he phrase “nothing lasts for-  
ever” may be a cliché, but it  
holds plenty of meaning in  
the door and window industry. The  
proof is in the machinery.  
The Crucial  
in the  
Aging equipment, product qual-  
ity, efficiency and evolving trends  
are just some of the factors that  
force door and window companies  
to take a hard look at their plant  
Have you taken the time to take  
the pulse of your machinery stock?  
Do you think it might be time to  
make an investment to improve  
your production, or to solve some  
growing problems that you know  
will only get worse over time?  
If so, DWMis here to help. Here  
are some top-to-bottom consider-  
ations on whether it is time for your  
shop to upgrade machinery, along  
with observations from experts on  
how the market is shaping up.  
About Upgrading Your Machinery  
B Y N I C K S T . D E N I S , W I T H C O N T R I B U T I O N S  
F R O M P A U L B I E B E R A N D M I K E R O S A T O  
Is Your Machinery  
ArOeverStimpea, rmeanPy maarcthsinerAy vcoamilpaanbielseb?egin to phase out  
parts and inventory for older equipment. Once you find that spare  
Is it constantly getting shut down  
parts are no longer available for your machine, you should consider  
retiring it and upgrading to a new generation.  
for unplanned fixes and unscheduled  
maintenance? You should keep a log  
on each piece of machinery, and refer  
back to it often—when a machine  
was serviced, how it was serviced, and  
who performed it. If you’re servicing  
a machine six times a month when  
it used to require two tune-ups a  
month, take the hint.  
We are seeing orders up. Our customers are experiencing the  
improved marketing and are definitely positioning themselves  
for continued growth through automation. The capital is being  
released more now than in the last several years.  
—John C. Moore, GED Integrated Solutions  
What is the  
Quality of  
Is There Fluid  
Leakage That  
017 has been a very good  
You Can’t Solve?  
year for us. We have seen a  
sharp increase in investment  
so far this year. The quoting  
activity for 2018 projects  
is also strong right now.  
Glass quality is a tell-tale sign of  
Constant oil leaks from hydrau-  
lic lines, continuous water leaking  
from washers, and other issues  
with fluids are easy things to see.  
If you’re saying, “Gee, I’ve replaced  
that pump four times in the last  
year and a half,” then it may be  
time to look at other options.  
the condition of your machinery.  
Consider your washer: Do you have  
to run your glass through it twice? Or  
your edger: Are you getting perfect  
edges with one pass? How about your  
tempering oven: Is the glass coming  
out flat and true? Quality is critical.  
—Mike Biffl, Stürtz Machinery  
Door & Window Market  
Are You Meeting Your Output  
Are You Experiencing  
Goals and Needs?  
Unplanned maintenance can be a big time-killer. And some-  
If you’re seeing bottlenecks from depart-  
times, it doesn’t take an actual problem with your machinery to  
slow you down. Are you able to meet your output goals success-  
fully with your existing equipment? If you’re running a particular  
machine all day and still not keeping up with demand, it may be  
time to upgrade to a bigger, faster machine. Or, that machine may  
just need a little help from additional equipment.  
ment to department, you may need to add  
The machinery market is booming  
right now. Our sales volume has doubled  
last year. We are in a very strong growth  
trend and we are expecting to double our  
sales this year, too. Compared to  
last year, we have sold three  
Do You Need Extra Machinery  
to Improve Efficiency?  
times more to date.  
Are you having a hard time loading and unloading? If you  
added some supplementary machinery such as small cranes,  
would that improve your output? Your machine today may need  
two people to operate it. A newer version of that same type of  
machine may need one, and that second person could be better  
used elsewhere in the shop.  
Jonathan Chauvette, Groupe Eugenie  
What’s The Reason  
for Your Downtimes?  
Ask yourself, “Are my set-up times becom-  
ing longer, and is there new equipment that’s  
more automated and can streamline things?”  
If so, it is time to do the math. If you’re spend-  
ing three-and-a-half hours a day doing set up,  
figure out how much more you could produce  
in a day with upgraded equipment.  
We continue to see a lot of activity in automation in general.  
Specifically, fabrication saws and automated welding and  
cleaning lines are garnering a lot of demand right now.  
Mike Biffl, Stürtz Machinery  
What Are Your  
As housing has rebounded, the window  
manufacturers have gotten healthy on a  
volume basis, and the need for increased  
staff has occurred. That may have  
been a motivation for some companies  
that had maxed out multiple shifts to  
add additional equipment to increase  
production capacity.  
Customers Ordering?  
Take a look at the products you find yourself having to buy out-  
of-house that you’d like to produce in-house, and stay up to date  
on the latest industry trends. If you don’t have the capabilities,  
your customers will go to someone who does.  
How Could More  
Automation Benefit You?  
