WinDoor 2022 has come and gone but increasing energy prices, supply chain issues and material costs linger throughout the door and window industry.

Tracy Rogers, a glass specialist at Billco, says that the provider of machinery and parts to the door and window industry has around half a dozen machines that were ordered over a year ago sitting on its floor due to supply chain problems.

The calm before the show: Windoor 2022 saw industry members discussing challenges head-on.

He adds that materials costs have increased by 35% up to 300% depending on the component. As a result, Billco has had to update its customers regularly and even raise prices on some machines.

Energy efficiency was also a topic of discussion throughout WinDoor. In an effort to tap down energy costs, companies seek to design more energy-efficient products. Novatech, a manufacturer of entrance doors, door glass, patio doors and custom-sealed glass, introduced its energy-efficient Novatech High Performance (NHP) door system at WinDoor 2022.

The NHP door system features a European design built for harsh winters. The door features a 2 1/4-inch-thick slab that is built with 30% more steel. This makes it more difficult to break through and harder to damage, according to Robert Latour, Novatech’s vice president of sales.

The door also improves comfort by keeping temperature and humidity levels stable inside. This is accomplished by a weatherstrip that surrounds the entire door in an unbroken loop. Novatech includes a second weatherstrip that adds an additional layer of protection, which makes the door considerably more resistant to water and air infiltration.

“This is a real game-changer,” Latour says. “This allows us to eliminate air and water infiltration that you can get around hinges and handles. It really takes it to another level.”

Novatech’s NHP door system won the “Best New Product” in the door category at WinDoor 2022.

Along with a focus on energy-efficient products, exhibitors at WinDoor 2022 discussed the current labor shortages. Workforce challenges have been a nagging problem throughout the door and window industry over the past several years.

The problem for Ultrafab, however, has not been a lack of workers but the training that comes with a stronger reliance on automation. President Alan DeMello says the turn to automation has made training more comprehensive.

“We can get the staff now, but you have to train them,” says DeMello. “The products that we do manufacture require a substantial amount of training. It takes a while to get someone trained to the point where they can run a manufacturing process independently. That’s what a lot of us are dealing with now. We’ve added the staff but now we have to train them to be proficient in the stuff that we need them to do.”

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