It’s Trade Show Season

Now Is the Time to Shop Manufacturing Strategies

By John Ryba

As trade show season heats up, door and window manufacturers of all sizes should be looking for new ways to add value and differentiation to
their product lines. There are plenty of opportunities to scope out new technologies that can help take your door and window products—or your manufacturing strategies—to the next level.

What types of upgrades should you be considering? How can you continuously set your business apart? Consider the following three ideas while you’re strategizing.

Delivering on Performance and Looks

High-performance doors and windows matter more than ever. Not only is Energy Star 7.0 the most stringent version yet, but homeowners expect new door and window purchases will help make their homes more comfortable.

While it’s no secret that vinyl windows have achieved market dominance, due in part to their energy performance characteristics, today’s demands go further. To meet the new Energy Star guidelines, you may need to rethink your framing entirely.

Air cell or foam-filled vinyl frames may eliminate the need for you to jump to triple-pane insulating glass (IG) to achieve what both Energy Star and discerning consumers seek. Meanwhile, proven spacer technologies can help you be assured of the quality and longevity of your products.

Beyond the performance credentials of your doors and windows, consumers are looking for more solutions that will truly beautify and transform their homes. For example, large-format doors and windows have been increasingly desired in recent years, a trend that has intersected with the greater proliferation of new and varied color options. Bigger doors and windows allow homeowners to blend indoor and outdoor areas, tying it all together with colors that complement overall designs.

Larger frames require maximized strength, and if you’re exploring vinyl to maximize thermal efficiency, look for vinyl formulations that can withstand the toughest conditions and standards. The convergence of increasingly high-quality vinyl compounds and long-lasting color technology has also made it easier than ever to offer homeowners the “wow factor” they’re looking for. Co-extruding color helps eliminate the extra steps required of an ancillary manufacturing process like painting or laminating, allowing window makers to fabricate finished products with a variety of colors right away.

Investigating the Possibilities in Automation

Finally, trade show season is a great opportunity to investigate the most advanced manufacturing equipment the fenestration industry has to offer. No matter the size of your operation, automation has the potential to help you boost production, improve quality consistency, maximize available raw materials, and get the most out of your labor force.

That isn’t the only strategy you should be exploring, however. Working with partners to strategically outsource certain parts of your finished windows can help you focus on what you do best: making high-quality doors and windows. Because that’s what innovation is all about—delivering new solutions to your customers they can’t find anywhere else.

John Ryba is the technical services manager for Quanex Corp.

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

DWM Magazine

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