Jan-Feb-March 2002

The Fenestration Industry Finds New Products, News and Networking Opportunities During iGm/FW 2001

    *Popular New Orleans fare, Jambalaya is also defined loosely as a mixture of several things blended together to make something a
      little different.


Mardi Gras isn’t the only reason to visit New Orleans (or N’awlins as the locals say). The city offers a wealth of restaurants, entertainment and historical sites that draw thousands of people every year. But November 7-9, 2001, a crowd of people made the trip to the “Big Easy” for reasons other than entertainment. In its 13th year, interGLASSmetal/FENESTRATION world ’01 (iGm/FW) 2001 took place there at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Visitors enjoyed the event, organized by Dame Associates.

Overall Crowd-Pleaser
Like Vitrum 2001, which had taken place the month before, overall attendance was lower than expected due to the fact that many Americans had not yet become comfortable with flying again. “The numbers were off due to the state of the world,” said Doug Dame, show organizer. Dame added that this year’s event encompassed 140,000 square feet of space compared to 138,000 square feet in 1999. Major exhibitors also took on larger booth spaces than they did two years ago. “This year’s show did grow [by 2 percent], however, despite the faltering economy. Any positive growth is a good indicator of success,” Dame said. He added that there were more than 300 paid attendees who chose not to attend the event.

exhibitors Exhibitors provided attendees with product and service information.

However, attendees and exhibitors alike said the quality of the show on all fronts was high. “We thought the attendance was lower than past shows in major destination cities, but the attendees were key decision makers,” said Gus Coppola, president and chief executive officer for TruSeal Technologies of Beachwood, Ohio. “Therefore, while quantity was down the quality was still good.”

IGE Solutions Inc. of Chelsea, Mass., a first-time exhibitor, also found the show worthwhile. “Our impression [of iGm] was very positive,” said Michael Spellman, president of IGE Solutions. “It was the first iGm we attended and we were all thrilled at the contacts we made, which included finding another area manager for our company.”

Jay Campbell, sales representative with Billco Mfg. of Zelienople, Pa., agreed that despite the show’s attendance turnout, it was still worthwhile. “Although the show was not as well-attended as we would have liked, we consider the show a success due to the steady flow of our booth and the high interest level of those who talked to us,” said Campbell.

Frank Anderson, president of Sun Windows in Owensboro, Ky., attended the event and found it worthwhile, despite his wife’s pre-flight nervousness. “My wife wanted to cancel at the last minute because she didn’t want to fly,” said Anderson. “I had made the arrangements far in advance of September 11, and I didn’t want to cancel. It [the flight to New Orleans] was the first time we had flown since the terrorist attacks. I’m glad we went, though. I enjoyed the show and New Orleans.”

Anderson, who was in the market for insulating glass equipment and patio door hardware, added that iGm/FW itself had a lot to offer. “I have to view things as being beneficial, and I was pleased with the show,” he said. “I made a lot of new contacts, saw a lot of new products and services and was able to network with a lot of vendors and friends.

For Bill Oates, president and owner of CNT Enterprises in Holden, Mass., the show was not only an excellent opportunity for the industry, but also gave the industry a chance to show its patriotic support. “I was ecstatic to see a very upbeat and strong showing of support for our industry between all show vendors, corporate and personal attendees after the terrible tragedy that was inflicted upon our country just six weeks before the show,” he said. “I ... was concerned about how our country and industry were going to react post-September 11, 2001. The show of support by our industry at iGm/FW 2001 was outstanding and was important to continue the rebuilding of a strong industry.”

questions Many attendees took the opportunity to ask questions and learn about new equipment.

Insulating Glass
One of the biggest themes during the show was insulating glass (IG) products and equipment. A number of companies took part in the show offering new lines.

TruSeal Technologies and its equipment manufacturer, Besten Inc. of Cleveland, have together created Quik-Dose™—a semi-automatic machine that fills IG units with liquid gas. The new technology reduces unit-dosing time during the IG manufacturing process from two minutes to five-and-a-half seconds by injecting liquid gas.

