Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2002


The I's Have It
            Insulating Glass Products Steal the Show at iGm 2001

One of the hottest trends at interGLASSmetal/ FENESTRATION world 2001 (iGm/FW) was insulating glass (IG) products and seminars. The three-day event took place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, November 7-9. Several companies took the opportunity to offer the latest in argon-filling equipment, display new products and lead seminars. You’ll find here a sampling of what iGm/FW offered in the way of IG products and services. A complete iGm/FW wrap-up article will be featured in the January-February issue of USGlass’ sister publication, Door & Window Maker

TruSeal Technologies of Beachwood, Ohio, and its equipment manufacturer Besten Inc. of Cleveland have together created what some consider to be one of the hottest new products on the IG market. Quik-Dose™ is a semi-automatic machine that fills IG units with liquid gas fillings such as Argon and Krypton. The new technology reduces unit-dosing time during the IG manufacturing process from two minutes to five-and-a-half seconds by injecting liquid gas.

By filling units with liquid Argon, TruSeal says IG volumes of gas are injected quickly to the bottom of a unit, via gravity, with less waste and turbulence effects otherwise associated with conventional methods. Once argon contacts the sill edge of a vented IG unit, TruSeal says the liquid boils into a gaseous state, displacing the lighter, moist air that leaves through the top edge’s perimeter vent. The heavier gas fills from the bottom up with very little turbulence, the company adds. 

August J. (Gus) Coppola, TruSeal’s president and chief executive officer, said attendee responses toward Quik-Dose were very good. “From what we heard from customers it appeared to us that Quik-Dose was the hit of the show,” said Coppola. “It is always nice to be able to display a working piece of equipment that demonstrates so clearly its features and benefits to the customer.
TruSeal also launched its newest warm-edge spacer—DuraSeal™, which it says allows window manufacturers to produce both standard and specialty windows with a single spacer system. TruSeal says DuraSeal’s high volume spool packaging allows manufacturers to produce more units with reduced downtime and waste than with similar systems. 

DuraSeal also features good condensation resistance, a warm edge of glass temperature, continuous moisture vapor barrier, superior argon retention, a reduction in the window’s total U-value and Gridloc™ muntin endclips, according to the company. 

FDR Design Inc. of Buffalo, Minn., the U.S. distributor for Sparklike Ltd.’s GasGlass (see September 2001 USGlass, page 70 for related article), demonstrated the Argon gas analyzer during the show. To many in the industry, the invention and availability of GasGlass marks a major milestone for the IG market.

“[GasGlass] has been the holy grail of gas filling [offering] the ability to non-destructively confirm an IG unit’s gas fill,” said Randi Ernst, president of FDR. “It has grabbed everyone’s attention. Many manufacturers are scrambling to beef up their quality control programs and in-house operator training.”

According to Ernst, GasGlass works by igniting a high voltage spark inside the IG. The spark then ignites the gas fill and creates a plasma or light that is much like a neon lamp. “This light is then fed to a spectrograph sensor and is analyzed. The color of the spark tells what gas concentration is inside the IG,” said Ernst.


GASGLASS                                 QUIKDOSE
The array of IG products showcased during iGm/FW included (clockwise from top left) TruSeal’s DuraSeal, the Argon gas filling machine from Spadix, Quik-Dose from TruSeal and Besten, and Sparklike’s GasGlass.

Spark of Excitement 
GasGlass, which is the only product of its kind, received a positive response during the show. “Having GasGlass kept the FDR booth very busy, as we were showing it to both manufacturers and our fellow vendors,” said Ernst. “We had several customers asking us for quotes and telling us they anticipated purchasing one in 2002.” Ernst added that there are approximately 12 GasGlass units already in use in North America. 

As with any new product, GasGlass is undergoing various tweaking to ensure it operates at its best. “The device is so new that there are a number of things we simply don’t know about it yet,” said Ernst. “Windows are so varied in construction that it is almost impossible to test all configurations in the lab. Putting GasGlass in a production environment exposes it to thousands of units”.

Cambridge, Ohio-based Edgetech also offered IG equipment during iGm. Showcasing both small and large IG systems, one new launch was its small shop equipment line. According to information from Edgetech, the system can be set up quickly, with lead times of two weeks.

Edgetech also introduced a series of equipment solutions sheets, which detail features and specifications of its equipment. The Air Float Table sheet, for instance, lists technical improvements made to the product. For example, it is PLC controlled and the tabletop is constructed in panels so each plate is easily replaceable, according to information from Edgetech.

