AAMA and IGMA Discuss Possibility of One Unified Organization

The boards of directors for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) have engaged in formal discussions with the goal of creating a new unified organization that can better serve the North American fenestration industry.

This agreement follows the recommendation made by a joint AAMA and IGMA Exploratory Team after 12 months of careful thought and collaboration, according to the organizations.

Moving forward, the team will focus on developing a comprehensive proposal. The team’s priorities are two-fold: first, how to best serve the needs of the current membership, and second, how to structure the new organization to best serve the industry and member needs into the future. The first combined event has been targeted for the summer of 2019 in Victoria, Canada.

“AAMA and IGMA are both strong associations with distinct strengths and influential members of the glass and fenestration industry. A combined organization can be even stronger by harnessing the synergies of the back-office and the intellectual knowledge of the associations. One of many strategic advantages for all of our members will be comprehensive, consensus based, standards for the whole, finished, fenestration product—from glass to framing members, and all the related components. Members will have access to the critical information they need from a single, credible source,” said AAMA board chair Mike DeSoto of MI Windows & Doors.

He continued, “A combined organization also delivers expanded technical competencies and a broader document base to support more extensive educational opportunities for members.”

IGMA board chair Nathalie Thibault of Prelco added, “Within the structure of the new combined organization, our strategy will emphasize maintaining a strong presence in both the U.S. and Canada with an appropriate balance to support all members across North America. We anticipate improved efficiency and time savings through potential sharing of combined events and networking opportunities as well as expanded staff support.”

While there are many combined benefits to the AAMA and IGMA members, the organizations also acknowledge the value in retaining separate brand equity in certain services such as the insulating glass certification programs.“

A new combined organization further strengthens our financial position allowing for future investments in industry research; and for more efficient, effective delivery of risk management, new product ideation and industry thought leadership among member participants. Together, we will have a stronger industry voice for our members,” said Thibault.

Midwest Glass Fabricators to Focus on Security Glazing after Expansion

Midwest Glass Fabricators (MWGF) of Highland, Mich., is undertaking a $5.6 million expansion to make room for a Bovone laminating line as the company shifts to focus on security glazing. The existing plant will expand by 55,000 square feet from its current 50,000 square feet.

The new laminating line will produce glass up to 102 inches by 196 inches. In the next three years, MWGF will add more machinery, including an insulating line and a tempering oven.

The company currently operates three tempering ovens.The company has been considering the move for three years, according to Jim Iaquinto, owner.

“We waited because of economics. We wanted to save money to do it the right way with no debt. We invested in the tempering oven instead and began preparing for this expansion,” he says.

As for why MWGF is focusing on security glazing, Iaquinto says it’s what’s going on in the industry, and he anticipates that the market will continue to grow in the future.

“I expect that security glazing will make up at least 50 percent of our future sales, maybe more,” he says. “We want to service our customers with more product. Security glazing is something they’ve been asking for on more and more projects for the past three to four years. Without a laminating line we just weren’t able to compete.”

Iaquinto says it will be business as usual during the expansion, which is to be complete in December 2018.

The expansion is expected to create 64 manufacturing jobs and 12 office sales jobs during the first two years. Additional employees will be hired in the plant as machinery is added.

MWGF currently has 135 employees. The company, which produces shower doors and storefront glass, reported revenues of $21 million in 2017, and projects $25 million in revenue for 2018.

Solar Innovations Raises More Than $4,000 for Local Firefighters

Solar Innovations Architectural Glazing Systems raised more than $4,000 for firefighter education programs in Schuylkill and Lebanon Counties in Pennsylvania during its 2018 first quarter Solar Cares campaign.

The Solar Cares campaign was created to dedicate extra time and effort into giving back to the surrounding community. This quarter, money was raised by 74 percent of the office team members with $2,127.50 being donated to both the Lebanon County Fire-man’s Association and the Schuylkill County Training Academy. Including team member donations and the company match, Solar Innovations was able to donate a total of $4,255 between the two local organizations.

In other news, Solar Innovations is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Security Lock Opens New Warehouse

Security Lock Distributors, a distributor of electrical and mechanical door hardware and security products, opened a new warehouse in the greater Chicago area. Expanding its existing Midwest operations, the new warehouse in Lincolnshire, Ill., has nearly 50,000 square feet of space, and replaces the company’s facility in Buffalo Grove, Ill.

The expanded space allows the company to continue to fulfill its mission of immediate same-day shipping throughout the United States; most orders ship the same day with one- to two-day ground delivery. Addition-ally, the warehouse provides space to house more than 100 door hardware brands.

Security Lock Distributors owns distribution centers across the country, with major holdings outside of Boston in Westwood, Mass. (also the company headquarters), Las Vegas and Chicago.

“We’re fiercely committed to getting our customers the products they need when they need them,” says Ben Orbach, director of operations. “An expanded Chicago operation and warehouse space is strategically important as both our customer base and our inventory continue to grow.”

Vitro Architectural Glass to Sponsor Rainforest Habitat Restoration at National Aviary

Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) is a contributing sponsor to restoration of the historic Tropical Rainforest exhibit at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. The company will supply 19,600 square-feet of Starphire Ultra-Clear glass, featuring AviProTek bird-friendly Velour acid-etched finish by Walker Glass, to the $1.2 mil-lion project.

“Vitro Glass is honored to partner with the National Aviary on this historic exhibit, which has attracted people from around the world for more than 65 years,” says Richard Beuke, president of Vitro Architectural Glass.

According to tunnel tests conducted by the American Bird Conservancy, this glass configuration has a threat factor of 5, which means that birds will avoid colliding with it at least 95 percent of the time.

The glass configuration also enhances bird safety by preventing birds of prey living outside the aviary from seeing and attempting to reach potential prey living inside the building.

Vitro Glass will supply more than 3,100 panes of laminated glass which will be fabricated by Dlubak Specialty Glass Corp. in Blairsville, Pa., and installed by Greenhouse RSI, of the greater Cincinnati area. Montgomery Smith Inc. of Burlington, Ky., experts in greenhouse and conservatory preservation, design and engineering, is the historic conservatory consultant.

The Tropical Rainforest habitat, which opened in 1952, still features the single-strength annealed float glass used in its original construction. In addition, the glazing compounds that hold the glass in place have become loose and chalky, damaging their ability to adhere the glass to its supporting framework and causing air and water leaks. The renovation is expected to be completed in July.

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