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July - August 2003

A Welcome Change
 The Atlanta Show Attempts to 
Add Fenestration Focus

by Kristine Tunney

It’s widely known that people resist change. The unknown is likely to produce a fair amount of apprehension and nervousness. Although we may hesitate to initiate change, sometimes change results in an exciting, much-needed rebirth of a project, product or method of doing something; a transformation that brings a subject back to life.

Such was the case with this year’s GlassBuild America show. A newer descendent of the former NGA show, this year’s GlassBuild show led attendees into three days of improved exhibits, education and attendance. Among the many changes that took place in the planning of this year’s event began with the co-sponsorship of the show by the National Glass Association (NGA), the Glass Association of North America (GANA) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). The much-needed revamping of a declining NGA show resulted in the reemergence of the national show as a proponent for adjustment in an ever-changing industry.

Organizers say this year’s event attracted more than 7,000 people who infiltrated Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center March 12-14, 2003, for a show that brought together many players from the North American glass, window and door industry. Visteon sponsored baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., who gave the opening address. This marked the opening of the trade show floor, complete with more than 400 exhibiting companies. 

The number of exhibitors offering products to fenestration manufacturers was larger than in previous years, with companies such as Ashland Hardware, Graham Architectural Products, VEKA, Edgetech I.G. and Truth Hardware taking up large amounts of booth space. But, while the larger booths remained somewhat void of pedestrian traffic during day one of the show, crowds picked up during days two and three, resulting in an overall positive judgment by show exhibitors. 

“We had more traffic on Wednesday than we had expected—we worried that we were actually going to run out of literature,” said Mike Colucci of National Adhesives. 
Amidst the scores of people, seminars and demonstrations, many exhibitors introduced or showcased products new to their lines. From trucks and locks to hinges and measurement systems, the show served as a platform for multiple product inaugurations and machine presentations. The following are just a few of the many products seen at the March show that are of particular interest to fenestration manufacturers.

The Rite Stuff
Adams Rite Manufacturing Co. of Pomona, Calif., now offers a new latch pull in its 4593 series that is designed for use in narrow-, medium- and wide-stile aluminum doors requiring flexible traffic control during and after hours.

According to information from the company, “after the handle is pulled once to open the door, the lock returns to the locked position, automatically denying access to anyone without a key. The latch is also capable of being mechanically set into an unlocked (but latched) mode, where use of a key is not necessary.”

The latch pull is suited for use with the company’s 4500, 4700 and 8400 series latches, has an electrification option that integrates with card readers and access pads and is available in dark-bronze, black and silver finishes. 

Hide and Go Sleek
Among a number of screens suitable for a variety of uses and aesthetics, RiteScreen of Elizabethville, Pa., had its Hide-Rite retractable screen system on-hand for demonstration. Designed to fit single- and double-swing doors and sliding glass patio doors, the Hide-Rite system utilizes a spring-loaded casing that retracts and hides the screen when not in use and uses flexible, tear-resistant screencloth. 

The screen casing, pull bar, guides and strike are constructed of extruded aluminum with nylon handles and hardware for excellent durability. The screen also features a full brush pile that provides extra protection against insects and is available in white, bronze and almond.

LiteSentry™ Offers Distortion Measurement System
LiteSentry Corp. of Dundas, Minn., now offers its third-generation on-line visual inspection system for measurement of optical distortion, size and thickness of heat-treated glass. Using high-speed CCD cameras and lighting and optics designed specifically for precise measurement of optical distortion, the system can be used on batch or continuous tempering lines as well as float lines.

The system’s interface provides detailed topography of any lite, color-coded distortion mapping for ease of inspection, load and shift statistics, trend graphs for load averages and leading edge as well as central-area and trailing-edge distortion measurements.

Data output can be sent to local CD-RW drives or LAN for automatic report generation, and information from the company claims that use of the system increases throughput and load utilization 10 to 33 percent, while reducing labor required for off-line inspection.|

Vertical Welder Available From Joseph
Dillsburg, Pa.-based Joseph Machine Co. promoted its V4W series vinyl welders capable of welding four 90-degree corners simultaneously. Utilizing one- or multiple-weld pocket fixtures, the V4W welder can accommodate a minimum frame size of 14 inches by 14 inches and a maximum frame size of up to 64 inches by 64 inches, 84 inches by 108 inches or 96 inches by 126 inches for the V4W 60.60, V4W 80.100 or the V4W 90.120, respectively.