GED of Twinsburg, Ohio, featured a number of IG products in its booth as well. Its Intercept® frame machine, an IG spacer system, was one product the company demonstrated. According to information from GED, the system can produce 3,000 units per each eight-hour shift and uses one piece spacers to produce structurally strong units with warm-edge technology. Other features, according to GED, include modular input/output wiring for “quick disconnects;” a WinFrame™II Windows ’95® environment; a simplified graphical user interface; and eight digitally controlled preset conveyor speeds for precise line control and high output.

GED also demonstrated its ContourGrid™ muntin machine. According to information from the company, the ContourGrid is a computer-controlled roll forming muntin machine that provides custom cut, contour muntins with mitered intersections. GED says benefits include material and labor savings, increased capacity, easy operation and low inventory costs.

Another company displaying IG equipment was Middlesex, N.J.-based Spadix Technologies Inc. The company recently introduced two IG sealing systems—the Quad Seal™ and the Enduron. The Quad Seal is fully automated and Spadix projects that it is capable of sealing up to 1,200 units per an eight-hour shift. It can be configured either horizontally or vertically, with either left or right side feeds. 

The Enduron is a sealing system designed to apply material consistently on all four sides of an IG unit. According to information from Spadix, the system features automatic size detection, can process 650 units a day and can apply hot or cold sealants to conventional or warm-edge spacers.

Also available from Spadix is the company’s argon gas filling machine. The system features four-station single or simultaneous operation, adjustable flow controls for each station and a timed system with flow chart. The machine is 30 by 24 by 8 inches, and offers an optional stand with space for two tanks. 

Austria-based Lisec also demonstrated IG equipment. The company offers machines for gas filling, sealing, bending and much more.

To Fill or Not To Fill
The trade show floor wasn’t the only segment of iGm/FW ’01 offering IG information. A number of seminars took place focusing on various aspects of the topic as well.

Edgetech’s vice president for sales and marketing, Jim Plavecsky, led the seminar, “The Argon Gas Dilemma: To Fill or Not to Fill.” It discussed Argon gas filling benefits and illustrated various methods for filling. 

SUPERSPACER Edgetech demonstrated its Super Spacer vertically automated IG assembly.

“Argon filling has become quite the controversy. Many window and IG manufacturers are unsure about whether or not their IG designs are capable of retaining the Argon gas, so they are unsure as to whether or not to offer Argon in the first place,” said Plavecsky.

The seminar covered design considerations and workmanship practices for improving Argon retention. According to Plavecsky, Argon gas filling is important because it improves the overall thermal performance of the window system.

Plavecsky also pointed out the benefits of Sparklike’s GasGlass in his discussion.

“This new instrument ... will enable the industry to gather both the quantity and quality of data necessary to aid manufacturers in benchmarking Argon retention capabilities, and ultimately to improve their designs,” said Plavecsky. “It is portable, accurate and highly versatile, enabling measurements in any field setting.” 

While seminars for the most part, were light on attendance, Plavecsky said his was very well-received. “The attendees were very interested in the topic and asked many questions. I heard many positive comments regarding ... the GasGlass device. Attendees were impressed with the repeatability, portability and ease of use of this new instrument,” he said.

Three from TruSeal
Employees of TruSeal led three seminars, all of which related to IG units. The seminars were: “Argon Gas Filling,” led by Joe Almasy and Werner Lichtenberger, senior technical representatives and Kevin Zuege, director of technical service; “Flexible Spacer Technology,” led by Ric Jackson, director of marketing and Jim Baratuci, director of research and development; and “The Economics of Investment and Sale-ability in IG Systems,” led by Sal DiGregorio, sales supervisor and Jon Kucharski and Al Schadenfroh, technical service representatives.

In the Argon gas-filling seminar, presenters discussed TruSeal’s new Quik-Dose system. 

“The [seminar’s] primary message was to inform IG manufacturers, as well as any others who were interested, of a novel [method for] Argon filling IG units that offers much shorter cycle times than fill systems and methods currently in use,” said Lichtenberger.
In the flexible spacer technology seminar, Jackson discussed TruSeal’s new spacer, DuraSeal, introduced at iGm/FW, as well as another spacer, Insuledge, which will be introduced this spring. The seminar focused on the technology behind these spacers as well as their performance characteristics. 

