Volume 7, Issue 7 - July/August 2006

Software in Review
Software Providers Show Manufacturers Their Offerings

With so many new options in software, it’s sometimes easy to get lost in what’s available. To help determine what product or products best fit your needs, DWM is providing door and window manufacturers with an overview of the products provided by software companies. Many of the offered programs are highly scalable so that manufacturers of any size can find a software solution. 

LeanNET® Software Saves in Labor, Material and Operational Costs
Any size operation.

LeanNET software from GED Integrated Solutions of Twins-burg, Ohio, integrates frame, sash and Intercept IG manufacturing. It is designed to save businesses of any size thousands of dollars in reduced labor, material and operational costs by streamlining the manufacturing process. 

Because LeanNET consists of configurable software modules, customers implement only the modules they need to address their specific production issues. LeanNET can be configured in a variety of ways for companies that need little customization to those that prefer to adapt and configure their software on a continual basis.

Glass and vinyl optimization software modules look ahead to subsequent batches, rush orders, remakes, etc. to generate the best possible yield. RemakeNOW software modules provide tools to re-manufacture IG units “on-the-fly,” reducing remake turnaround time. Additionally, remake analysis reports help pinpoint and eliminate the causes of remakes. 

Glass-on-demand software modules can set or change the sequence of production schedules to be run at each glass, spacer and muntin machine. Changes are made based on real-time production and machine data displayed on a single computer workstation. The data includes all production, rush and remake schedules planned; the production status of each glass, muntin and spacer schedule and the IG requirements of each glazing line. 

Grid manager software modules reduce the time and labor required to produce custom muntin grids. The software utilizes user-defined graphical templates to generate the data required to correctly size the grid, fabricate the components and notch the spacer frame. 

The specialty glass software modules increase throughput by integrating tempering, Accentrim or laminating processes with existing production processes. For example, the tempering interface software module integrates cutting, seaming, tempering and re-slotting glass lites. 

NAGE Offers Software for its Glass Cutting Line 
Any size operation.

North American Glass Equipment Inc. (NAGE) of Toronto is offering software developed for its joint automatic glass cutting line. The software includes an optimization program developed by Italian company RO, Perfect Cut software, and the glass cutting production scheduling program connected to the PLC system. According to information from NAGE, the optimizing program Perfect Cut improves the cutting layout minimizing the waste of glass. 

For the automating cutting line this program has a loader management option. It can send any information to the loader management system and glass cutting CNC machine over the network. All of the data is stored on the network for fast access and is available for all applications.

The optimizing and production scheduling software are synchronized to control the glass cutting in real time during the production process. This allows the user to cut the re-cuts or rush pieces of glass during the automatic scheduled cutting process. Users can also minimize the amount of cut-offs, modifying the last layout of every optimization to use the empty spaces for the re-cuts or cutting standard pieces. 

All of these options give users maximum flexibility for the cutting process. 

Lumberjack Integrates Inventory Solutions 
Small, midsize and large pre-hung door, window and building material companies.

Lumberjack Software™, from LJI Technologies Inc. of Palm Harbor, Fla., is a fully integrated inventory and accounting business solution for small, midsize and large pre-hung door, window, millwork and building materials companies. Lumberjack Software is an alternative to complicated inventory management and invoicing procedures. 

For inventory functions, Lumberjack provides real time reporting to show exactly what is happening with inventory. Users can control each inventory item, including cost, margin, quantity on hand and purchasing. 

The millwork manufacturing module simplifies the task of identifying components for a particular finished good. Items are combined into one product, or group, alleviating the data entry of thousands of combinations of products. 

For lot processing, the system provides a way to “bundle” inventory into lots. When the lot product is received into inventory, the piece count for each length is specified. The system stores the piece counts of each serial numbered lot. 

Every Lumberjack software system features HotLINX, which extracts general ledger data and uploads it into 24 pre-programmed Excel financial reports. 

Frontier Helps Manufacturers Enhance Business 
Companies with annual revenues of $20 million and above.

Friedman Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., offers integrated enterprise software solutions focusing on the dimensional configuration needs of the door and window manufacturing industry.

The company’s ERP solution, Frontier, can increase the speed of production, reduce order cycle times, tighten inventory control and improve responsiveness to customers, according to information from the company. It offers access to real-time data and eBusiness solutions. According to the company, the product also offers enhanced order entry processes and is designed to help manufacturers to decrease operation costs.

Frontier leverages IBM hardware technology and integrates technologies such as Java, WebSphere and the Internet, to deliver to-order an ERP suite that best meets manufacturers’ complex business needs. 

Edgenet Manages Catalogs Electronically
Over $15 million.

Edgenet of Brentwood, Tenn., offers a selection of electronic catalog solutions for door and window manufacturers. 

For manufacturers with revenue over $15 million, Edgenet m2o® electronic catalog and guided selling solutions facilitates selling best practices in millwork configuration, quoting and ordering, according to the company. For users of the electronic catalog and guided selling solutions, iCat is an electronic catalog management application that gives manufacturers’ business users control of their catalog data for easy maintenance and publishing. The smart client catalog update service automates catalog and software updates and deployment.

Any size operation.

In addition, the company’s Catalog Composer™ is designed for manufacturers of any size who want to publish product and marketing content to print catalogs, CDs and websites from a single data source.

SureFire Creates Software Solutions 
From single plant, moderate use to multi-site, high use facilities.

Software from SureFire Systems Inc. of Winter Springs, Fla., provides a turn-key software service for door and window manufacturers and their distributors. SureFire software’s scalability suits manufacturing operations from single plant, moderate use, to multi-site, high-use facilities. 

