Machinery Makers Continue Innovating

With most door and window companies stretched to the max amid increased demands and labor issues, some machinery providers say they’re all but sold out on options for automation. In the meantime, they haven’t ceased to innovate amid COVID-19, aiming to offer additional solutions going forward. Following is a look at what some manufacturers have been up to, in their own words:

Billco Manufacturing

Billco has experienced a significant increase in orders since last summer, including loading, cutting, automated remnant storage, washers, heat presses and laminating lines,” says Leah Telesz, marketing manager.

The company’s Heat Press unit rapidly and precisely heats and presses any insulating glass unit sealing system (that requires heat and/or compression) down to sizes of 9-12 inches square. The machine is fully automated, including an intelligent ventilation system that reduces operating costs, and it accommodates flexible and Intercept spacers.

The company’s patented technologies minimize negative glass deflection when the units are sealed after compression to ensure proper sealant wet-out and reduce cool down times prior to achieving optimum gas fill.

Builders Automation Machinery Co.

Our newest designed equipment is exclusively servo-driven, with coordinated motion, and is infinitely programable for edge prep requirements for hinge types that may not have even been designed yet,” says Robert J. Mitvalsky, CEO.

The company’s door machines offer the ability to switch automatically from a 5 /8-inch radius to a ¼-inch radius, and single point pre-drill and bar code information can be sent to its machining center before doors arrive. Machines automatically set up to barcoded information and to prevent breakout on lock bores they circularly interpolate holes.

Erdman Automation

A newer feature we have developed includes incorporating a robot to unload the Erdman Dura or Super Spacer High Speed IG Line,” says Jessica Metz, marketing manager. “The robot can unload directly into a prepared sash or a staging rack, reducing the chance of injury from unloading larger, heavy insulating glass units, and reduces operators required to run the line.”

The company’s One Man Robotic IG Cell (OMRC) line for insulating glass is designed to require just one operator, with a cycle time of approximately 45 seconds per 2-ft. by 3-ft. unit without grids. Expected throughput per eight-hour shift is near 500 units with a 40 to 50% grid mix, or over 600 units with no grids.

Forel North America

Our High Tech Line is a prime example of listening to our customers and delivering solutions to common issues they face day to day,” says Troy Larson, U.S. area manager.

The machine keys in on the problem of bowed glass, Larson says, which often occurs after tempering. Solutions include patented, retractable suction cups on the rear of the unit’s press that flatten glass, significantly improving gas fill percentages. The unit also features a dual conveyor that supports bowed glass, allowing for safer and smoother transportation, as well as a sealing nozzle that follows the curvature of insulating glass units.

GED Integrated Solutions

We have made several significant improvements and added new features to this new generation of Colonial Muntin Machine (CMM),” says Bill Briese, R&D engineering manager. “New controls permit on-site and off-site machine diagnostics by taking advantage of the modern ethernet input and output.”

A reinvented CMM 2.0 pushes well beyond its original 1996 version and now includes a quick-change system with the ability to make five punches and quickly interchange tooling for optimal production. The machine’s rapid processing time, with optional saw is one of its main advantages, Briese says. “The machine-integrated WinGrid software allows easy download of batch data to the touch-screen HMI, and  operators can also choose to run the machine in MDI for efficient stock sizes production.


We have a couple of upgrades,” says Jerry Henline, president, “including a new SSV-1000 Sealant Dispense Valve.”

The valve is part of Haeco’s new Sense of Touch technology and can be configured for ambient silicone or hot melt, while boasting effective temperature control through to the nozzle tip. The company was granted a U.S. Patent on the technology for automatically dispensing sealant on the glazing ledge of sashes and frames.

As the exclusive sales center for Famatec APP, Henline says his company also offers a new, exclusive gripping system, which makes use of Famatec profiles and accessories. Famatec APP is modular, interlocking and easy to assemble, making it simple to modify and reconfigure.

Integrated Automation Systems

We introduced new automation products, added features to existing products and combined systems to help IG fabricators increase productivity,” says Ryan McHugh, president.

The company’s newly configured machines blend two of its most popular systems. “We combined our lightning-quick servo-driven traversing table loader with our shuttle system,” he says. “This gives the customer access to as many SKUs as they want and up to seven glass SKUs within 45 seconds.” The system allows customers to handle glass automatically, while switching types frequently.

McKeegan Equipment and Supply

We’ve been at this for 51 years now,” says Colleen McKeegan, general manager, including pneumatic table-top, multi-head and computerized notchers.

McKeegan’s Multi Head Muntin Notcher is expandable from two to six heads, including interchangeable dies and a multiple positioning system that accurately adjusts spacing between each notcher. The system is pneumatically driven (at 100 to 150 psi), turning each notcher on and off quickly for special applications. Other features include self-lubricating blades, high-speed punches and foot pedal operation.

Options include chop saw, an extra notching head, heavy duty cylinders, spacer bar keeper punch and index block for upper and lower sash size differences.

Oz Machine USA

We improved our clamp positioning technology with an independent positioning system,” says Adil Sasmaz, managing director. “Now we implement servo drives on each clamp and with the software update each can move simultaneously and independent of one another.”

The company’s Garnet 5X five-axis CNC machining center has the capacity to process aluminum and steel profiles of various sizes. With fully automatic clamp positioning, a full range of tasks can now be automated, freeing up labor. The machine is designed to carry out all-in-one milling, drilling, machining, cutting and end milling operations on profiles, and to perform various special operations.

Thanks to an 11-kW spindle motor with automatic tool replacement, “the machining capacity is only limited by the user imagination,” Sasmaz says.

PDS IG Equipment

PDS introduced a temporary protective film application system for insulating and monolithic glass. The modular system can operate stand-alone, or it can be integrated into existing insulating glass lines, automatically detecting glass size and applying film with no user intervention.

PDS offers systems for high-volume residential customers and larger, commercial-size modules for the architectural market. Machines are capable of applying film to over 1,000 insulating glass units in a single shift and work with multiple films and film widths. An accompanying module to automatically score film for simulated divided lites is also available.

Sturtz Machinery Inc.

One of the main areas of focus for our customers continues to be automated systems,” says Mike Biffl, regional sales manager. “This remains consistent with what we’ve seen for the past few years as companies try to streamline operations and the labor market remains tight.”

The company’s Turbo Four Head Pass Thru Line features its HSM-30/25-Turbo Welder and the 8AC4H-30/30-F Four Head Pass Thru Corner Cleaner, to process multiple window systems in a single high-speed system. The welding process, Motion Control technology, dynamic modules and intelligent controls combine to produce up to 800 frames per shift.

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DWM Magazine

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