The third TruSeal seminar, “Economics of Investment and Sale-ability in IG Systems,” focused on how to take an approach to utilizing smaller increments of capacity in IG production, which according to presenters, can return high savings at high efficiencies. 

Other Show News
Insulating glass, however, wasn’t the only big news at iGm. Other companies and products causing a stir included Pilkington’s and PPG’s self-cleaning glass (see related story, "Self-Sufficient") and Menasha’s Kor-Kap flat glass packaging system (see May 2001 USGlass, page 62 for related article). The Kor-Kap consists of four steel endcovers, padded with plastic, which fit around the ends of glass. Steel bands then thread through the corners to hold the glass together around the edges. Additionally, exhibitors had much to offer in door and window hardware (see below).

The next iGm/FW show is scheduled to take place November 4-6, 2003 in Columbus, Ohio. 

On Display:  Window and Door Hardware
While iGm brought much in the way of insulating glass, those in the market for window and door hardware also had an array of products from which to choose. Find here a sampling of what was available in the way of window and door hardware.

Truth Locks in to New Multi-Point Locking Hardware
Based in Owatonna, Minn., Truth Hardware was on hand at iGm with its new multi-point locking hardware for hinged patio and entry doors. According to information from the company, the hardware is designed to eliminate deficiencies found in other locking hardware available. 

MAXIMLOCKINGSYSTEM Truth's Maxim locking system.

The company says the lock includes an automatic latching system with manual-assist capability and upper and lower lock points that are independent of each other. Locking options include shoot bolts, remote latch tongues and triple deadbolts.

Also available from Truth is its new Maxim® locking system. According to information from Truth, the locking system is designed to complement the Maxim operator and hinge system and is an attractive, easy-to-operate option for casement and awning window locking hardware. 

The locking system also comes with a number of advantages, according to Truth. For instance, it is non-handed, meaning it can be used on either left- or right-handed windows. For casement windows Truth says the addition of a lock point below the handle helps improve sealing and lock-up. The locking system also offers a single point system for awning windows using existing stainless steel keepers.

Roto-Frank Cranks Out Pro-Drive™ Series

Roto's split arm operator.

The Pro-Drive operator series from Roto-Frank of America based in Chester, Conn., was the company’s newest launch on display at the show. According to information from the company, the series offers smooth operation and minimized sash play. The company says it is also commercially rated for the AAMA 101 hardware load test and the AAMA 901 rotary operator cycle test.

Several Pro-Drive options are available as well. These include the dual-arm operator, for large sashes; the split-arm operator, for small casement window applications; the single-arm operator, for casement window applications that use egress or butt hinge solutions; and the awning operator for awning windows.

Also available to complement the Pro-Drive operator are the Roto-Pro™ locking system and the Roto-Pro™ hinge series.

Ashland Offers Sentinel™ Line of Sliding Door Hardware
Locks, trimsets, manual flush bolts and patio door rollers all comprise the Sentinel line of sliding door hardware systems from Ashland Hardware Systems of Lowell, Ind. 

According to Ashland, the multi-point door lock offers trouble-free installations, resist-ance to corrosion and a full range of adjustments. Ashland says the lock provides high industry standards for forced entry and structural ratings, and also says the lock features an anti-back drive design that prevents unwanted tampering. 

Also available from Ashland are the Inspirations™ trimsets. These are available in polished or brushed chrome, white, solid or antique brass, are corrosion resistant and come in a non-handed design. They are also available in keyed, non-keyed and passive versions.

TRIMSETS Inspiration's trimsets from Ashland.

The company’s manual blush bolt combines a passive lock system with interchangeable trim covers. It features a 1-inch bolt throw for security and easy engagement and its anti-back drive prevents unwanted tampering, according to information from Ashland. In addition, Ashland’s patio door rollers are said to be durable, offer smooth, noise-free operation and exceed AAMA’s 906-96 standards. 

Nationwide Offers Full Line of Screen and Storm Door Hardware
Nationwide Industries Inc. of Tampa, Fla., has available a line of door hardware products to meet most any need. Products available 

DOORHARDWARE   Door hardware from Nationwide.

include a variety of pneumatic door closers, jamb and door brackets, pushbutton latches, knobs, deadbolts, strikes, shims and more. 
In addition, Nationwide also offers surface mounted hydraulic door closers in a number of styles.

Ellen Giard is the managing editor of USGlass magazine.


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