Latest Articles in FEATURE ARTICLE

  • Suppliers expect recent upgrades in casement hardware to spread to other product offerings as well
    It seems the tide is turning a bit when it comes to product development in the casement hardware arena. The focus used to be on performance and durability, but today the trend is toward enhanced aesthetics and developing hardware with style. That’s not to say performance isn’t important—just that window manufacturers are looking for product that looks good while it’s... more »
  • New machines reduce labor costs and increase output and quality
    Today many window and door fabricators manufacture their own screens, while others prefer to buy them from an outside source. Larger, more vertically integrated companies typically make their own screens, with many taking advantage of new automated screen manufacturing equipment. Recent advances in these low cost, flexible screen machines are also attracting the attention of those manufacturers... more »
  • Benefits seen in patio door market are translating into growing demand for entry doors
    Society continues to demand better and better security, both at home and work. Homeowners and businesses alike want to ensure they are protected against the opportunist thief. Additionally, insurance companies have been quick to demand that every practical step is taken to minimize the risk of theft. The reporting of crime suggests this problem is not going away, and none of us wants to... more »
  • Trend is toward more integrated systems in the OEM market
    Retractable or self-storing screens have been around for many years, but these screens have seen accelerated growth recently. They have caught on as a popular option in particular for patio, French and entry doors. The latest trend is for manufacturers to provide integrated retractable screens in their windows. With consumers clearly seeing the benefits in doors, more manufacturers see a... more »
  • Focus group suggests quality, reliability and simplicity are highest priorities
    Quality, reliability, “nothing that will lead to callbacks.” That’s what replacement dealers want from a window supplier, according to a recent focus group sponsored by Window & Door and Mikron Industries. While energy efficiency is important, “it’s sort of a given,” noted one participant. “If it doesn’t have an Energy Star label, nobody’s... more »
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    Overcoming the barrier of consumer awareness to sell
    Fiberglass entry doors have been on the market since the early ’80s. Particularly in recent years, the category has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to dealers, builders and remodelers who promote the performance benefits of fiberglass to their customers. But while the presence of fiberglass continues to grow faster than traditional materials, consumer awareness of fiberglass remains... more »
  • Manufacturer takes dealer-centric approach to ease ordering of an increasingly complex product line
     Window and door manufacturers are facing some growing pains. The list of products and options offered by most companies is expanding, and customers are becoming more demanding. One manufacturer facing these challenges is Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., now nearing the end of a multi-year rollout of a new ordering and quoting software package. The 60-year-old company’s made-to-order... more »
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    Focusing on new construction products, Tennessee manufacturer sees itself as small fish in a big pond with plenty of opportunities as a result
    MGM Industries does its own thing—in more ways than one. It’s most obvious “thing” is its product line. Unlike most vinyl window manufacturers, the company makes a mechanically assembled window to better mimic the look of wood windows. A tour through the company’s plant in Hendersonville, TN, reveals many other differences too. Unlike most manufacturers its size, it... more »
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    Continued advances in software mean window manufacturers are still finding ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies
    In today’s market, driving down cost is the number one priority for many window manufacturers. The key is to simplify and streamline process areas without hurting precious competitive advantages—quality, delivery time and product differentiation. Although computer technology is not new in most plants, many manufacturers are winning the battle through the use of increasingly... more »
  • As the market corrects, industry players take the time to focus on innovation, differentiation
    The window and door industry (and the residential building market in general) is catching its breath. Mainstream media outlets are telling scary ghost stories to the country and its arguably shaky consumers, with a message that house prices are tumbling, existing home inventories have spiked and new home construction in some areas has come to a screeching halt. Most economists, on the other hand... more »