Building Toward Growth
GBA Exhibitors Unveil New Products to
by Tara Taffera
Attendees at this year’s GlassBuild America show, held September 13-15
in Las Vegas, may have noticed two main trends—a focus on R5 products,
and suppliers offering manufacturers an opportunity to diversify into
other markets. A variety of other products, such as new hardware and other
components of interest to door and window companies, were also shown.
Suppliers Offer R5 Options
“Manufacturers may not necessarily want to make an R5 window, but they
know they have to,” said Chelsea’s Gary Hartman. As manufacturers know,
the Department of Energy is placing a huge emphasis on its R5 volume purchase
program so they need to offer a product to meet those needs.
Chelsea was just one of the many companies offering R5 options. In fact
the company featured four such products at the show (for more on Chelsea,
visit dwmmag.com and watch DWM’s Day 2 GBA video.)
PPG showcased a new insulating glass technology that helps dual-pane residential
insulating glass units achieve R5 insulating performance. The dual-coat
technology incorporates one lite of 3-mm Solarban 70XL glass on the second
surface of the IGU and one 3-mm lite of Sungate 500 glass on the fourth
surface, separated by a ½ inch of argon-filled space. “The configuration
generates a winter nighttime U-value of 0.20, providing insulating performance
that is better than or equal to any competing dual-pane IGU on the market,”
according to company literature.
VEKA introduced a new product at the show that generated a lot of interest.
It’s deemed the elements program and is a frame-sash system designed to
meet or exceed building codes. The system can be used for residential
or commercial applications and can offer impact resistance and sound control.
“It is also the answer to R5 and beyond,” said VEKA’s Steve Dillon.
Dillon said the company designed the frame and sash to accommodate triple-glazed
“It’s so versatile,” he said. “Yeah, it’s bigger but you can do anything
with it. We already have one major customer using it and the feedback
has been fantastic.”
Royal showed its EcoWindow, a complete R5 window system that combines
sustainability with high energy performance, high condensation resistance
and other factors. The company’s John Vucanovich reports that the system
recently was tested to commercial standards so it can be used in those
applications as well as residential.
Suppliers Focus on Diversification
Royal wasn’t the only company accommodating residential products for commercial
applications, giving manufacturers the opportunity to expand into that
market: Mikron also promoted a commercial door.
“Companies are looking to expand into light commercial and other applications,”
said Mikron’s Rich Anton. “We’re offering a door system that is commercially
rated and that can accommodate impact glazing. It looks like aluminum
but is more thermally efficient.”
Royal has several new products on tap as well, including a unique window
that it just launched at the Win-door show. The company also has two new
patio doors in the works, and will “be getting aggressive with mouldings,
which means some new unique trim options,” according to Vucanovich.
New Hardware and Components
On the hardware side, Truth seemed to hit a homerun with its Sentry, multi-hinge
patio door system. Truth’s Matt Kottke said the company developed the
product more than a year after talking to customers (go to dwmmag.com
for video demonstrations of the product in DWM’s November newscast).
The product features Truth’s “Duo-Glide” lock mechanism, which the company
says is superior to standard single-drive systems. The two-way action
balances the lock system providing a smooth, quiet and easy operation.
The company adds that this technology reduces stress on other elements
of the lock, thereby offering a longer life of the product.
“The customers who have been here have been all smiles,” said Kottke.
“The response is equal to or better than we expected.”
Manufacturers looking for a multi-point lock for entry doors may have
found it in Amesbury’s new TruLock. The company says many consumers don’t
know how to operate multi-point locks, but still are looking for increased
security. Officials say this new product offers increased home security,
yet operates the same as a standard deadbolt. The lock works on steel,
fiberglass, aluminum and wood doors and is easy to install.
As for window locking systems, DECO introduced the UltraTech 5421 auto-tilt
window system. The company describes it as an innovative locking system
that combines the lock with a “clean-on-demand” capability into a flush
locking system. The product can be used with all window sizes and comes
in more than 60 powder colors.
Brandon Lawrence of Lawrence Industries reports that the company continues
to gain customers, saying, “We’re averaging one new customer per week.”
