PPG Industries to Appeal Ruling
Officials with PPG Industries announced on February 15, 2002, that they would appeal a federal jurys decision to award Marvin Windows and Doors $136 million in a breach-of-warranty suit against the coatings manufacturer. Marvin, of Warroad, Minn., alleged PILT wood preservative from PPG failed to prevent rot in its wood windows manufactured during the late 1980s.
PPG, which said the verdict was unexpected, continues to maintain that PILT preservative is not defective, citing the fact that the product has been in use 20 years. The original suit was filed in April 1994. A district judge threw out the case in 1999, a decision that Marvin appealed. The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed 12 of 13 claims, including fraud. The appeal court, however, allowed Marvin to move forward with a jury trial on a breach-of-warranty claim.
In regard to the federal jury awarding Marvin $136 million, Brenda Bowman, spokesperson for Marvin Windows and Doors, said, We were definitely pleased with the jurys decision, and they were able to see through what we have seen all alongand thats standing behind your products is simply the right thing to do.
Regarding PPGs decision to appeal the ruling, Bowman said the company wasnt surprised by PPGs decision. We expected that the case would be appealed, she said. The entire litigation process has gone on for nearly eight years.
When asked for a comment about PPGs plan to repeal the jurys decision, Jeff Worden, PPGs spokesperson, said the company could not comment.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Gorell Acquires Assets of Folkers
Gorell Windows & Doors of Indiana, Pa., has acquired the assets of Folkers Manufacturing Co. of Pensacola, Fla. Under terms of the agreement, Folkers will become an independent dealer of Gorell products in the Florida market, and Gorell will assume control over all manufacturing formerly done by Folkers.
According to the company, acquiring these assets will enable Gorrell to continue its growth, offer new products related to its core business and expand its market geographically.
GED is Co-Located in Customer-Focused Facility
GED says its new facility will help improve customer service.
Glass Equipment Development Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, recently announced that its sales, training, field service, technical phone and associated software support are now co-located in a single customer-focused facility in Twins-burg. This facility is designed to achieve the companys goal of improving service to customers by focusing on speed, accuracy and response throughout their sales and service departments. According to GED, combining these departments in one location has enabled the company to move and consolidate its other functions and corporate offices into its new headquarters in Twinsburg.
Simonton and Vantage Team to Offer Rebate Program
Simonton Windows of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Vantage Products of Conyers, Ga., have instituted a program to offer a consumer rebate program. According to the two companies, the program allows builders, remodelers and dealers to offer homeowners the opportunity to save 10 percent off the cost of decorative vinyl shutters from Vantage when they purchase a Simonton window or patio door.
This is a terrific tool for building industry professionals to use when closing sales on new construction and replacement windows, said Chris Monroe, director of corporate marketing for Simonton. This added incentive for homeowners to purchase Simonton products is a good financial benefit as well as a sensible way to add durable, low-maintenance vinyl products to their homes. The 10-percent rebate offer is valid on Vantage shutters when purchasing Simonton products prior to December 31, 2002.
Simonton Windows also plans to open a sixth window manufacturing facility in McAlester, Okla. The $10 million facility will be constructed in Steven W. Taylor Industrial Park and will cover 172,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space.
Hardware Technologies Ltd. Announces Name Change
Hardware Technologies Ltd. (HTL) has changed its name to HOPPE North America Inc. This change reflects the efforts of many people to establish the brand name HOPPE in Europe and HTLs own efforts to present the HOPPE name in the North American fenestration industry.
HTLs parent company has been HOPPE for more than 10 years. HTL will incorporate the HOPPE logo on all business material and advertisements. As HOPPE North America Inc., HTL will continue to use the HTL name and logo as a trade name and branding symbol for many of its products.
EWC Qualifies System for Energy Star® Program
The Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) has unveiled the first Energy Star-qualified window manufactured in Florida. An unveiling ceremony was held at Custom Windows System Inc. of Ocala, Fla. The Energy Star windows program manager, Gary Curtis, presented a citation of accomplishment to Custom Windows president John Cwik.
We are proud to recognize Custom Window Systems Inc. as the first Energy Star-qualified window manufacturer in Florida, Curtis said. These Energy Star-qualified windows will greatly help the people and businesses of Florida to decrease their energy costs and increase their comfort in the years to come.