By filling units with liquid Argon, TruSeal says IG volumes of gas are injected quickly to the bottom of a unit, via gravity, with fewer waste and turbulence effects otherwise associated with conventional methods. Once Argon contacts the sill edge of a vented IG unit, the liquid boils into a gaseous state, displacing the lighter, moist air that leaves through the top edge’s perimeter vent, according to TruSeal. The heavier gas fills from the bottom up with very little turbulence, the company adds. 

networkingoutlets Networking outlets were available throughout the event.

FDR Design Inc. of Buffalo, Minn., the U.S. distributor for Sparklike Ltd.’s GasGlass (see Fall 2001 Door & Window Maker, page 58, for related article), demonstrated the Argon gas analyzer during the show.

According to Randi Ernst, president of FDR, GasGlass works by igniting a high-voltage spark inside the IG. The spark then ignites the gas fill and creates a plasma or light that is much like a neon lamp. “This light is then fed to a spectrograph sensor and is analyzed. The color of the spark tells what gas concentration is inside the IG,” said Ernst. 

Cambridge, Ohio-based Edgetech also offered IG equipment. Showcasing both small and large IG systems, one new launch was its small-shop equipment line. According to information from Edgetech, the system can be set up quickly, with lead times of two weeks.

Glass Equipment Development (GED) of Twinsburg, Ohio, featured a number of IG products in its booth as well. Its Intercept® frame machine, an IG spacer system, was one product the company demonstrated. According to information from GED, the system can produce 3,000 units per each eight-hour shift and uses one-piece spacers to produce structurally strong units with warm-edge technology.

machinerydemo Machinery demonstrations were one of iGm’s biggest draws.

Austria-based Lisec also demonstrated IG equipment. The company offers machines for gas filling, sealing, bending and much more.

Self-Cleaning Glass
In addition to the IG launches, Toledo, Ohio-based Pilkington North America and Pittsburgh’s PPG Industries were showcasing their versions of self-cleaning glass, Activ, and SunClean, respectively (see "Cutting Edge" for related article).

Pilkington also led a seminar, “Self-Cleaning Glass: What’s it All About?” Presenters David Morris and Paul Gore discussed the development of Activ, as well as the manufacturing process and details on how it works. 

More than 30 seminars were scheduled for the event, as well, offering a wide selection of topics from which attendees could choose.

“Mold in Buildings—The New Litigation Against Window, Door and Sealant Companies” was led by Ted Hart, president of Hart Consultants. The seminar discussed the problems that many consumers are having with mold in their homes. Hart explained that many window manufacturers are spending millions of dollars in court costs to defend themselves in mold cases.

Hart said that now is the time for window manufacturers to band together and work to create an association that would set standards of verbiage, which would be displayed or delivered to the consumer with every new window. The verbiage would state that the manufacturer adheres to current national and local window standards for mold, and that the manufacturer is not responsible for illness, water in walls and so forth. Such a document, he explained, could prevent many such cases from ever going to trial. 

Edgetech’s vice president for sales and marketing and Door & Window Maker columnist Jim Plavecsky led the seminar, “The Argon Gas Dilemma: To Fill or Not to Fill.” It discussed Argon gas-filling benefits and illustrated various methods for filling. The seminar covered design considerations and workmanship practices for improving Argon retention.

Employees of TruSeal also led three seminars. The seminars were: “Argon Gas Filling,” led by Joe Almasy and Werner Lichtenberger, senior technical representatives, and Kevin Zuege, director of technical service; “Flexible Spacer Technology,” led by director of marketing Ric Jackson and Jim Baratuci, director of research and development; and “The Economics of Investment and Sale-ability in IG Systems,” presented by Sal DiGregorio, sales supervisor, Jon Kucharski and Al Schadenfroh, technical service representatives.

Product Variety
Hundreds of products ranging from sealants and hardware to window and door manufacturing equipment were displayed throughout the event. Companies came from not only the United States, but from around the globe as well.