Jack Pennuto Jr., Formtek Group  
Your business is expanding and you need to increase capacity  
and output, but you know that the manufacturing sector is suffering  
from a lack of qualified labor. Because of that, many companies are  
leaning toward automation to make up the difference and reduce  
costs. Automation and robotic integration also can help cut down  
on accidents and maximize worker safety. And remember: You  
don’t have to do away with the employee you’ve “replaced.” You can  
repurpose them, often with more rewarding or challenging jobs.  
1 DoOncYeoyuouHdaecvidee tohneaSmpaachcinee?ry  
upgrade or expansion, one of your first thoughts  
should be, “Where is this piece of equipment  
going to go?” The main options are to add it in an  
existing space (if there’s room), expand the size of  
your facility (or buy/rent more space) or put the  
new equipment in place of the old machine. The  
latter option can be difficult, because it requires  
that operation to be shut down so the old machine  
can be removed and the new one installed. If you  
have the space, putting in a second line allows you  
to keep your business going, and the first line can  
be upgraded or removed later.  
Automation is absolutely a major driver. Labor issues  
seem to be industry-wide from contract labor for builders  
to factory labor. GED is continually looking to provide  
solutions to our customers’ labor and production issues by  
offering advanced robotics and automation as well as our  
software solutions that allow them to optimize, control  
and monitor all aspects of their operations.  
continued on page 50  
John C. Moore, GED Integrated Solutions  
August/September 2017  
3 Are There Other  
14 How Will You  
Finance It?  
continued from page 49  
Deals to Be Had?  
Some vendors may give you a  
break on your purchase if you’re  
willing to use your machinery  
as an example they can refer  
or show to potential customers.  
They may not have the particu-  
lar machine you’re purchasing in  
your region or part of the coun-  
try, and opening your doors to  
other shops could be a win-win  
for you and the vendor.  
And When?  
If you plan on financing the new  
machinery through a loan, take a  
look at interest rates. It may be best  
to buy sooner rather than later if  
interest rates currently are low. Or  
maybe you’re looking to pay in cash.  
Do you have enough to handle such  
a major purchase? One other thing  
to consider: Cash may be the most  
economical route at the time, but  
think about whether you’re willing  
to have your own money tied up in  
case something goes wrong.  
Are There Trade-in  
Deals Available?  
Check with the supplier of your  
original machine, or even other sup-  
pliers, to see if they would accept a  
trade-in of your equipment. They  
may be able to refurbish and resell  
it, and you may get a discount on a  
newer piece of machinery.  
We have seen a steady increase in equipment orders  
correlating with the housing rebound.  
Jessica Metz, Erdman Automation  
What Does  
6 it Cost to  
5 What Will be Your Return on Investment?  
This one is self-explanatory. How long will it take for this purchase to  
pay itself back? Conduct simple cost-benefit analyses across all of the  
options you’re considering.  
Run the Piece of  
Some machines will use a lot  
more electricity than others, so  
your operating costs are higher.  
That can be a major sticking point,  
depending on utility costs where  
you’re located.  
What Quality and Lifespan  
are You Looking for?  
What’s the time period you want the machinery to operate for? Some may  
say, “I only want it to last five years because the technology is changing so  
quickly.” Or they may just want to run the equipment into the ground and are  
prepared to upgrade again in the short term. Others are willing to spend the  
big bucks and want to get as many years out of the equipment as possible.  
There is a large demand  
in the millwork industry.  
What was once a traditional  
industry is now starting to  
modernize itself.  
What Kind of Service Do  
—Chauvette, Groupe Eugenie  
These Companies Offer?  
Service is arguably the most important aspect of the machinery business.  
Who are the  
Major Players?  
Find out which companies are proven to offer top-notch service and stand 19  
behind their equipment. It’s very likely the machinery is manufactured in  
another country, but the company should have good, reliable representation  
in the U.S. Find a manufacturer that will train your staff thoroughly on how to  
operate the machine. Also, ask where they stock their spare parts, and whether  
they have mechanics in the U.S. Finally, ask whether interchangeable parts are  
available, or if they’re specific to a certain company.  
Start by researching who the  
most reputable machinery compa-  
nies and vendors are. Ask around.  
Start reading up on machinery  
in industry publications. Attend  
trade shows, and meet with repre-  
sentatives face-to-face.  
What Kind of Warranty Does  
Nick St. Denis is the research editor of  
USGlass magazine, sister publication  
to DWM. Paul Bieber is the owner of  
Bieber Consulting Group. Mike Rosato  
is the machine sales engineer of Salem  
Distributing Co.  
the Machine Include?  
Most machines come with standard, comparable warranties. Where suppli-  
ers get competitive is by offering extended warranties. Things like long-term  
programming and software help are also critical, as machinery operators need  
more assistance than they have in the past.  
Door & Window Market  

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