Shop Talk

New Year, New Shop: Taking Stock of Your Production Processes

Jan 26th, 2023

There’s a lot on the line for door and window manufacturers in 2023. Consistency of quality, unit performance once installed in the field and your reputation as a manufacturer all depend on successful shop floor operations. How best to achieve that success? Manufacturing reliable, quality door and window units is all about following repeatable and […]

2022’s Top Tips From Shop Talk

Dec 29th, 2022

Since the Quanex Technical Services team started writing this blog, our goal has always been a simple one: To provide you with practical advice you can use and apply on your shop floor today. We write these posts based on challenges our customers encounter on a regular basis. Oftentimes, our tips come directly from a […]

Promoting a Collaborative Environment on the Shop Floor

Nov 15th, 2022

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably seen some themes emerge over the past year. We’ve talked plenty about the ways in which automated technology can elevate your operations in terms of production speed, quality and consistency. We’ve likewise spent a lot of time focused on how you can meet changing demands […]

The Manufacturer’s Case for Thin Triples

Oct 10th, 2022

The latest cover of Door & Window Market ([DWM]) magazine didn’t mince words regarding ENERGY STAR 7.0: “It’s go time.” The new criteria for the prestigious EPA label will hit in just about a year, and the significant changes for U-factors and solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs) will be driving manufacturers to make major alterations […]

Plant Optimization Means Getting Your Hands Dirty

Sep 12th, 2022

I write a lot in this space about strategy on the plant floor and different theories on how plant managers can effect positive change to their everyday operations. But whether it’s prioritizing product quality, identifying opportunities for automation or staying organized, eventually the time comes to put theory into practice. And that brings us to […]

Weighing Plant Floor Purchases

Aug 8th, 2022

The fall trade show season will kick off in the next few months and continue through November. Any fenestration professional reading this likely has a few of these dates circled on their calendar. And for good reason—it’s a prime opportunity to see some of today’s most advanced window and door technology, and to consider the […]

Addition by Subtraction on the Shop Floor

Jul 11th, 2022

By most accounts, the outlook for the fenestration industry remains robust. We know from the [DWM] 2022 Industry Outlook that more than half of window dealers, manufacturers and suppliers expect sales increases of 10% or more, with more than 80% predicting sales will top 2021. Which brings us to today’s tip: Make hay while the […]

Replacing Knowledge After the Great Retirement

Jun 13th, 2022

Who’s the most knowledgeable person on your plant floor? Who’s the person you turn to when a problem arises? Is that person the same one it might have been two years ago? The fenestration industry’s ongoing struggle with labor is well established. A lot of focus is commonly put on simply being short on manpower. […]

The Surprising Rewards of a Quality-First Strategy

May 9th, 2022

You don’t have to look far to see how manufacturing quality can affect sales and reputation. Think of aerospace, pharmaceuticals, automotive, food service or other industrial sectors. In our business, cutting a corner to achieve a short-term advantage is a false economy that can end up backfiring with distributors, contractors, builders, homeowners and, yes, even […]

How Organized Are You?

Apr 11th, 2022

Your shop floor is constantly alive with activity. Raw materials arrive, units are assembled and finished products are shipped to customers. In an ideal scenario, it’s a smooth-running process you can depend on to keep up with your day-to-day production schedules. But many different factors can interrupt even the best laid plans, especially as our […]

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