The system utilizes linear positioning via precision double rails, linear bearings and a steel-reinforced timing belt as well as a pneumatic sequenced clamping system. It also boasts a 13-inch height capacity for clamp fixtures, safety fencing and light curtain, a Pentium® 4 PC with color touch screen and a tubular steel frame with a powder-coated finish.

In addition to its line of vertical welders, Joseph Machine also has the H4W series of horizontal four-point welders available. The horizontal welders can accommodate a minimum frame size of 14 inches by 14 inches and maximum frame size of up to 64 inches by 64 inches or 84 inches by 108 inches for the H4W 60.60 and the 80.100, respectively.

The H4W line offers users a four-head parallel welding system with many of the same features available on the vertical system, including anodized aluminum clamp fixtures with fixed center block and a pneumatic actuated heat plate with non-stick Teflon. 

The H4W series also has available options that include an unload conveyor system for pass-through production, automated-feed Teflon roll, quick-change Teflon heat plate covers and notched heat plates for notched sill/header applications.

Good As Gold
Ultrafab Inc. of Farmington, N.Y., introduced the Gold Series pile weatherseal for use in high-end, residential, light-commercial, commercial and architectural fenestration markets. Designed specifically for use in severe and extreme weather conditions, the Gold Series pile can withstand direct exposure to sunlight in all climates, coastal exposure in varying climates, high-humidity installations and northern exposure within the snow-belt region.

In addition to its weather-resistance, the new series incorporates all of Ultrafab’s traditional features and benefits, including a solid polypro backing, unique ultrasonically welded components and “pile directors” that keep the pile positioned for long-term sealing performance. 

This pile weatherseal can be used with Ultra-Fin®, Ultra Soft Fin™ or custom fin configurations upon request. It is also available in a variety of pile heights and densities, with a number of backing widths and options, and is available in white, gray and black.

Vying for Builders

When attendees found themselves tired of roaming the show floor, they had the option of putting their feet up while attending a variety of seminars and roundtable discussions pertaining to a number of industry issues. One of the presentations available to attendees was a seminar titled “The Needs of Home Builders—What They Want From Their Window and Door Suppliers,” given by Peter Chun, vice president of construction for Morrison Homes, and Steve Monroe, author of Selling to Builders.

Both presenters explained to those in the audience that when builders are looking for a source of fenestration supplies, there are many factors that figure in more importantly than price. In such a competitive industry, it’s natural that price would play a role in eventual supply selection, but both speakers emphasized willingness to stand behind a product, timely response from the distributor, rebate programs, infrequent line changes and minimal backorders as factors that play a large role in selecting a specific supply line.

“Your distributors are key players,” said Chun. “There are some large national manufacturers who are overlooked because their local distribution channel leaves a lot to be desired. Manufacturers need to be certain that their distributors have the same values that they do.” 

Both Chun and Monroe stressed the importance of manufacturers standing behind their products and observing an honest, user-friendly warranty system.

“The manufacturers’ willingness to stand behind a product is key. No matter how good you say it is up front—if you don’t stand behind it when someone challenges it or asks tough questions about it, it’s just not going to work,” said Chun. 

Monroe’s comments complemented Chun’s as he explained, “A homeowner shouldn’t need a degree from Harvard Law just to understand [his] warranty.”

L.B. Plastics Highlights Sheerframe Line
L.B. Plastics, based in Moresville, N.C., exhibited vinyl window and sliding patio doors belonging to its Sheerframe™ line, which is designed to AAMA/NWDA 101/I.S. 2 standards for high water-resistance, high structural-load performance, low U-value, low air filtration and excellent sound transmission. Both its windows and sliding patio doors are constructed of a high-impact PVC compound. 

The vinyl windows feature a fusion-welded jamb, a beveled profile with an energy-efficient multi-chamber design, ¾-inch insulating glass for thermal and sound transmission performance, dual- and triple-seal weatherstripping, a fusion-welded multi-chambered sash and dual-wall glazing on the interior and exterior.

The Sheerframe vinyl sliding patio doors feature a full, fusion-welded frame corner construction with integral nail fin, reinforced sash, internal glazing bead and dual-wall glazing upstand on its sash, structural silicone glazing for resistance to water infiltration, tandem adjustable wheels and optional handle and locking systems.

XGP-Spandrel Really Sparkles
D & S Glass Inc. of Marietta, Ga., has XGP-Spandrel colored glass available for use in a number of applications including cabinet doors, shower enclosures, elevators, tabletops and wardrobe doors. X-Generation Paint type Spandrel Glass can be cut, polished, beveled or drilled and is available in a wide variety of colors that deliver solid, metallic and sparkle effects.

