Volume 8, Issue 6 - June 2007


FMA Makes Strides at Spring Conference Wraps Up in Florida

The Fenestration Manufacturers Association (FMA) experienced a large turn out for its three-day annual meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., in late April. The association welcomed many first-time attendees who enjoyed presentations on the topics of product liability, housewraps, codes and standards, fasteners and more.

The testing and education committee presented its progress and FMA’s executive director, Dick Wilhelm, stressed the importance of an education program for window installers in the field.

“We need to put together a program for continuing education and go out to the field at no cost and educate [building officials, builders, installers, etc.],” said Wilhelm.

FMA’s installation committee held a working meeting where chairman Jim Katsaros of DuPont shared the progress of the committee.

“There’s been a lot of participation from FMA and outside organizations as well with the same goal in mind: come up with installation practices particularly in Florida,” Katsaros said.

The committee reviewed the results from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) ballot of the FMA/AAMA 100 Standard Practice for the Installation of Windows with Flanges or Mounting Fins in Wood Frame Construction and FMA/AAMA 200 Standard Practice for the Installation of Windows with Frontal Flanges for Surface Barrier Masonry Construction documents. Other documents, FMA/WDMA 250, FMA 300 and FMA 400 are in earlier draft stages.

Freddie Cole, FMA’s president, estimates that the FMA/AAMA 100 document will be finished at the end of the summer, and the FMA/AAMA 200 document finished by the end of the year. 

Additionally, a new task group was formed to create a training module that FMA can promote. The group discussed the ramifications of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2.-A440 in the 2006 codes and its impact on current test reports.

On the topic of energy the thermal committee voted to support the Florida Building Commission (FBC) code proposal 2374 because it promotes energy efficiency in the state of Florida. 

Greg Mann of All Points Screw Bolt and Specialty Co., an importer/distributor of fasteners, talked about new fasteners. “A high amount of imported concrete tools will have a negative impact on the products in the field,” he said. 

Mann says he found that imported screws performed 30- to 40-percent less than those that were not imported. Additionally, when a fastener is specified, “there needs to be a way to substitute it with a legitimate part,” said Mann.

Additionally, David Toney, Esq. of Mills Shirley L.L.P. in Houston talked about product liability. He urged window manufacturers to supply their warranties on their websites and reference it on the product. His suggestion is to move away from warranting against defects, but rather to warrant that the product will “perform in-service without substantial impairment of operation when properly installed and maintained in a suitable application.”

A mind-provoking presentation regarding building science was presented by Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D. P. Eng., of Building Science Corp. Lstiburek.

One concern of his is that there are different “gangs” such as the wall gang, mechanical gang, roof gang and window gang that need to communicate better. “You are all part of the wall business,” he added.

Lstiburek said that window manufacturers need to design window glazing systems to be compatible with future wall systems-which will have insulation on the outside.

Forrest Masters, Ph.D., Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at University of Florida, talked about the wind effects on structures. “Wind-driven rain is the most complicated issue.” Master’s group is building a mobile windstorm simulator to be completed this summer. “The goal is to simulate reality.”

Masters said that the University of Florida is coordinating with associations to develop a 10- to 12-person task force for wind-driven rain testing this summer. 

Trends Uncovered in Industry Update 
Michael E. Collins of Jordan, Knauff and Company, an investment banking firm that specializes in the door and window industry, delivered its Spring 2007 Window and Door Industry Update recently. In the webinar, Collins talked about some trends affecting the door and window industry. 

Water penetration is becoming as or more important than wind-borne debris in coastal areas, and large suppliers and manufacturers have started selling on an installed-basis-only to control results. There’s an increasing emphasis on working with large networks of window installers to ensure uniform quality of installation. And 40 percent of home improvement projects begin with an Internet search.

In an industry overview of doors, Collins reported: there is a higher threat from imports than windows; doors have consistently-increasing emphasis on aesthetics; high-end entry systems can cost $50,000; and window manufacturers have begun to consider importing doors to sell though their existing channels.

The National Association of Home Builders is still forecasting recovery in the second half of this year, but builders are reporting a decrease in sales and an increase in cancellations. A changing ethnic composition that favors groups with larger households was identified as a growth driver.

Some strategies Collins named for the current environment include:

  • Improve software and information technology systems;

  • Improve quoting and ordering systems;

  • Talk to production, sales and administrative employees;

  • Achieve maximum flexibility in processes;

  • Cross-train your workers;

  • Implement just-in-time processes;

  • Develop better bid- or service-costing;

  • Study other companies and interact with them;

  • Work to become the “supplier of choice”; and

  • Be relentless on operational excellence and efficiency.

Collins also addressed the issue of “going green.” He says the green movement is very trendy right now and it’s gaining momentum. However, he also suggests that Americans are usually not willing to pay extra strictly for green characteristics.

China-to-U.S.-shipments have grown 19 percent from 2004 levels, and U.S.-to-China-shipments have grown 2 percent over the same period. 

For more information about the Spring 2007 Window and Door Industry Update, contact Michael Collins at mcollins@jordanknauff.com.

Edgetech I.G. Opens U.K. Facility
Edgetech I.G. in Cambridge, Ohio, says that the demand for its Super Spacer® in the United Kingdom is so high that it will invest in a new manufacturing facility there. The new $4.4 million plant in Coventry, England, will be the only dedicated warm-edge extrusion facility in the U.K.

The new Edgetech UK facility will be operational in the summer of 2007. Edgetech will continue to supply global demand from its 476,000-square-foot headquarters in Cambridge, Ohio. In other news, Edgetech I.G. has purchased the assets of Monroe, Wash.-based Nupro Products Inc.

Nupro began manufacturing muntin end clips for the insulating glass window industry in 1984. Edgetech intends to move production of Nupro end clips to its headquarters by the end of 2007.

MN Screen Bill Vetoed
The Minnesota Health and Human Services Omnibus Finance bill, SF 2171, which contains the “window safety screen” language was finished and passed by the Senate and House floor last month. Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed it soon afterwards. An assistant of Senator Berglin said they are “looking at stage two now, and we’ll start rehashing the details of the bill early next week.” 

The governor could have vetoed the bill due to the high level of spending it requires. The window screen compromise language is in Article 16, Public Health Policy, Sections 1 and 20. 


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