September 20, 2006

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Special report: GlassBuild America

Doors Open at GlassBuild America

GlassBuild America 2006 opened its doors yesterday, welcoming industry executives from around the country to see some of the latest new equipment and components for manufacturing windows and doors. Running September 19-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event features nearly 500 exhibitors serving the window, door and flat glass industries.

The first day was marked by several major new product launches. One of the biggest exhibitors at the event, Edgetech I.G., is unveiling not one, but two major new product lines.

Best known as the supplier of Super Spacer, the company is significantly expanding its presence in the residential fenestration market with the addition of a new OEM coating system designed to protect windows from construction debris, as well as a new vinyl bending line.  It’s also expanding its line of products for laminating glass with the addition of a new resin formulated specifically for acoustics.

“Differentiation is the key for many of our customers,” according to Joe Erb, product manager for Edgetech’s Super Spacer and Uvekol laminating line. “They’ve relied on Super Spacer for that, but they’re looking for something else and that’s what we’re doing with these new products.” 

Customers are definitely coming to GlassBuild to learn about these new products, added Edgetech’s Erin Johnson.  “The West Coast—from Arizona and California all the way to Western Canada, which is a real hot market right now—is where we’ve been seeing a lot of our growth recently,” she noted. “We’re real excited because all our customers from the West are going to be here.”

Truseal Technologies is using the event to introduce its third generation no-metal, high-performance warm edge spacer product, which it describes as the company’s most significant insulating glass product innovation since it introduced its Dura platform in 2001.

“Duralite is a premium spacer product that appeals to feature-oriented insulating glass producers whose brand images have been shaped by a track record of quality and performance,” said Ric Jackson, Truseal’s director of marketing and business development. “Duralite’s technical performance in terms of low conductivity, argon permeability and U-value is unparalleled. At the same time, Duralite is simple to incorporate into existing automatic or manual application platforms and its flexibility enables it to be adaptable to any window design.”

GlassBuild America also represents the show debut of the new glass equipment line from Carlson Systems Engineering. The long-time supplier of window and door assembly and fabrication equipment expanded into the vinyl window market several years ago with the acquisition of Wegoma several years ago. It then announced its plans for a new insulating glass equipment line last year.

The line on display in Las Vegas represents a new “low-cost solution for Super Spacer customers,” said Rick Matthews, who heads up Carlson’s glass equipment division. The company is very pleased with the response it has received from Edgetech customers and looks forward to expanding its efforts in the glass equipment arena.

Many window manufacturers have been looking at new lock-and-latch hardware for hung windows since it was first introduced a couple of years ago. Enabling users to activate a window’s tilt function from the sash lock, and eliminating the need for visible tilt latches, this type of hardware has been available for the wood market, but two of the companies offering these products, Ashland Hardware Systems and Truth Hardware, are showing new vinyl versions for the first time at GlassBuild America.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest in our Fusion System for vinyl windows,” reported Matt Kottke, Truth’s marketing support manager. “Visitors to our booth are impressed with the versatility and ease of application that this combination lock and tilt latch system offers”. 

Reflecting the increased demand for new styles and finishes in window and door hardware, Truth’s exhibit displays prototype hardware designs based on popular furniture and cabinetry designs found in the home, Kottke pointed out. “We are getting a lot of excellent feedback as we gauge the interest in this family look of hardware designs.

Feedback on the show itself has been strong. Overall, the National Glass Association expects about 10,000 attendees, well above 2005’s figures. GlassBuild America concludes tomorrow.  Look for complete coverage in Window & Door’s November issue.

 

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