilkington North America, an NSG Group subsidiary, and Ubiquitous Energy (UE), a manufacturer of transparent solar technology, have developed a fully transparent, energy-generating window featuring UE Power. According to NSG, this building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology transforms an average window into a solar cell that generates electricity. UE’s transparent photovoltaic coating adds what the company calls an “invisible” element of power generation by capturing non-visible wavelengths and creating a window that acts as a photovoltaic cell without obstructing the view. UE Power collects and transmits electricity through an onboard system built into the window frame. The collected electricity is then transferred to a battery capable of powering a variety of products, which the companies say increases the overall energy efficiency of a building. The windows can be used in addition to solar cells on a rooftop.

Smart Glazing Product

Viracon: Viracon Plus Smart Glazing
Viracon PLUS Smart Glass powered by Halio is a self-tinting smart glass solution that incorporates Halio’s electrochromic technology into Viracon’s insulating glass units. The smart glass optimizes occupant comfort by autonomously adjusting tint levels, reducing energy consumption and maximizing natural light, according to the company. Halio technology enables a clear view when it isn’t tinted and a cool neutral gray when it is. A cloud-based control combined with IoT sensors, a rooftop skycam and a large internet pipe enables rapid and incremental response to changing conditions outside, inside or even via automated demand response from the utility company.

Trucks and Transportation

My Glass Truck: Titan Glass Truck Body MyGlassTruck offers a scaled-down version of the Titan glass truck body for the Chevy Silverado 4500 HD, 5500 HD and 6500 HD cab chassis. This iteration of the Titan combines a GVWR of up to 23,500 pounds and a payload of up to 9,900 pounds with maneuverability and ample rack space, according to the company. Fully padded aluminum exterior and walk-in interior racks provide different loading options and the open rear platform can be used for crates. Exterior racks feature a wide ledge and extra-tall Adjust-A-Poles with T-tops for securing glass. Optional e-track, scissor-style yellow cleats, sign-panels, hitches, walk ramps and lift gates are available.

Tie: Tools and Supplies

EDTM: Glass-Chek Elite
The Glass-Chek Elite instrument from Electronic Design to Market (EDTM) has the ability to identify laminated glass in a window and also measure the thickness of the laminate interlayer. The design has a graphical display that shows an illustration of the profile of the window to better understand the construction of the window. The graphical display shows the window drawn approximately to scale, and assigns numbers to each piece of  glass in the window, and also assigns numbers to each surface of glass, aiding in identifying the low-E coated surface.

The Glass-Chek ELITE has all the abilities of the previous Glass-Chek PRO product, including the ability to measure window thickness and identify the presence of low-E coatings. It can also identify the type of low-E coating in the window and can indicate if it is a hard coat or soft coat product. If it is a soft coat, the meter can identify the number of silver layers used to make up the coating.

Strybuc: Touch-Screen Kiosk
Strybuc offers its first touchscreen kiosk for door and window parts. Designed for use in retail stores, kiosks allow visitors to shop over 36,000 popular, hard to find and obsolete parts using a touch-screen format and printed catalog. Counter- and floor-based stations are available, offering an easy process for shopping and ordering. After finding the parts they need, customers can add them to a cart, enter a credit card number, and have parts delivered direct to stores or shipped to their homes. Meanwhile, there’s no need for retailers to stock hundreds of regional specialty hardware items.

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