Lawrence Berkeley Lab Publishes Guide to Window Design
Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) in Berkeley, Calif., have published the second edition of Residential Windows: A Guide to New Technologies and Energy Perf-ormance with assistance from associates at the University of Minnesota and technical assistance from the Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs. W.W. Norton & Co. publishes the book.
LBL says the book provides architects, designers and builders with the necessary information to evaluate windows for various applications. This edition covers every aspect of window design and technology from the basic mechanisms of heat transfer to new products and energy efficiency ratings.
SPD Inc. of Incheon, Korea, recently announced that window manufacturers can now place orders for 30-day delivery of SPD-Smart laminated glass and SPD-Smart insulating glass units ... Security Lock Distributors of Westwood, Mass., has added HandReaders to their inventory. Made by Recognition Systems, an IR company, the new system provides security by identifying a person through instant recognition of the size and shape of that persons hand ... The Construction Specifications Institute of Alexandria, Va., recently launched BuildCertified.com, a searchable database, designed to enable architects, contractors and other building professionals to search local markets for industry professionals.
Crystal Helps Rehabilitate Armory
Crystal helps rehabilitate New Yorks Clermont Armory.
Crystal Window & Door Systems of Flushing, N.Y., has supplied windows for a rehabilitation/conversion project of the historic Clermont Armory in Brooklyn, N.Y. The $14 million residential development has 110 apartment units and an attached charter school. Crystal supplied more than 600 of its series 3000 side-load, double-hung and series 2000 slider aluminum windows in a custom cream almond color for the apartments. The general contractor on the job was Strategic Development and Construction Group of Brooklyn. The project was financed by the New Housing Opportunities Program of NYC Housing Development Corp.
Poly-Tex Windows Put to Test on Mount Washington
Representatives from Chelsea Building Products of Oakmont, Pa., Metro Manufacturing of Woburn, Mass., and Hi-Tech Window and Siding of Haver-ville, Mass., recently met on the summit of Mount Wash-ington in New Hampshire to install Poly-Tex vinyl windows in the Yankee Building. Chelsea designed and extruded the vinyl profiles used in the windows, Metro manufactured the windows and Hi-Tech installed them.
This is the second installation of Poly-Tex windows to take place on Mount Washington. In 1993, the same three companies worked together to provide windows for the weather station on top of the mountain, where the highest wind ever observed by
man was once documented at 231 miles per hour. The mountains annual average temperature is 26.5 degrees Fahrenheit and has an average annual snowfall of 256 inches.
In the process of this years installation, which took place in July 2001, thick clouds surrounded the buildings atop the mountains. According to the companies, at times, buildings only 20 feet away were hidden from their view by clouds.
Royal Group Posts 16-Percent Sales Growth in December
Royal Group Technologies Limited of Woodbridge, Ontario, announced in early January that sales in December were up by 16 percent compared to the same month last year. The announcement of Decembers sales results is pursuant to a commitment made by management in April 2001 to keep stakeholders informed of sales activity to provide greater visibility of Royals progress in the uncertain economic environment. As stated in a press release issued by Royal in October 2001, this monthly sales progress report is the last, as management is comfortable with the range of analysts earnings expectations for fiscal 2002 and signs of increasing stability in its markets.
Royal completed its acquisition of Marley Mouldings on December 10, 2001, and thus included in sales are Marleys results from that date through the end of the month. Roughly two-thirds of the December sales increase resulted from the acquisition of Marley, while one-third was attributable to organic growth.
Double-digit sales growth in the month was recorded in the siding/roofing, outdoor products, housewares and furniture and pipe/fittings product lines. Sales of window covering products increased slightly in December, but overall growth was constrained by a decline in the Royal Building System/Foreign Operations product lines.
Friedman Integrates Its Software
The Friedman Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., has announced the full integration of its Frontier customer service and configuration application software with the 20-20 Version 6.0 Design System. According to the company, the 20-20 Integration allows a manufacturer to extend its customer service functionality and develop a closer relationship with their 20-20 equipped dealers. Likewise, Friedman says the 20-20 Integration streamlines the customer service functions of the software, reducing the number of customer service calls significantly relating to order status, product pricing and quotations.
Pella Makes Fortunes List for Third Time
For the third consecutive year, Pella Corp. has been named to Fortune magazines annual 100 Best Companies to Work For listing. Pella Corp., headquartered in Pella, Iowa, has achieved this recognition based on the way in which it provides benefits, development opportunities and a quality work environment for all team members.