Catalog Available from Strybuc
Sharon Hill, Pa.-based Strybuc Industries now offers an increased selection of window and door hardware in its Screen Spectacular 2003 catalog. In addition to distributing hardware from Caldwell, Truth Hardware, Jim Walter, Schlegel and many others, Strybuc has bought out the entire product line or some of the obsolete inventory from companies such as Acorn, Winco, Burcon, Weathercraft and Marvin.

Swinging In Style
Fombell, Pa.-based VEKA Inc. has available its SwingView™ entry door, which is fabricated from PVC. A white or beige vinyl exterior can be combined with a cherry, dark-oak or stainable light-oak interior finish for a grouping that represents function and fashion simultaneously. 

According to information from the company, the welded entry doors are fabricated from reinforced vinyl lineals that are fusion-welded to create a door panel that will not rot, warp, chip or peel and is air-tight.

All SwingView doors supplied and built by VEKA include corrosion-resistant, key-operated brass hardware, multi-point locking mechanisms and three-way adjustable hinges. The company’s SwingView Classic door also features wider kick and head rails plus 90-degree joints, replicating a traditionally styled entry door.

Making Moving Easy
DJ Products Inc. of Plymouth, Minn., displayed a variety of options in its CartCaddy line, which are designed for pushing and pulling heavy loads without strain. The CartCaddyShorty™ and CartCaddy5W™ feature a tubular steel frame 1,500-pound differential/transaxle, speed controller, adjustable acceleration and braking, variable-speed twist grip and battery discharge indicator. The CartCaddyShorty can push or pull up to 2,500 pounds while the CartCaddy5W can be upgraded for moving loads up to 25,000 pounds. The 5W version is designed especially for loads that require turning or intricate maneuvering and features an electric lift kit for quick connection to carts.

Personnel Perils

In a presentation called “Trends in the Manufacturing Process and Machinery,” representatives from Sturtz Machinery, Lisec America, The Manufacturing Institute, Windowtech, Perfect Technology Inc., GED and Erdman Automation discussed current trends and challenges in the manufacturing process as well as the demographic and global changes affecting manufacturing productivity and jobs in the 21st century.

The supply chain has been redesigned and competition is the name of the game,” said Phyllis Eisen, vice president and executive director of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Center for Workforce Success. “Innovation and technology go hand-in-hand, and you can’t do either without investing in the people.”

Eisen released a number of harrowing statistics about the future of manufacturing personnel, recently released in a report published by NAM titled “Keeping America Competitive: How a Talent Shortage Affects U.S. Manufacturing.” Some of these statistics include:

• For every five machine tool workers retiring, only one is being trained;

• More than 80 percent of those surveyed reported a “moderate to serious” shortage of qualified job applicants, despite manufacturing layoffs. There was no shortage in potential employees, but rather in highly qualified employees with a specific educational background and skills;

• Sixty-seven percent of university graduates in China have an engineering degree. Less than 6 percent of U.S. college graduates majored in engineering; and

• With 76 million Baby Boomers retiring in the next two decades and only 46 million “Gen Xers” waiting in the wings, there is a projected need for 10 million new skilled workers by 2020.

Building A Legacy
The Tru-Frame Legacy sliding screen door from R. Lang Co. in Visalia, Calif., has added a self-latching handle and color-coded locking mechanism to ensure that the door closes correctly every time.

The door features a 1- by 2 ¼-inch by .062-inch extruded aluminum frame, aircraft quality aluminum corners and an anodized or quality painted finish. The Legacy also utilizes the company’s Lok-Tite™ corners and adjustable Tru-Seal, a tear-away vinyl bug strip that the company says keeps the bugs out and is prepared easily by hand peeling to fit any door.
Information made available by the company says that the doors’ spring-loaded, precision steel, ball-bearing wheel assemblies are designed for simple installation and prevent the door from jumping the track while allowing for a touch glide.

Behind Bars
Charlotte, N.C.-based Window Component Manufacturing Inc. (WCMI) offers its specialized services in manufacturing colonial and contour muntins to the residential window and door industry. Using computerized roll-forming machinery in its manufacturing process, WCMI offers 24- to 48-hour delivery of standard size, assembled grids and precut/pre-notched bars. 

The company uses coiled aluminum to make bars in a variety of sizes and colors. It guarantees its muntins to be distortion-free, dimensionally accurate and shipped without in-transit damage. 

Kristine Tunney is a contributing editor for DWM magazine.

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