After a Year in the Digital Realm, GlassBuild America Rehumanizes

Caught in the constraints of COVID, GlassBuild America was among the many shows opting to pull the plug on in-person events in 2020, instead launching a virtual format with GlassBuild Connect. The show now returns to its rightful form, with a three-day, live event at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.

Produced by the National Glass Association (NGA), the event is dubbed the largest annual gathering place for the entire glass, door and window industries in the Americas—where “buyers and sellers meet and learn how to solve their most pressing challenges.” For the 400 exhibitors, ranging from component suppliers and manufacturers, to machinery, tools and services providers, the primary conundrum these days centers on supply chain. That alone could make the show a fertile shopping ground for companies seeking new alternatives. With just 3% of attendees representing builders, remodelers, architects and specifiers, the event represents a mashup primarily comprised of manufacturers and suppliers—a query of which shows approximately 25% relating to doors and windows. The vast majority of attendees hail from manufacturing, making up 63%, while suppliers account for another 14%.

With those proportions in mind, show officials suggest the event represents a true sales opportunity, reporting that, “The median GlassBuild America buyer spends $112,500 on machinery, products and/or supplies they saw at GlassBuild America.” (Source: 2018 and 2019 GlassBuild America attendee survey results)

Among the other reasons cited in support of attendance are workforce development, industry connections and getting out of the office—the latter of which should strike a common tone following a year of social separation.

“After having been apart from many industry colleagues, this will be a great opportunity to connect and share new developments in our business and the industry in general,” says Dave Miller, business development executive for FeneTech Inc.

Devoid of any seminars and other educational opportunities geared specifically for doors and windows, the event’s sweet spot includes products and networking. Following is a look at what you can expect to find on the show floor while mingling.

Booth 819 – Continental

With skai Mattex, Continental presents a new exterior surfaces program that officials say is meant to inspire the market with an extreme matte in laminated surfaces. The product has a gloss level of two—an innovation that they say, “perfectly replicates the look and feel of powder-coated aluminum, with a particularly fine, yet concisely structured surface.” The surface is scratch-resistant due to its grain structure and is sealed with a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) layer, resulting in a particularly low surface tension that makes it easy to clean. Due to a high temperature resistance, it shows no gloss development during welding or bending. The product is available in nine solid colors, ranging from white to black, and the matt trend also expands the choices of woodgrain finishes through the skai Woodec program.

Booth 819 – Fux

Fux will show off the first model of its 83-CLM-327 Plus, a compact version of its 83-CLM-327. Designed as an attractive opportunity for lamination start ups and small runs, the line is equipped with a 4.4 lbs. adhesive topmelter, but can be changed within minutes to an external 5-gallon premelter. Standard features include one side-based drive train with full accessibility on the operator side, a patented anti-scratch, non-stick and low maintenance slot nozzle and a precision primer application through centrally controlled primer pumps.

The unit also features a central touch screen panel for the control of the line, two laminate unwinding reels and a protective film applicator.

Upgrades over previous models include an integrated, automatic on-spot humidifier system, an automatic foil positioning system, laminate reheating system and remote access maintenance modem.

Booth 1021 – Veka Inc.

Officials for Veka say they aim to keep things simple this year, by reducing the number of products down to six windows and one door. Instead, the company plans to utilize its space for what everyone’s missed over the past year: networking and in-person meetings. The booth will include public and private spaces. Meanwhile, a background audio-visual system will be used to display messaging, including the company’s new global mission, “We act, we care, we grow.”

Products that will be on display include the flagship Corsair Door, including two- and three-track systems. The company’s newest Canadian option, the SH82, will also be on hand, as well as Ecolutions.

Booth 1047 – Haffner Machinery

As labor shortages continue to plague the industry, Haffner plans to show door and window companies how to replace manual tasks with automation. Officials say the company’s SAC-100 Automatic Screen Frame Assembly Machine could produce up to 180 frames per hour with just one operator (with a typical cycle time of 20 seconds). The unit uses interactive software to control production and is conveyorized to transport finished frames to the next workstation. Screen sizes can be input via barcode or on screen.

The unit can be paired with the company’s SAC-845 Automated Screen Mesh and Spline Insertion Machine for complete screen assembly.