As for its current customers, Lawrence said the company is building up
on the products it can offer to them adding weep holes, pivot bars, shoes
and other components to its line-up.
Schlegel introduced its Q-LON® fire-rated door seals designed specifically
for fire protection, which can be used in residential and commercial applications.
The company describes the product as the first foam door seal that includes
a Category G Edge Seal Intumescent. The all-in-one seal eliminated the
extra installation labor and unsightly aesthetics of secondary seal applications,
according to the company.
Many software suppliers were on-hand at GBA to showcase their newest software
and latest updates. (For more on software go to www.dwmmag.com,
click on “The Studio,” and watch the video titled “GBA, Day 3” for interviews
with WTS Paradigm and 360 Innovations.)
Gineri Technologies was a new exhibitor at the show. Cooper Buranen, marketing
manager, said the Vegas-based company is serving as a distributor for
this product which has had much success in Europe. The software can prepare
cut lists, quote proposals, shop drawings, material lists, production
drawings and more. Gineri works to meet the needs of various customers
so it offers a heavy version, a complete package to build a project, generate
a fill customizable client quotation, utilize a smart optimization in
order to minimize waste and calculate a final price. Gineri also offers
Quick Quotation which offers a price quote in seconds, manages clients
and changes door and window types as necessary.
Fenetech released version 7 of its Fenevision software, which allows users
to see key parameters at a quick glance.
How is Machinery Faring?
This year’s show had fewer new machinery options than years past, and
suppliers admit that companies are still reluctant to buy. But this also
varies by the type of machine and market served.
Joseph Machine’s Rick Wilson reports that the fiberglass market is still
strong, as is Canada. Based on this, the company featured a machine geared
toward the fiberglass and cellular market.
Kurt Muhittin from ATech Machine also reported on a healthy Canadian market,
but said companies also are very interested in machines used to make aluminum
windows. Before the show was even over, his company had sold four of the
five machines, one of which was to a Florida manufacturer of aluminum
One supplier showed an upgraded piece of equipment that it says is perfect
for today’s economy-conscious buyer. Perfect Technology offers its Aculite
Wizard computer-controlled glass cutting table. “This is economical and
performs,” said Richard Lamden, president. “We made our first machine
20 years ago and it is still running … We’ve had a lot of interest in
this cutting table.”
The product scores at a speed of 3,300 inches per minute. It also comes
with software and upgrades for the life of the product at no additional
Glass and Glazing
Manufacturers looking for glass and glazing options also had a few products
to choose from at the show. American Renolit introduced its Renolit EXOFOL
FX, which the company describes as the “next generation of high-performance
film for the protection and design enhancement of a variety of exterior
surfaces.” What is unique about the product is its use of solar shield
technology, which utilizes infrared reflective pigments that reduce heat
build-up, explains the company’s David Harris. The technology provides
extreme weather-resistant capabilities, which the company says will maintain
the finish without cracking, fading, chalking, etc.
“This is a huge step in exterior film technology,” said Harris. “It’s
really gaining the attention of the technical people here.”
PPG also featured its SOLARBAN® R100 glass, a transparent-reflective,
solar control, low-E glass with a proprietary hybrid coating technology,
visible light transmittance of 42 percent and a in coefficient of 0.23.
And manufacturers who want to save on glass costs due to damage in the
plant or in the field will be interested in Glas-Weld’s improved version
of its popular scratch removal system—Gforce2™. The updated version includes
a center water feed which offers more control when performing scratch
removal. The company also has introduced two polishing compounds and a
new cleaning compound “to get out more difficult damage.” Companies also
may add on modules, such as one for abrading and graffiti.
“Customers have been very interested in the product,” said Glas-Weld’s
Lori Patch. “It’s still a very simple process.”
Companies such as Edgetech IG and Quanex Building Products sought to offer
its customers a variety of solutions. Quanex placed all of its companies
under one “roof” for the first time this year, including Homeshield, TruSeal
and Mikron. (For more on Quanex, visit dwmmag.com, click on “The Studio,”
and watch the video titled “GBA, Day 2.”)
