March 15th, 2023
Innovation for Fenestration
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”– Theodore Levitt
At the recent Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) Annual Conference in San Diego, we held the second annual session on Innovation, titled “Embracing Innovation in the Fenestration industry,” where I served as facilitator. Three award winning organizations presented their innovations in this session. These companies shared not only their products but also how they promote innovation inside their companies to a large FGIA audience.
Their presentations were proof that Innovation is not just about ideas but about bringing these ideas to a successful saleable product or service. The presenters are great individual innovators, and we were fortunate to hear their stories. Those invited to present were:
Scott Corley of ODL Inc.
Corley has spent over 30 years in product development working on everything from aircraft to children’s playthings, and then fenestration. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Kent State University. He has spent time as a product engineer, cost improvement engineer, and product marketing manager. He most recently leads ODL’s Advanced Engineering team, looking for technology and product spaces for ODL to compete in the future. He is passionate about solving the unmet needs of the consumer and seeing those things in use in the marketplace.
Walter Simon of Halio Glass
Simon serves as the vice president of Business Development and Commercial Partnerships at Halio. With over 20 years of experience in the semiconductor, manufacturing, sustainability, and prop tech industries, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. Simon has held top executive positions at Enmetric, where they focused on uncovering and controlling energy consumption in buildings, Flex-a, world-leading outsourced design and manufacturing company, and Altera (now Intel), a renowned global player in the semiconductor sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and completed the Wharton School of Business Foundations program.
Neall Digert of Kingspan Air and Light
Digert serves as vice president of innovation and market development for Kingspan Light + Air North America, and has over 35 years of consulting and education experience working in the energy, lighting, daylighting design and research fields. He possesses a unique technical background in optical daylighting systems, architectural daylighting solutions and advanced energy and lighting strategies, and the psychological and physiological impacts of light on humans. Dr. Digert is active in the global daylighting design and performance metric development process at all the core associations in the field.
Digert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering, a Master of Science degree in building energy/civil engineering, and a Doctorate degree in building energy/civil engineering, all earned from the University of Colorado.
Among the Innovative products that each discussed were:
ODL: reviewed how they interact with customers to create needed innovation and how they prioritize those innovations. The first example was the common problem of people and pets walking through screen doors and how they created a built-in visual signal to amplify visibility of a closed screen. The second example was a hidden fastener innovation for attaching door lites to doors. Both innovations demonstrated how systemic innovation can deliver great results and how ODL has brought these products to market.
Halio: reviewed how their fast-acting glass tinting technology solves a need for these products to reduce solar gain and glare. Part of the presentation was also about how Halio integrates tinting technology to real environments with exterior cameras and sensors. In this way, internal daylighting is optimized based on the exterior conditions of solar angle and cloud cover. This Innovative whole-system approach creates a seamless way to manage daylighting of homes without glare or manual intervention.
Kingspan (Solatube): presented their innovative work on directional and focused daylighting through patented Tubular Daylighters. These innovative products now can not only illuminate a home but also put the daylighting where you want it. An extensive study of the consumer needs and how light affects those needs led Neall and his team to create this new interior focusing technology. Kingspan also reviewed how their innovative products are selected and brought to market.
The FGIA audience followed up with many questions and kudos after the event. To see the presentations yourself, they can be viewed at the FGIA Members section for this event. We look forward to next year’s FGIA Annual Conference, where we will hold the third annual Innovation for Fenestration session! See https://fgiaonline.org/ for more information.
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Thanks for all the great comments and thanks to FGIA for organizing and promoting this event!