Booth 1103 – EDTM

EDTM plans to provide hands-on demos for its line of American-made tools and instruments, including the latest improvements to Glass-Chek Elite. Updates include the ability to identify laminated glass in a window and to measure the thickness of laminate inner-layers. The unit’s graphical display shows an illustration of the profile of the window, helping the user to better understand construction and the location of low-E coated surfaces. In one of its 12 special operating modes, the Glass-Chek Elite can even identify which surface of glass has a low-E coating when the coating is placed against a laminate inner-layer. The meter stores the most recent 28 measurements, allowing users to pull them up after returning to the shop or office.

Other special operating modes include detecting multi-laminate applications, such as bullet resistant or fire-rated glass, reflective/mirrored commercial glass, low visible light transmission (VLT), suspended film and quad-pane windows.

Booth 1403 – Chelsea Building Products

Chelsea plans to use the show to introduce its latest window: the 9600 Series Single Hung. Designed for new construction and featuring a sideload bottom sash, the Side Load Single Hung series includes coordinating picture window, XO horizontal slider and XOX horizontal slider windows. The 9600 utilizes a universal frame system for the single hung and horizontal slider models for ease of manufacturing, while welded frames and sashes enhance structural integrity and weatherability. The 3-inch frame has a streamlined, simple, clean exterior that officials say offers “a pleasant, aesthetic design that is easy for manufacturing.” The product accepts ¾-inch insulating glass.

Booth 1505 – American Renolit Corp.

Renolit has more to celebrate than just a return to in-person shows and new films. The company is also celebrating its 75th birthday. Officials say the show will mark an opportunity to show appreciation to all of the customers and partners that helped to make this milestone possible.

In the meantime, the company isn’t resting on its laurels. Instead, it’s announcing the addition of Exofol FX Black exterior films to its standard stock, following the ongoing trend toward dark colors. Five different black options are now available, with different hues and surface embossing. The latest options round out the company’s standard offering of colors, such as architectural bronze, grey, clay, almond and more.

Officials say Exofol FX remains the only true acrylic/PVDF film on the market, including an industry leading 20-year warranty, which applies to all U.S. and Canadian climate zones.

Booth 1523 – Tremco Construction Products Group

For makers of insulating glass, Tremco will feature EnerEDGE, a pre-desiccated, ready-to-apply, cellular silicone warm-edge spacer that officials say is suitable for a wide range of constructions in fenestration applications. The product is inset and applied to a glass lite’s perimeter to enable fabrication of dual- and triple-glazed IG units, in conjunction with a quality applied perimeter sealant. According to company information, an increased height of ¼ inch makes its latest spacer ideal for heavy lites of glass, including dual-seal constructions.

Booth 1603 – Deceuninck

At last year’s virtual event, Deceuninck introduced its 579 Series commercial windows. Now the company is set to give folks an in-person view of the product. The series offers enhanced thermal performance for commercial projects, specifically for remodeling, replacement and new midrise construction, while serving as an alternative to aluminum.

The company will also showcase its Innergy Architectural Products, a line of fiber-reinforced polymer parts custom designed for curtain wall systems, doors, windows and storefront systems. Innergy AP components are designed to deliver metal-like structural strength and very low conductivity for excellent thermal performance. Components are custom-designed to fit into existing commercial fenestration products and include pressure plates, structural thermal struts, reinforcements and curtainwall components.

Booth 1739 – GED Integrated Solutions

GED’s booth will feature several kiosk monitors with product videos, while a large display will play corporate and product messages on one side, creating a meeting and conference area on the other. Officials say a section of the booth will be used to demonstrate the WinTrax Intelligent Logistics System, a software package that uses radio-frequency identification (RFID)
technology to locate window components throughout manufacturing facilities. “We’ve made enhancements to the software that benefits the window manufacturing processes and distribution channels,” says Tony DiFiore, software R&D manager. “With the introduction of the WinTrax Handheld, we’ll demonstrate the ease of finding windows versus using a barcode scanner.”

A large kiosk monitor will offer an inside look into a GED window manufacturing facility, with machine “checkpoints,” rotating 3D machine renderings, product videos, sales literature and brochures. Visitors can go directly to The GED Store onsite and register to view more than 20,000 genuine OEM parts for the company’s machines.

Booth 1903 – Caldwell

After pressing the envelope for automated windows, Caldwell plans to display its latest wonders, including Omni Drive.