“Working with an integrated vendor is a tremendous opportunity,” said
TruSeal’s Ric Jackson. “We want to be that clearinghouse for technical
information and help you get the performance you need at the price you
Mikron Industries launched its new SuperCoat™ vinyl window coating for
door and window manufacturers competing in the replacement market. The
new coating technology features a patented durable color coating system,
which is vacuum-applied and cured by ultraviolet light. The SuperCoat
system offers a color surface that is eight times harder than paint, according
to the company. The company also claims that it is more environmentally
friendly than paint since it is made from a zero-volatile organic compound
technology. “We’ve had a lot of interest in the product and we just announced
it one month ago,” said Anton.
The company also offered its EnergyCore system. (See October DWM, page
38, for more details on this system.)
Imperial Products, a division of HomeShield, introduced its Select Sliding
Patio Screen Door. The product features .32-gauge aluminum frames with
two-inch wide stiles and top rail which the company says offers a long
life for the frame. It also features a large 3 ½-inch bottom rail
that reduces damage to the screen cloth.
Tools of the Trade
Edgetech IG’s Mike Burk was busy at the company’s booth showing a variety
of tools for manufacturers (For more on Edgetech, visit dwmmag.com, click
on “The Studio,” and watch the video titled “GBA, Day 2.”)
The company announced a new partnership with United Kingdom-based Inagas,
a supplier of gas-fill machinery. Under the agreement, Edgetech will be
the exclusive distributor of Inagas products in North America and Central
America, and also will distribute the company’s products in Germany, France,
Switzerland and Austria.
Edgetech also serves as the exclusive distributor of Sparklike’s Gasglass
argon and krypton gas detector and Spyglass glass analyzer in the Americas,
Europe and Australia.
All of these were featured in the company’s booth, as well as portable
measurement tools offered by EDTM, such as low-E coating detectors and
various light measurement tools.
EDTM also exhibited at the show and was featuring its Glass-Chek Pro for
the first time. Mark Imbrock reports that the company has added six languages
to the tool, which he said is helping with worldwide sales.
“The number-one call we get is people not being able to tell the difference
between double silvers—Glass Chek Pro helps with that. It’s bailing people
out,” said Imbrock. “It’s been the number-one thing people have come to
our booth to see.”
Catching the Eye of Attendees
Now that we’ve seen what exhibitors introduced, the real question is this:
what sparked the most interest from attendees?
Bruce Dove of Dove Windows in Wilkes Barre, Pa., said he was most interested
in a product he saw from Packsize, based in Salt Lake City.
According to the company’s Tosh Lahy, the technology allows companies
to make any size or style of corrugated package or insert, on-demand,
in a few seconds, as part of its packaging workflow.
“The ability to make exactly what you need, at the moment you need it,
eliminates box inventory and material planning—and assures that every
box fits perfectly, greatly decreasing damage,” he said. “There is no
capital investment, as we provide the systems, engineering and process
flow solutions, and companies simply buy the consumable of corrugated.”
“We’re definitely going to consider it,” said Dove.
Why haven’t we heard of this company more in the past? Lahy said that
while the company serves industries serves as cabinetry, etc., it is now
expanding into the door and window market, and does already have some
customers in the industry.
The OptiGas gas filling system is what caught the attention of Dean Tascarella,
purchasing manager for Serious Materials.
“That alone is going to save us six figures,” he said.
The new technology was on display in the Fenetech booth, which created
the filling control software and interface. The product was developed
by Integrated Automated Systems and the company says it reduces the labor
per unit for gas filling by up to 90 percent and krypton loss per fill
from 50 percent to essentially zero.
“OptiGas is the first fully engineered gas filling system for insulating
glass fabrication,” said Brian Dougherty, product manager. “Its precise
control and patent-pending process makes it possible for every fabricator
to consistently achieve high-performance U-value IG at the lowest possible
Conventional gas filling deliver low yields and require operators to overfill
with krypton to consistently achieve targeted insulation values, Dougherty
explained. OptiGas delivers through a single wand precise control of fill
amounts, rates and ratios, eliminating gas waste and overfilling.
OptiGas is available in two models: the 500, which simultaneously fills
six doubles or three triples; and the 1000, a revolving carousel that
can be customized with a number of stations. The 1000 supports lean and
high-volume production in sequence.
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