Software options can provide manufacturers with product definition loading into their database; rapid, error-free quoting and order entry; and web-based distributor-to-manufacturer order placing. It can also help manufacturers create flexible production scheduling and reporting, according to information from the company. The software can provide full shop-floor documentation, with or without paper, and complete product drawings that show required dimensions and alignments. In addition, the company offers software that can create invoices and provide full system training.

FeneTech Offers an Assortment ofSoftware Products 
Companies that produce as few as 75 doors/window per day or as many as tens of thousands of doors/windows per day.

FeneVision® software, from FeneTech Inc. of Aurora, Ohio, is a scalable solution that can serve manufacturers making as few as 75 doors or windows a day (approximately 20,000 units/year) to as many as tens of thousands of units a day (approximately 4,000,000 units/year).

The production control program is deployed on networked PCs to schedule and optimize door and window manufacturing. It provides quotation generation, order entry, pricing, costing and invoicing, among other functions. A tracking system, consisting of networked stations located in key production cells throughout the facility, collects production status information and displays key unit assembly attributes to the labor. The capacity planning module provides a view, by department and date required, of the capacity required to meet demand and a schedule of available capacity. The integrated manufacturing package offers machine interfaces developed for glass optimizers, welders and saws/positioners, as well as customized interfaces. An NFRC/Energy Star® module provides these labels on demand as a window is scanned on the shop floor. 

A web-based information center utilizes the data collected by the FeneVision software to provide production information. The real-time status of daily production provides a clear view of what’s happening on the plant floor. 

The resource scheduler module provides a tool that allows users to schedule leads, measurement and/or installations personnel. Delivery tracking software allows ordered items to be scanned off the truck at the point of delivery providing confirmation of delivery.

Ponderosa is Fully Integrated for Manufacturers Needs 
Any size operation. 

Ponderosa, from Computer Associates of Smithfield, R.I., is a fully integrated, Windows-based system for door and window distribution companies. Ponderosa includes a range of capabilities to automate sales order processing, costing and pricing, inventory management, product configuration, purchasing and 18 additional business functions. 

The product configurator defines and tracks shop units. A menu selection allows sales representatives to price, commit inventory and schedule shop time quickly and accurately. The order guide lets users quickly create and process orders from customer history, and define standard remarks and add to the order without typing. The integrated warehouse management system (WMS) helps users track material flow from receipt through manufacture and shipment of finished products. For long-term projects where multiple deliveries, invoices and products are used over an extended period, the contract pricing module tracks all aspects including requisition and periodic billing. The software reports overall project scope and profitability.

The e-Ponderosa electronic customer service and storefront is a web-based module that allows users’ customers to access their account information securely any time. This may be used to obtain quotes, place product orders, arrange for pick-up and delivery and view account information.

PrefSuite Has All Aspects Covered
Installed in companies with as few as 20 employees to companies with thousands of employees. 

Preference North America Inc. of Toronto offers PrefSuite, an industry specific ERP system with an integrated CAD capability. The configurator is CAD based and is consequently a knowledge-based system. This application covers all facets of fenestration production from engineering of products to their availability in order entry, manufacturing, through to shipping. The computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) capability provides interfacing to CNC machines as well as plant floor interactivity on an enterprise and multi-plant level.

Mate Offers Software for the Door and Window Industry
Small or large companies.

PMC Software Inc. of Flemington, N.J., offers a wide range of products designed to suit the needs of all door and window manufacturers. The company’s product line can be tailored to specific plant needs, from small companies utilizing manual glass and lineal processing to large companies with totally automated manufacturing facilities. 

For glass processing and optimization: 

OPTILite™ reduces material waste and generates high yield layouts, along with optimization reports, for small glass fabricators;

SCOREMATE™ offers glass cutting line control;

SHAPEMATE™ provides CAD and/or digitized shape cutting for specialty shape requirements;

TABLEMATE™ automates the scoring of any shape and assists in the creation of a glass cutting layout composed of rectangles or shapes;

WINDOWMATE™ production control software offers a range of reports on inventory levels, optimization results, cutting instructions and more; and

WINDOWMATION™ is a full, in-plant glass optimization system with racking control.

For glass tempering, coating and laminating, the company offers additional options. 

BEDMATE™ optimizes tempering furnace beds, increasing yields, reducing energy usage and manpower and providing automated visual displays for loading personnel;

INMATE/CT™ automates processing from cutting to tempering, eliminating the need to sort and rack cut glass; and

LAMIMATE™ is a solution for laminated slitting and assembly. 

For lineal processing it offers: FLEXMATE™; LINEALMATE™, LINEAL HMI™, SPACERMATE™ and WELDMATE™.

For IG processing it offers: INMATE/CI™ and GRIDMATE™.

Software is also available for production management and control. These include: RACKMATE™, SUPERVISOR™ and TRACKMATE™.

TDCI Designs Manufacturing Solutions
Size: For small companies with annual revenues of $1 to $25 million, mid-size companies with annual revenues of $25 to $100 million and large companies with annual revenues over $100 million.)

TDCI Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, offers its BuyDesign® software as a comprehensive sales and configuration solution developed to help manufacturers and their sale channels streamline the entire interest-to-order cycle for customized products. According to information from the company, BuyDesign can help users increase sales, reduce administrative and sales engineering costs, reduce lead times and reduce order errors.

The software is made up of several applications. The interest capture offers tools to capture end customers' attention, imagination and business. The requirements capture provides tools to make it easy for professional designers to specify a company’s products. Quote and order management applications feature comprehensive support for multi-level sales channels and self-service buying for end customers. A product configuration application is a powerful engine for guided selection, configuration, pricing and document/data generation. Product visualization provides dynamic generation of configuration-specific 2D models, 3D models and rendered images.

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