Dubbed a “revolutionary outswing operator,” Omni Drive is a modular operating system for the company’s project-out and outswing casement windows, driving both a multipoint lock system and vent in a single operation. The system allows for screen frames up to ½-inch in depth to remain in place while easily operating windows from inside, and to automate the Omni Drive handle can be replaced with the company’s Omni Auto-Drive Automation System. In addition to powered options, the ADA-capable system provides single-handle control for complete vent operation and a unique, easy-to-use horizontal handle movement that provides an ergonomic solution. The company’s newest Omni Drive Rainbow Handle moves laterally, in an arc, without extending into the room. Both will be in the booth for hands-on experiences.

Booth 2043 – Oz Machine

Oz Machine will set up its Meteor I 600, an automatic cutting machine with 24-inch upcut saw. The unit can be used for cutting aluminum, PVC/vinyl and wood profiles, using a hydro-pneumatic cutting process. Features include an automatic secure cover controlled by the control panel, cutting stroke speed adjustment based on profiles and the ability to cut at 11 angles. The machine also includes pneumatic vertical and horizontal clamps, and comes standard with a 600 mm saw blade, conveyor (right) and cooling system. Options include additional conveyor, single-phase system and a vacuum cleaner for chips.

Booth 2221 – FeneTech

Earlier this year, FeneTech released FeneVision Ultimate v.15.3. Among the enhancements included in the new version are advanced purchasing and inventory control functions that officials say, “will revolutionize the user experience.” New features include the ability to create a vendor scorecard report, define inventory bins as non-nettable, designate ABC and XYZ inventory classifications, view inventory demand by either day or month, and many more.

Booth 2231 – Erdman Automation

With labor shortages persisting, Erdman will display its One Man Robotic IG Cell, an IG production line that’s designed for one operator. The unit has a cycle time of approximately 45 seconds per 2-foot-by-3-foot IG unit without grid. The machine’s expected throughput is near 500 units with a 40-50% grid mix, or over 600 with no grids in a full eight-hour shift.

The company will also share concepts that utilize two application stations, dropping the cycle time to 30-35 seconds, for a 25% increase in throughput.

Booth 2503 – Strybuc Industries

An in-person show marks the perfect opportunity for Strybuc to show off one of its latest tools: the first touch-screen kiosk for door and window parts. Designed for use in retail stores, kiosks allow visitors to shop over 36,000 popular, hard to find and obsolete door and window parts using a touch-screen format and printed catalog. Counter- and floor-based stations are available, offering an easy process for shopping and ordering. After finding the parts they need, customers can add them to a cart, enter a credit card number, and have parts delivered direct to stores or shipped to
their homes. Meanwhile, there’s no need for retailers to stock hundreds of regional specialty hardware items.

The company will also have its new sliding door roller assembly identification selectors on hand. A countertop model displays 45 of the company’s most popular roller assemblies, while a floor model includes 90 assemblies—with five variations of wheels.

Booth 2519 – Quanex Corp.

Visitors can expect to see the full gamut of offerings from Quanex, including patio door products, screens, vinyl systems and insulating glass spacers. The company also plans to emphasize its services in marketing and technical support.

Some of the top highlights will include the 900 and 1350 Patio Screen Door with Inset Handle, which integrates handle hardware into the frame, removing it from view and helping to prevent wear and tear. The company’s Mikron House Systems will be on hand as well, including the 8200 Series and 9300 Series, offering benefits ranging from speed to market and structural strength to energy efficiency and aesthetics.

The Mikron C3-11300 AW-Rated System will also be on display, which meets the needs of mid- and high-rise commercial buildings with an optimal mix of strength, energy performance and aesthetics. The company’s K2 Impact Sliding Patio Door System features MikronBlend vinyl, for durability and resistance to heat, impact and corrosion in coastal hurricane locations.

Last, but not least, the company will have an air float table to demonstrate the use of skinny triple IG units to meet production and energy efficiency requirements.

Booth 2717 – Paradigm

Officials for Paradigm say they’ll showcase two advances in technologies for the remodeling and building industries—including Paradigm Vendo. Designed as an easy-to-use digital sales application, the program helps sales professionals showcase doors, windows and other home improvement products to consumers in their homes or virtually. The application works on any device and helps to control functions such as appointment management, product configuration, quoting, financing options and e-signatures.

The application also includes Paradigm View, a visualization technology that uses the power of artificial intelligence to identify doors and windows automatically in images of homes. View enables home improvement contractors to accurately measure and configure products, while showing homeowners what they look like on their actual homes.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

DWM Magazine

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