One company making its way from Italy was Ultraflex Control Systems S.r.L (UCS), a manufacturer of window and skylight operating systems. 

“This was our company’s first time exhibiting at iGm/FW, but we’ll surely exhibit again next time. The iGm show is very focused on the fenestration industry, and it is the right exhibition for window components/accessories manufacturers to exhibit,” said Daniele Pernthaler, UCS sales manager. “We made some very important contacts with window and skylight manufacturers, and particularly with research and development managers, purchasing managers and technicians.”

During iGm/FW UCS demonstrated the Twin Master operator, which has two double-link chains, and opens up to 15 inches. According to Pernthaler, the system can operate heavy and wide windows and skylights, has two pushing points and ensures water-tight corners when closed and stability when open.
In addition to promoting its SunClean self-cleaning glass, PPG also promoted its new Solarban® 80 solar-control low-E glass. According to information from the company, Solarban 80 is designed for solar-control, high visible light transmittance and aesthetic appeal. It has a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.23 and a U-value that enables the glass to control radiant reflected energy from outdoors. It also has a 1-inch insulating unit that is said to provide high visible light transmittance of 47 percent.

The Amesbury Group also offered a number of window products. One such item from the company’s PPI division was its easy-tilt jambliners for wood windows. The company says the jambliners are available with multi balance, tilt latch and pivot pin options from its BSI 

From Amesbury’s Foam-Tite® division is the company’s new Pro-Slip® II low-friction T-slot seals for double-hung and slider windows. According to the company, the seals feature superior weatherability, can withstand exposure to sharp PVC, wood and aluminum sash corners, offer long-term durability in double-hung windows and more.

Alumet Mfg. of Coquitlam, British Columbia, also exhibited at iGm/FW, offering an array of products. Included in its line-up were its stainless steel track covers. According to the company, the track covers help prevent sill damage, feature clean-cut ends and a lead in angle.

Adhesives, Sealants and Tapes 

Dow Cornings's 1199 silicone sealant.

Dow Corning provided attendees with information on different aspects of its silicone sealants, including its 1199 SSL silicone sealant. According to information from the company, the material’s viscosity allows it to seal complex extrusions without tooling, making it a suitable narrow joint seam sealer and air/water barrier in window sash or frame components that are mechanically fastened, mitered or slip-jointed. 
In addition, 1199 SSL adheres to substrates such as anodized and mill-finished aluminum, as well as painted aluminum substrates such as Duranar® and Duracon®.

The Dual Lock™ low-profile reclosable fastener SJ4580 was available from the 3M company of Saint Paul, Minn. According to the company, the tape’s pressure-sensitive VHB backing bonds the fastener to bare and painted metal, glass, plastics, sealed wood and other surfaces with light pressure.

Packaging and Storage Products
Kasto Maschienbau GmbH & Co. KG of Germany demonstrated equipment in its line of storage systems, as well as stacking equipment. The Unitower, for example, is a compact cassette storage system for storing bar stock, such as profiles, boxes and pallets. 
According to information from the company, the system uses maintenance-free chain hoists with pre-stretched precision roller chains, and its standard auto-matic control can be adapted to customers’ individual data processing systems.

storage Unitower F compact cassette storage system.

For those in the market for a new glass packaging system, Youngwood, Pa.-based Menasha Corp.’s packaging division displayed its Kor-Kap™ flat glass packaging system. Kor-Kap consists of four steel end-covers padded with plastic, which fit around the ends of the glass. Steel bands thread through the corners to hold the glass together around the edges. Glass is said to be packed tightly, and therefore, 
cannot bounce in transit. 

Machinery on Display
Lockformer of Lisle, Ill., had available its Excalibur® glass cutting system for window and door manufacturers. According to the company, the Excalibur can cut up to speeds of 4,000 IPM, and features a computer-controlled cutting head with 360-degree rotation. Lockformer says the machine can cut any shape. It can cut up to 1-inch thick glass and its capacity is 72 by 144 inches, 96 by 144 inches and 108 by 144 inches. Auto-load or manual free-falling styles are available.

