When talking to exhibitors and attendees at the fensterbau/frontale trade fair held last week in Nuremberg, Germany, not one had a negative thing to say. The halls were packed, the products were in abundance and the parties brought attendees together in a fun and festive atmosphere.

Inoutik (Deceuninck) received an award for architectural innovation for its Innergy product and was chosen among the 35 nominated companies.
Inoutik (Deceuninck) received an award for architectural innovation for its Innergy product and was chosen among the 35 nominated companies.

While U.S. attendees comprise a very small portion of visitors, several exhibitors say they were surprised at the number of U.S. representatives who traveled abroad. “There are a lot of people here from North America that we didn’t know would be here,” said Chris Dimou, president, Roto Frank of America.

“We are talking to more Americans than ever before,” said Josh Snyder, account manager at Hornschuch.

Some of these U.S. attendees were looking for new machinery options, and machinery suppliers serving the U.S. are pleased that people are finally buying again.

“Our production is still quite full,” said Mitchell Heckbert, vice president of sales and service for Urban.” There is potential business out there. I am surprised at the number of U.S. customers here.”

Kevin Schrock, Elumatec, confirmed what other machinery suppliers have reported (see March DWM, page 18). “2013 was our best year ever and the first quarter is progressing well,” he said. “Everyone I talk to is optimistic. Markets on the West Coast, including Las Vegas and Los Angeles, are picking up.”

Next to machinery, hardware offerings may have well been the second star of the show. Companies such as GU and Roto introduced a large amount of products and their booths were packed with attendees vying to get a look.

Roto unveiled a new stand set up in different “houses” and encompassing 12,500 square feet of space. This included the tilt-and-turn house which showcased products for tilt-and-turn windows—the most popular style of PVC windows, said Mark Heckler, sales engineer.

Satisfying the needs of architects who want to go “bigger,” Roto introduced the NT power hinge which can accommodated up to 440 pounds of sash weight.

He added that door products are very big this year and the company featured various hinge options. “We are all about multi-point locking door systems,” Heckler added.

The company also featured sliding door systems including the hardware for a three-panel bi-fold system. The product may be used in high-end homes as well as cafes and restaurants. It also unveiled the Roto Patio Lift which fills a gap the company had in this product category.

GU showcased a variety of products including automated technology. With the touch of thumbprint on a button, a homeowner can open a door. Charles Maves, national sales manager, U.S., says these systems definitely are being used by homeowner’s in the States.

While Technoform had a variety of its solutions on display, the company team stressed its capabilities as a group with its signage of “people and ideas.” President Mark Silverberg said the company offers holistic solutions and is more than a company comprised of different divisions.

“Booth traffic is strong as the industry comes back and people are looking for development partners,” said Silverberg.

Inoutik (Deceuninck) received an award for architectural innovation and was chosen among 35 nominated companies. A jury composed of architects and architectural magazine representatives selected the company’s Innergy product as the ultimate winner.

“We are PVC believers,” said Michael Stoeger, technical director of Central and Eastern Europe.

“Architects don’t see the value of PVC as they focus on aluminum and wood,” he said. “We encourage architects to consider this wherever it makes sense,” he said. “With this material we are able to combine the advantages of both PVC and aluminum.” A benefit of the Innergy product is that it allows the use of a slim profile (59 mm on the frame and sash).

The Innergy product was developed in the United States then featured at fensterbau to see what European companies thought of the product. This award will no doubt make many of them take notice.

Aside from the products, fensterbau allowed the opportunity for attendees to talk about market trends and predictions.

Tony Pauly, vice president and general manager Ventana USA, says he is seeing nice growth in the U.S. from manufacturers. Speaking of regional differences, he said Texas never had a downturn for example, while the Northeast was hit particularly hard with the brutal winter.

Nils Schmitz, general sales manager for Weiss Adhesives said he is encouraged when global companies such as VEKA and Profine open offices in the U.S. “If they grow, we grow with them,” he said. But this adhesives company sees itself as much more than that. “We are a problem solver and solution provider and we try to give extra value,” he added.

Exhibitors seemed to agree that for Europe, fensterbau is “the” show for door and windows.

“This is the show in Europe. This is it,” said Joachim Stoß, managing director for Edgetech Europe.

The event will return to Nuremberg, March 16-19, 2016.

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