Companies Continue to Focus on InnovationSeptember 20th, 2011 by Editor
“We really are trying to ramp up on innovation,” says Michael Hagen, business director, door, floor and window North America, for H.B. Fuller Co. The company was one of several who exhibited at GlassBuild America (GBA) last week in Atlanta.
“We like to bring our new technologies to GBA,” he said. “We build the interest. In the winter months people have more time to look at new technologies.”
A few of these new technologies, to be available in the fourth quarter, include a new gasket for door lites (the 5240) and a new technology for triples. The company says it has done testing on the 5240 and it is designed for applications with high heat resistance, and is a great fit for the decorative market where squeeze-out often is an issue in hot climates.
“We haven’t been in this market for 15 years but the market needed it,” said Hagen. “People were waiting for it. We look for the market leaders. We beta tested it with one of these companies and another company ran it and is prepared to order.”
There were other companies offering new solutions for their customers as well.
Deceuninck North America has partnered with JP Industrial (JPI) to launch a comprehensive recycling program for its customers. JPI is the largest recycler of PVC materials nationwide.
As part of the program, JPI collects end cuts and other scraps from Deceuninck’s fabricators and provides the recycled content to Deceuninck so the company can reintroduce it into the manufacturing process.
“We have a zero-waste goal, and our partnership with JPI will help us meet this goal by reclaiming unused product that might have otherwise ended up in the waste stream,” said Filip Geeraert, president and chief executive officer of Deceuninck.
The company also has partnered with Bayer MaterialScience LLC to introduce Innergy™ Rigid Thermal Reinforcements. The product is the result of a collaboration with polyurethane resin manufacturer Bayer as part of an exclusive agreement between the two companies.
“Innergy is truly the next generation of thermal reinforcements. It offers the same strength and durability of aluminum, but with unprecedented levels of thermal performance,” said Geeraert.
The company said it developed the product as a better-performing alternative to aluminum reinforcements for PVC door and window profiles. Innergy also contains 20 percent bio-based resins.
Also creating buzz at the show was a product introduced last year at GBA but that now has some new improvements. The OptiGas 500 gas-filling machine, designed to reduce the amount of gas wasted during filling, was introduced last year. The company now offers manufacturers a thermal certification certificate, known as ThermalCERT.
“This allows companies to promise IG thermal performance with confidence,” said Mike McHugh, president. ThermalCERT takes actual thermal conductivity measurements after the gas is inserted. The company also introduced the OptiGas 1000 based on feedback at last year’s show.
“One of the criticisms last year was that the OptiGas 500 was too slow so we came up with the 1000 as an alternative,” said McHugh. He added that customers who have been using the system have saved a “few hundred thousand dollars per year in gas costs.”
“I believe there is going to be a flood of people buying this,” said McHugh. “I make insulating glass so I know what’s important.”
Vision Hardware introduced a dual-action window opening control device that is designed to install directly to the face of the window jamb.
“We’re the only one I believe who has this for sliding and hung windows,” said Butch St. Clair, general manager. “We have received great feedback and this is the number-one thing people are asking us about.”
Brandon Lawrence of Lawrence Industries said the company continues to receive interest in its composite locks. The company featured its V-Max casement locking system, which can be used for an 8-foot tall casement.
“A window that large would normally bow at the top,” said Lawrence. “But our zipper-type lock zips up the window.”
At Interlock, the company’s Intuition Sliding Door received a great deal of interest. “This is one of the best products we’ve introduced in the last year in terms of feedback,” said the company’s Axel Husen.
EDTM designed its own tin-side detector—and it’s improved from past models. “We now have a design that is more energy efficient than any similar product,” said EDTM’s Mark Imbrock. “It only takes three batteries instead of four, and still runs 50 percent longer. The new design also includes a protective rubber boot that makes the instrument more rugged and a better fit for production environments.”
The company is also working with various suppliers, including Guardian and PPG, to develop tools that can be used to identify these company’s products. EDTM developed the Solarphire AR detector for PPG and the ShowerGuard and Surface 4 “IS” low E detector for Guardian. “We are going to market together,” said Imbrock. “Our tools will help companies differentiate various coatings … We are working more with suppliers who are calling us in the forefront of their coating development.”
Not all companies have new products to promote but some have product categories to tell attendees about.
“We have offered hot melts for about two years,” said Fenzi’s David Devenish. “While our core focus remains on our Thiover Polysulphide and other IG components, we are promoting the addition of Hot Melt to our product line, for that side of the business. “People were asking for other products to use with foam spacers so this is a new avenue for us.”
Much attention has been paid to impact products recently, and Henkel officials say they have launched an adhesive–Purfect Glaze S–specifically for impact applications.
“We have taken the best of silicone and hot melt and combined it into one for this next generation product,” said Ton Longen, senior business development manager. “And if a company manufactures impact and non-impact products all can run on one line, and all that has to be adjusted is the bead size.”
Finally, there were several software suppliers in attendance who offered new applications. Fenetech launched its FeneVision Business Intelligence as well as the iPad and tablet PC apps.
President Ron Crowl says “there was a good mix of new and existing customers at the booth.”
Windowmaker launched its latest product, Windowmaker 2012. “Windowmaker 2012 is the culmination of 500 man years of research and development and is one of the two biggest releases in the 28-year history of the Windowmaker product,” said Goronwy Jones, founder and managing director.
Jones said the platform can scale down to the smallest window company, but it is ideally suited to the largest multi-site operations. “Large corporations will really appreciate the new Role-Tailored Client as well as the SQL-based business intelligence features,” she added.
For more product news from GlassBuild, including software offerings from WTS Paradigm and 360 Innovations, look to DWM’s October video newscast.