Volume 41, Issue 4 - April 2006


J. Sussman Inc. Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

J. Sussman Inc., a manufacturer and designer of custom windows in Jamaica, N.Y., is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

The company, which was established in 1906 as a small metal working shop specializing in bronze and steel windows, today manufactures custom windows, skylights, Sunbilt sunrooms, dome systems and offers services such as architectural aluminum and glass bending.

President David Sussman reveals how the company has been able to sustain success through the years. 

“We haven’t lost our focus on what our customers call us for. I don’t think you can be successful doing custom work the way we do without close coordination between what the customer wants and what we make. Our emphasis is away from mass production and more toward teams working on individual jobs,” says Sussman.

The company has changed drastically through the course of the last century.

“Between 1906 and 2006, you wouldn’t know it was the same company. I’d say the tools we use and production methods have changed the most,” says Sussman. “My grandfather’s main tool was a hammer and anvil. My earliest memories were my grandfather in his cellar banging away to make a curved window. Today we have state-of-the-art bending machines, double- and single-headed miter saws, CAD computers, etc. We’ve been able to incorporate old-world craftsmanship with modern technology to produce a quality product at a reasonable cost,” he adds.

The company is celebrating its centennial anniversary by hosting a party for its employees and some of its older customers.

“Being the third generation of a family business, I feel a certain responsibility in keeping up a legacy of quality in our work.

The best complement is the customers who have stayed with us through the generations and still praise our work,” says Sussman. 

“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a project that my grandfather completed, my father added to and we are called for, now, to add to again,” says Steven Sussman, vice president of J. Sussman and president of Sunbilt Solar Products, the sister company of J. Sussman Inc. that manufactures sunrooms. 

The company is currently working on several new products and services for the future. New endeavors include designs for hurricane windows, new processes in manufacturing and an upgrade in machinery, along with new production methods to improve quality and service.

“We might be the oldest windows company under the same family management,” says Sussman. “We believe there is nothing better than a family business when it works. We are looking forward to the fourth generation at J. Sussman Inc.,” says Sussman.

2006 Mirrorlink.org Design Awards Winners Announced

The Glass Association of North America (GANA) mirror division announced the winners of the 2006 Mirrorlink.org Design Awards at Glass Week, which was held in Dana Point, Calif., in January. The competition focuses on the use or mirror as a design element for residential and commercial applications, and was open to any designer in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The winner in the residential application category was David Stern of Stern McCafferty in Boston and the winner for commercial application was Scott Stober of Wilkins Hinrichs Stober Architects in Kearney, Neb.

“The winners represent excellent use of mirror in both aesthetic and performance design,” said GANA technical director Greg Carney. “The functionality of the applications was enhanced with creative systems for structurally supporting the mirrors.” Winning entries may be viewed on the mirror division website at www.mirrorlink.org.

YYK AP America Expansion to Add 200 Local Jobs

YKK AP America Inc., a Georgia-based manufacturer of architectural building products, has broken ground on an expansion of its facility in Dublin, Ga. The company projects that the $80 million investment will double the facility’s capacity and add 200 jobs by the time the project is completely finished in 2010.

“YKK AP America is a subsidiary of YKK Corp. of America. Its Dublin plant manufactures doors, windows and curtainwall systems under the YKK AP brand.

The expansion will be completed in several different phases over the next four years and will help the company expand its service area, according to Doug Penn, YKK AP America’s director of marketing. 

“The emphasis for this project is simply our customers. We are committed to providing the highest quality products, at a competitive price, with the service levels required by today’s market,” Penn said.

JEB Names Pilkington 2005 Supplier of the Year

J.E. Berkowitz L.P. (JEB) of Westville, N.J., named Pilkington North America of Toledo, Ohio, its 2005 Supplier of the Year. Roger L. Thomas, materials manager at JEB, presented the award to Scott Surma, regional territory manager for Pilkington, at JEB’s headquarters. 

“We are honored to present the ‘Supplier of the Year’ award to Pilkington. It is well-deserved,” says Thomas. “To earn this award, we go through a quarterly evaluation process, which is audited. Criteria used are product quality, on time delivery, packaging quality, back orders, on time delivery and responsiveness to quality and service problems. This truly represents an excellent job by all—plant, customer service, sales and the entire Pilkington team.” 

“Pilkington is proud to have received J.E. Berkowitz L.P.’s 2005 Supplier of the Year award. Being able to work with a best-in-class fabricator such as JEB reinforces Pilkington’s position as a leader in the glass industry,” said Surma. “JEB brings tremendous expertise and added credibility to the projects and next generation products we’re able to partner with them on.”

Kawneer Hits the Century Mark in March 2006

Architectural aluminum products manufacturer, Kawneer Co. Inc. celebrated its 100th anniversary in March. The company was started by architect, inventor and entrepreneur Francis Plym, who worked from a sheet metal shop in Kansas City to develop a new way to support window glass in construction. 

Since that time, Kawneer has introduced product solutions for use on high-, mid- and low-rise buildings, stadiums and sports facilities. The company is now owned by Alcoa and headquartered in Norcross, Ga., with 23 locations throughout the United States and Canada. 

In the February 2006 issue of USGlass magazine, the Big Book of Lists stated the number of years that Arch Aluminum & Glass has been in business incorrectly. Arch Aluminum and Glass has been in business since 1978; the Silverstein family, owners of Arch, has ties to the glass industry that date back to 1898.

USGlass regrets the error.

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