I’m sure I’ve written articles in the past at trade shows with the headline, “Its all about the products.” But while walking the show floor at GlassBuild America on Wednesday, I realized this industry really is all about the people. They are the ones who develop the products, and they are the ones who have the great stories. So let me tell you about some of the people I saw and products they told me about 

Window manufacturers go shopping. Even if it’s just for a day (and for some of them it really is), window manufacturers come to shows like this to see what’s new. Even if they don’t come with a shopping list, they want to be on the cutting edge. Peter Folsom, president of Panorama Windows in the Bronx, N.Y., found me in the Guardian booth yesterday and walked up to say hello. After all, we had originally met each other miles away in Germany last year for the massive fenesterbau show. Folsom is always looking for innovation, so he asked him what was on his list. “I’m here for a day to see what’s new,” he said. Stay tuned for what he may or may not have found.

The FoldUp window by Rochester Colonial with hardware by Caldwell.
The FoldUp window by Rochester Colonial with hardware by Caldwell.

On the lookout for innovation. I ran into Ray Garries yesterday, whose blog for DWM is named Fenestration Innovation, so who better to ask, “What innovative things have you found on the show floor?” EDTM’s new prototype that can check the U value of glass made the list as did Caldwell’s new window. DWM editor Trey Barrineau wrote about it in his story  yesterday in which he described it as a a folding window that looks like a double-hung but operates very differently – it flips upward. Caldwell provided the hardware for the unique window. I heard about this one from several people.

Finding innovative partners. Many times companies are successful by partnering with others. It’s not about finding a partner—it’s about finding the right partner. Joseph Machine appears to have done just that with Mecal, based in Italy. The company was previously focused on the residential side, but with the addition of Mecal, it has diversified its offerings. Timothy Minne, director of commercial products for Joseph, is excited about everything the two companies can offer. Mecal’s Carmelo Spalluto is, too, and says the biggest market right now machinery is there in the U.S.

Unrealistic expectations. People are great, but let’s face it — sometimes they have unrealistic expectations. One major window manufacturer who shoots straight from the hip just shook his head when talking about lead times. “What homeowners and contractors expect as far as lead times are unbelievable,” he said.

Glass shortages. These are two words I heard several times yesterday. The first time it was from the owner of a window manufacturing company in Florida who said, “thank goodness we have a great relationship with our glass supplier ….”

These are just a few of the stories I found yesterday on the show floor. Stay tuned to my blog and dwmmag.com for more news from the show.

In fact, if you missed yesterday’s video, you can watch it here. And if you missed Trey’s story from yesterday detailing the many new products, you can find that here.

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