Shop Talk

Putting Your People in a Position to Succeed

Nov 15th, 2021

Creating efficiency on a manufacturing floor can sometimes feel like a cold and calculating process. It’s about implementing the right systems and strategies, about optimizing inputs and outputs, and leveraging technological advancements to create quality products. As the operations director for Quanex’s Mikron vinyl window systems, I know this feeling well. And I know that […]

Getting Strategic With Your Training Initiatives

Oct 19th, 2021

The general situation for manufacturers of residential windows has remained constant for some time now: high demand, labor challenges and supply chain issues. As of late 2021, these are things that window manufacturers may be accustomed to, but that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with—especially considering other factors my colleagues have noted in […]

The Benefits of a Continuous Commitment to Quality

Sep 20th, 2021

Imagine yourself in the following scenario: All things considered, your operations are running smoothly given the shared challenges our industry has dealt with for the past year. Your customers are getting solid products in a relatively timely manner, your fabrication process is operating efficiently, and overall quality concerns are low. However, high demand is necessitating […]

Is Energy Star Version 7.0 the Catalyst for Future-Proofing Your Business?

Aug 20th, 2021

In the Shop Talk blog, we’ve talked a lot about the here and now: how to be more productive with fewer employees, health and safety in the COVID-19 era and tips to improve quality and efficiency. We’re all focused on how we get through the next day or week, and we need to be. But […]

Why Safety is Even More Important Amid the Busy Season

Jul 19th, 2021

The busy season always poses challenges and opportunities for door and window manufacturers. The warm summer months typically bring an influx of activity in the building and construction space, and demand for high-quality products rises. Keeping up with an increase in the number of orders requires operational efficiency and a keen eye for maintaining quality […]

Outsmarting Supply and Labor Issues with Outsourcing

Jun 22nd, 2021

The door and window industry is on the brink of what’s traditionally been our busy season. But for many of us, it feels like it’s been busy season for the past year. A hot housing market, low interest rates and homeowners looking to make enhancements to their spaces—they’ve all worked to drive a major spike […]

Focusing on the Right Parts of Glass Quality

May 18th, 2021

A high-quality insulating glass (IG) unit is the result of many small processes that have been performed correctly by an appropriately trained and knowledgeable team. But considering today’s labor market, pulling this off has become a major challenge for some door and window makers. Ongoing difficulties with hiring and high turnover rates mean that today’s […]

Practical Tips for Getting the Most Out of an Automated Line

Apr 21st, 2021

To a window manufacturer that’s struggling to keep employees on the shop floor, the benefits of automation have been clear for a while. And as our collective labor struggles continue, my sense is that continued investment in automation will be occurring for the foreseeable future, even as lead times for equipment continue to stretch across […]

What to Do When Every Week Brings a New Challenge

Mar 15th, 2021

“What are we short on this week?” That’s a question that door and window plant managers have probably been asking themselves a lot lately. Whether it’s glass, vinyl, or something simpler, like weatherstripping, a wide range of components and raw materials have been in short and inconsistent supply for months. For managers and shop workers […]

Sharpening Your Skills by Any Means Necessary

Feb 16th, 2021

We all know what happened. About a year ago, life as we knew it changed, as did the way we do business. Speaking as someone whose profession involves travelling about 80% of the time, I can affirm that statement with some certainty. As a technical services representative for Quanex Building Products, I visit customers on-site, […]

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