Another machinery manufacturer taking part in iGm/FW was Glassline Corp. of Perrysburg, Ohio. The company offered its CNC combo grinder/drilling machine.

The CNC combo machine is designed for grinding and drilling medium- and small-sized parts on the same machine, which the company says eliminates the task of unloading the grinder and then loading the drills. Because no tool change is required between grinding and drilling, the company adds that the machine is faster than other multi-process machines.

In addition to its IG lines, Peter Lisec also offered its automatic vertical glass edge arris-grinding machine. According to information from the company, the machine is designed to remove the sharp edges of all four sides of cut lites of glass. It can handle a maximum glass height of 2,500 mm, a minimum size of 350 by 180 mm and thicknesses of 3 to 12 mm.

Virtek of Waterloo, Ontario, presented its glass-marking equipment during iGm/FW. The company demonstrated its GlasMark laser marking system, which it says is capable of marking text, graphics and 2-D matrix bar codes.

McKeegan Equipment & Supply Co. of Canton, Mich., demonstrated and displayed a number of its equipment lines. One of the lines it provided information on was its computerized feed-through system, which the company says can be equipped with standard or heavy-duty colonial notchers for muntin; a contour muntin punch for fishmouth assembly; and a punch for muntin keeper holes in spacers. The system is said to optimize material for minimum waste when notching, punching or cutting.

The VE-1P one-spindle automatic glass edger was on display in Cicero, Ill.-based Sommer & Maca’s booth. According to the company, the machine processes a variety of glass from 1/8- to ½-inch thick. The VE-1P can perform pencil-edge, miter and flat and seam edgework as well. The company adds that with the machine, two wheels can be placed on the spindle for quick repositioning from one wheel size to the next. It can also process glass at 66 inches per minute, the company says.

cuttingsystem Lockformer's Excalibur glass cutting system.

Wrapping Up
Many will agree that iGm/FW ’01 proved successful. Contacts were made, networks were strengthened and deals were closed.
“I particularly liked the atmosphere and the personal relationships with all the exhibitors and attendees,” Pernthaler said. “The people involved in the U.S. fenestration industry … like to share opinions, and that’s unusual in Italy.”

“I found the equipment and vendors to be just great, as always,” added Oates. “I believe the equipment side of our industry is right on, [but] the fabricator client needs to continue to find ways to improve product quality and profitability through equipment.”

Mark your calendars now to attend or exhibit at iGm/FW 2003. The event is scheduled to take place November 4-6 in Columbus, Ohio. 

Lean Thinking
It’s a brand-new year, and chances are you’ve probably been hearing a lot of talk about getting lean and trimming the fat. After all, one of the most common new year resolutions is to lose weight. However, you may also be hearing a lot of what sounds like weight-loss talk in the manufacturing world itself. Major corporations are doing some lean thinking, and changing their operational methods and finding they are cutting costs, time and labor.

Kevin Felix, director of Kaizen/lean manufacturing for GED Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, led the seminar, “Are you lean?” which provided a practical look at lean manufacturing principles. “Three to four percent of U.S. manufacturing people are in companies working at being lean,” said Felix. “We need to be lean because most machinery and processes are still in batch and queue.” According to Felix, the five major concepts of lean manufacturing are:
    • Specifying value;
    • Identifying value stream;
    • Flow (making the value flow);
    • Pull (things should be made when they are required); and
    • Perfection.

The lean manufacturing process is derived from the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen. With “Kai” meaning change, and “Zen” meaning better, Kaizen is loosely translated to mean “continuous improvement to change.” The process has been used by companies such as Toyota and Sony and is quickly growing in popularity in the United States.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the process, Felix divided the group of attendees into two “companies,” each responsible for pen manufacturing. One group manufactured its pens in batches, while the other group manufactured its pens by working together in a “flow” method, with each “station” responsible for a certain production aspect. As a result, the second group produced a greater number of pens in a more efficient manner with less waste.

Ellen Giard is a contributing editor for Door & Window Maker magazine.


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