Placing 39th in the ranking, Pella Corp. is the only Iowa company, and one of the few manufacturers, to be included on Fortunes coveted list. The full list of rankings is available online at www.fortune.com.
At Pella, we have always recognized the value people bring to the competitive equation, said Gary Christensen, president and CEO. Were honored to again be included on Fortunes prestigious list. It is a compliment to the entire team for creating a workplace that ranks among the best of the best. It further demonstrates how the dedication, commitment and cooperation of the Pella Corp. team make us all successful.
To be eligible for the top 100, a company has to be at least seven years old and have a minimum of 500 full-time employees.
Vetter Windows & Doors Names Contest Winners
Vetter Windows & Doors of Norcross, Ga., has announced the winning entries from its first annual national design contest, the 2001 Vetter Inspired Project Awards. The contest was launched to architects and custom homebuilders across the United States in April 2001, and was open to any residential product that demonstrated innovative use of Vetter windows and doors completed between June 2000 and July 2001, according to Jeff Kibler, Vetter brand manager.
The winners were as follows: Custom Design Concepts of McLean, Va., Best in Show; C.N. Ostrom & Son Inc. of Excelsior, Minn., Custom Home (less than 3,000 square feet); Copeland & Johns Inc. of Jackson, Miss., Commercial Renovation; Catherine Purple Cherry Architects P.C., Annapolis, Md., Residential Whole-House Renovation; BFR Construction, Vienna, Va., New Commercial Project; and Zigan Construction of St. Marys Point, Minn., Innovative Custom Window/Door Design.
Forest Landowners Association Asks Senators to Enforce U.S. Trade Laws Against Canadian Lumber
A spokesperson for U.S. forest landowners across the country urged the U.S. Senate in early February to enforce the nations trade laws against Canadas timber subsidies that are said to be destroying the market for Americas non-industrial private forest landowners. Otis Ingram, Government Affairs Committee chairperson for the Forest Landowners Association, released the following statement for a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee on Canadas softwood lumber subsidies:
By illegally subsidizing its lumber industry, the Canadian government fuels overproduction that results in widespread dumping of lumber on the U.S. market. Unable to compete against these products sold at below-market prices, U.S. sawmills have closed their doors and private woodland owners have seen the value of their timberland plummet. By destroying the U.S. lumber industry, Canadas subsidies are also destroying the market for the trees we landowners grow. Without a market for their trees, small, non-industrial woodland owners who own the great majority of this nations forestland cannot afford the costs of growing and replanting trees after harvest.
The result will be more urban sprawl as Americas forests give way to other land uses. Last November, the U.S. Forest Services report on our Southern forests warned of the growing threat posed by development and urban sprawl. On behalf of small woodland owners across the country, I urge the Senate to support fair trade in lumber. This will not only keep our sawmills open and our people at work, but will also keep our forests green.
However, on the other side of this battle are Canadians who rely on the lumber industry. According to the article, A U.S.-Canada Forest Fight, printed on December 28, 2001, in The Washington Post, DeNeen L. Brown, a reporter with the Washington Post Foreign Service, wrote, The special duties of 32 percent that the United States imposed on softwood lumber imports from certain Canadian provinces this year have had a devastating impact on the Canadian economy, people here say. In Canada, lumber is big. The economies of entire towns depend on lumber mills. When mills go broke, towns do, too.
Update on I.S.1-A - Flush Door Standard
The Window and Door Manufacturers Associations (WDMA) I.S.1-A Task Force has been meeting for more than a year to revise the Architectural Wood Flush Door Standard. Task force chair, Harry Reichwald of Eggers Industries, provided an update on the process.
Objectives of the revision were to incorporate performance criteria into the standard, add positive pressure requirements, move the standard into closer alignment with AWI Section 1300.4 and update the finishing section of the standard.
Proposed changes to the standard include: changing the term mineral core to fire-resistant composite core; replacing the guide specifications with a specification checklist; updating the How To Store, Handle, Finish, Install and Maintain Wood Doors section; adding the definition of natural to the ash, birch, maple and poplar veneer grading table; and creating new door chart layouts.
The draft of the standard will now be sent to the membership for comment, with a final draft expected by May. This will be followed by balloting of the WDMA door membership and of ANSI interested parties, with a final published document expected by November or December of this year. The goal, said Reichwald, is to incorporate the standard into the Hallmark Certification Program in 2003.
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