Thoughts from GlassBuild
Hopefully you’ve all seen our video reports last week from GlassBuild America, but I thought I’d share a few more items of interest at the show. Be sure to look to future issues of DWM
for more detail, but here are some bullets to wet your appetite.
First, on products:
If you stopped at the Owens Corning booth and saw its AttiCat blown-in insulation system you may have wondered what it has to do with windows, but Bill Weimer told me that it’s a perfect add-on product for window companies—and it is.
“Our argument is if you do the window in a house you can do the insulation as well,” says Weimer.
Speaking of expansion into other markets, Deceuninck North America introduced its Zendow window, which it will launch in the second quarter of 2011 and marks the company’s entry into the commercial market. The company also featured its cellular PVC decking.
“Fabricators are looking for more opportunities to get back in the house,” says Deceuninck’s Lori LePera.
While it seemed I saw fewer new product introductions than in recent years, those companies who are innovative seemed to have not just one but several new products in the works, as was the case with Royal.
John Vukanovich talked to me about a variety of new products in the works for 2011 including a unique window that it will launch in less than two months during the Win-door show. Stay tuned for that launch. The company also has two new patio doors in the works, and will “be getting aggressive with mouldings, which means some new unique trim options.”
“We’ll be introducing a lot of products that are unique,” he says.
VEKA introduced a new product at the show that seemed to spur a lot of interest. It’s deemed the elements program and it is one system that can meet or exceed building codes, can be used for residential or commercial applications and can offer impact resistance and sound control.
“It is also the answer to R5 and beyond,” says VEKA’s Steve Dillon. “It’s so versatile.”
I also have to give kudos to VEKA for the great job it did with its one page sell sheet promoting the product’s various capabilities.
On the hardware side, Truth seemed to hit a home run with its Sentry, multi-hinge patio door system. Truth’s Matt Kottke says the company worked on the product for more than a year after talking to customers and it seems its efforts paid off.
“The customers who have been here have been all smiles,” says Kottke. “The response is equal to or better than we expected.”
Now that we’ve seen what exhibitors introduced, the real question is this: what sparked the most interest from attendees?
I ran into Bruce Dove of Dove Windows in Wilkes Barre, Pa., and he told me he was most interested in a product he saw from Packsize, based in Salt Lake City. So the next day I stopped by the booth to see it for myself.
According to the company’s Tosh Lahy, the technology allows companies to make any size or style of corrugated package or insert, on-demand, in a few seconds, as part of its packaging workflow.
“The ability to make exactly what you need, at the moment you need it, eliminates box inventory and material planning—and assures that every box fits perfectly, greatly decreasing damage,” he says. “There is no capital investment, as we provide the systems, engineering and process flow solutions, and companies simply buy the consumable of corrugated.”
“We’re definitely going to consider it,” says Dove.
Why haven’t we heard of this company more in the past? Lahy told me that while the company serves industries serves as cabinetry, etc., it is now expanding into the door and window market, and does already have some customers in the industry.
For Dean Tascarella, purchasing manager for Serious materials, the OptiGas gas filling system is what caught his attention.
“That alone is going to save us six figures,” he says.
The new technology was on display in the Fenetech booth, which created the filling control software and interface. The product was developed by Integrated Automated Systems and the company says it reduces the labor per unit for gas filling by up to 90 percent and krypton loss per fill from 50 percent to essentially zero.
How is Machinery Faring?
Some machinery suppliers I talked to admit that times are still tough and some manufacturers are still reluctant to buy. But this also varies by the type of machine and market served.
Joseph Machine’s Rick Wilson reports that the fiberglass market is still strong, as is Canada. So the company was featured a machine geared toward the fiberglass and cellular market.
Kurt Muhittin from ATech Machine also reported on a healthy Canadian market but says that companies are also very interested in machines used to make aluminum windows. Before the show was even over he said it sold four of the five machines, one of which was to a Florida manufacturer of aluminum windows.
When at any show it’s always interesting catch up with industry folks and here about their products in action. I talked to Mark Imbrock at EDTM about the company’s helpful tools for the industry and he told me the company’s Window Energy Profiler is being used on the Empire State Building retrofit project. In fact, he said he’s gotten a few orders from people who’ve gone through the tour and saw it in action.
And while I’ve spoken to Jana Goodrich, president of Seaway Manufacturing, via phone and e-mail, it was great to finally meet her in person. I spoke to her about everything from her role in the NGA group–the Window and Door Dealers Alliance–to her choice of comfortable shoes for the show.
So for all who gave me great ideas for future issues (Gary) and to those who love our newscasts (Kurtis) it was great seeing you. And for those who didn’t make the show, e-mail me at email@example.com or I’ll see you at some upcoming fall events.