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June-July  2004

What's News

InstallationMasters™ Program Makes Changes

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has announced that its InstallationMasters program has been moved from under the AAMA corporate umbrella to the newly-formed InstallationMasters Institute. Additionally, AAMA has entered into an agreement with York, Pa.-based Architectural Testing Inc. (ATI) for ATI to operate the InstallationMasters program. 

According to AAMA, ATI has begun an initiative to form an advisory council comprised of representatives from accredited trainers, window manufacturers, builders/contractors, housing officials, government agencies, consultants and materials suppliers. The purpose of the council is to explore and develop methods to promote the use of InstallationMasters, elevate awareness of the program at code agency, specifier and homeowners levels; develop alternate methods of presenting and delivering Installation Masters to satisfy 
the needs of participants; and consider methods or program segmentation. 

“ATI has administered the program since its inception in 1998, and has the resources and motivation to take InstallationMasters to the next plateau,” said Georges Thiret, a board member of the InstallationMasters Institute. “All previously certified persons continue to be certified in the program.” 

ATI’s David Moyer, program administrator for Installation-Masters, reported that ATI is in the process of updating and revising the training materials, video and manual, and is evaluating changes to expand the appeal of InstallationMasters to a broader base of window installers. 

“In the future, segmented training sessions may address specific installation types,” he said. 

More than 2,000 window installers have been certified by InstallationMasters, and the program now allows participation of trainee-level workers, according to Moyer. 

Masonite International Corp. Announces More Acquisitions
Mississauga, Ontario-based Masonite International Corp. has announced that it will acquire 75-percent of a European door manufacturer and 50 percent of a wood composite molded door manufacturing facility, all part of its strategic focus on the emerging high-growth markets of Eastern Europe and Asia. 

The principal objectives of these initiatives, according to Masonite, include continued leadership in the door and door component business, geographic diversification and acceleration of the demand for wood composite molded doors and door components worldwide. Both transactions are expected to grow Masonite’s earnings per share in 2004 and will be funded utilizing the company’s senior bank financing.

In Eastern Europe, the company will acquire 75 percent of Kronodoor, a door manufacturer serving Central and Eastern Europe, for 27 million dollars. Masonite already has door manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom, France, Israel and Turkey.

The company has also signed a definite agreement to acquire a 50-percent equity interest in a wood composite molded door facing manufacturing facility from a subsidiary of Samling Strategic Corp. for $25 million dollars. Located in Malaysia, the facility is capable of producing approximately eight million molded door facings annually. 

Masonite expects both transactions to be complete in the second quarter of 2004 following regulatory review. 

AAMA Introduces Interim Program for Side-Hinged Door Certification
AAMA has announced the development of an interim third-party certification program that covers performance factors of exterior side-hinged doors. The association says the program authorizes certification labeling for pre-assembled exterior, side-hinged doors and those shipped knocked-down in order to meet the mandatory IBC, IRC and Florida Building Code requirements for structural loading and resistance to the impact of wind-borne debris.

“The entry door category has never before been addressed by an industry-wide standard, …” said Dean Lewis, AAMA certification manager. “The program … was spearheaded by the AAMA door council to answer the immediate needs of manufacturers until a more comprehensive program is available. The AAMA door council is currently developing a component-based testing and certification program for doors, which will eventually be replaced by exterior side-hinged door provisions set forth as part of the new harmonized 101/I.S. 2/A440 specification,” said Lewis.

Last fall AAMA released four new standards that govern the performance attributes for entry doors. The new standards currently are in draft form. It is targeted for adoption by the 2006 I-Codes.
Detailed information on the new standard may be obtained at www.aamanet.org.

Foam-Tite Expands Massachusetts Facility 
Foam-Tite™, an Amesbury Group company, announced that it will expand its Massachusetts facility by 40,000 square feet. Amesbury Group has been at this location since 1978. 

“The Foam-Tite product line has seen a steady increase in sales in recent years,” said Peter Mertinooke, Foam-Tite general manager. “This is due to more complex window designs and performance demands for the high-performance foam seals like those made by Foam-Tite. By building this addition to our facility, we are taking the proactive steps necessary to provide floor space for the expected future demand. This expansion will allow us to properly serve our growing customer base.”

April 19, 2004 was the official ground breaking ceremony, and the expansion project is scheduled for completion in October 2004.

Atrium Awards AT&T $1.2Million Networking Contract 
Dallas-based Atrium Companies Inc., manufacturer and distributor of residential windows and patio doors, has awarded a $1.2 million, three-year networking contract to AT& T. 

The company will host Atrium’s networking applications from its Internet Data Center in Dallas and provide secure high-speed access linking it to Atrium’s corporate office and other company facilities. Additionally, AT&T says it will deploy Integrated Network Connection Services at many locations, integrating voice, data and IP services on a single access circuit, which will help Atrium reduce costs.

This contract supports Atrium’s online order system, which links with wholesale and retail customers nationwide, and updates the company’s inventory view as products are ordered.

“Having access to real-time information eliminates our nightly polling process,” said Jeff L. Hull, Atrium’s chairman, president and CEO. “We now gain valuable time to make business decisions on maintaining proper inventory levels and optimizing plant manufacturing while improving profitability.”

American Window Alliance Expands
The American Window Alliance has added three new members to its organization. Sprouse Building Products of Paden City, W.V., Pro Window and Door of Little Rock, Ark., and Syron Industries in Syracuse, N.Y. The alliance now has ten members in the Eastern part of the United States and says it expects to add five new members in the next few years. It will fabricate system from Dayton Technologies exclusively. (For more information on the AWA, see DWM, March issue, page 54.) 

College Students Helps BSI Design Test Equipment
BSI-Hardware, an Amesbury Group company, located in Sioux Falls, S.D., sponsored a design team of four students from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, to devise a design for some new test equipment to add to their test laboratory. 

Engineering students at the college are required to participate in senior design projects as part of their education. Through the program, area companies contract the students to design and build machines or equipment to gain practical experience. 

The Dordt students were given specific guidelines to follow, as well as a budget. The project was to create a cycle test machine for swing patio doors by engaging the multi-point lock, engaging the cylinder lock, then disengaging both locks, operating the door lever or knob, pushing it open and pulling it shut to complete one full cycle. 

The new test equipment will allow BSI to cycle test various sizes of doors. In addition to a complete test cycle, each test can be performed individually. 

“The project was a complete success,” said BSI engineering manager Tim Eggebraaten. “The team that completed our project was well-trained and we are very pleased. 

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