Most Innovative Plant

2011 Crystal Achievement Award Winners

 

  Atlantic Windows Plant
  Originally a producer of tooling serving a variety of manufacturing industries, Weber uses a unique nickel vapor deposition process to produce molds that capture fine details.
 

 

MasterGrain Doors/Weber Manufacturing Technologies

 

Midland, Ontario, Canada

Fiberglass entry doors have been on the market for decades now, but it has really been in the past decade that they have gained significant market share. One reason for that growth has been improvements in technology to provide better looking doors with more realistic woodgrains. Recognizing this trend, our judges selected Weber Manufacturing Technologies Inc.—one of the companies leading this development—with the Most Innovative Plant award.

Founded in 1962, Weber specializes in precision molds and tooling for automotive, aerospace, and home and building products, supplying such global companies as BMW, Ford and Boeing. Based in Midland, Ontario, it operates a 125,000-square-foot facility that houses six state-of-the-art, five-axis CNC machines; a full complement of 34 CNC contour mills, gun-drills, vertical mills, and EDM units; a 3,000 ton tryout and production press and a number of unique capabilities.

Glass line at NBP  
The process of making a door mold begins with the construction of a real wood door.
 
 

Nickel Vapor Deposition
One of those unique technical capabilities involves the use of nickel vapor deposition for making molds that can capture fine surface details, including woodgrains. Weber says it has the world’s largest nickel vapor deposition facility for mold production in the world, with four production chambers and the capacity to produce mold shells up to nearly 6 feet x 10 feet.

The NVD technology has been used for fiberglass door skin tooling since the early 1990s. Initially offered to a single manufacturer, that technology is now used by Weber to produce its own line of MasterGrain doors and door components.

Grained fiberglass doors are traditionally developed using standard tooling processes including "acid etching" of the mold cavities. Significant strides have been made improving the artwork required for this process, however, the two dimensional nature of the artwork limits the toolmakers ability to replicate the three-dimensional nature of real woodgrains. Fine wood grains are especially difficult using the acid etching process.

Mold Making Process
MasterGrain’s process begins with the production of real wood door, which is constructed using carefully selected pieces of wood—including oak, mahogany and cherry—and inspected to assure high-quality aesthetics. This master door model is also inspected for dimensional accuracy using computerized measuring machines. Once approved, the replication process begins with the making of a silicone master of the door model.

A hand-laid fiberglass cast is then created from the silicone master, which is stained and then inspected. The manufacturer conducts a close comparison between the wood model and cast sample to insure all grain features have been accurately replicated onto the cast part.

Glass line at NBP  
Finished molds require careful handwork to assure true woodgrain details.  These molds are used by Weber to press its fiberglass doorskins in an array of styles.
 
 

Once the cast part has been approved, the silicone master can be used to transfer the texture from the master model onto the mold that will be used to produce the fiberglass door skins. A silicone-coated mandrel is created from the master and is placed into the nickel vapor deposition chamber where, through a chemical reaction, nickel powder is vaporized then deposited onto the mandrel at the molecular level. The final nickel shell has similar strength properties as mold steel allowing fiberglass skins to be mass-produced for doors and doorlite frames.

The process not only gives products the look and feel of a real wood door, but virtually any texture or grain can be created, Weber officials state. This also enables it to create doors that are among the easiest to finish in the fiberglass door industry.

Commitment to Quality
Weber set up door manufacturing in Mexico and entered the market on its own in 2008 with an initial offering of three- and six-panel oak, mahogany, fir and cherry doors. Since that time, it has expanded its offering to include three lines—the Rustic Collection, the Traditional Collection and the Craftsman Collection.

Due in large part to the attractiveness of its doors, Weber now works closely with two quality focused door manufacturers and a large national OEM. One of those companies is Tru Tech Doors, based outside Toronto, which utilizes its skins and door components for its Harbour Craft product line.  

MasterGrain Doors has also established relationships with several major distributors, including GlassCraft Door Corp. in Houston, Texas in the U.S. In Canada, the company supplies doors to Richersons Enterprise Ltd., with operations in Richmond Hill, Ont.ario and Langley, B.C.; and Verre Select, based in Terrebonne, Que.

 

 

Other 2011 Crystal Achivement Award Winners:

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

Most Innovative Window

Large Manufacturer
Essence Series
Milgard Windows & Doors

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Series V-100 Tilt & Turn WinDow
Windoor Inc.

 

Most Innovative Door

Large Manufacturer
Sliding Glass Door Series 470, 570,
2770 & 2870

PGT Industries

Small/Medium Manufacturer (Tie)
SecuraSeal Sliding Patio Door
Haddon Windows & Doors

The Nantucket Collection
Simpson Door Co.

Most Innovative Component

Window
Double Snap Trim
Royal Window & Door Profiles

Door
Sentry Multipoint Hinged Patio Door Hardware
Truth Hardware

Glass/Glazing Component
Pleotint SRT Film
Pleotint LLC

 

Unique Innovation

Implementation of QR Codes
Seaway Manufacturing Corp.

 

MANUFACTURING

Most Innovative Plant

MasterGrain/Weber Manufacturing Technologies

Most Innovative Machine

Frame/Sash Fabrication
SCF 430 Multiprocessing Machine
Joseph Machine Co.

IG Production/Glazing
OptiGas 500 with ThermalCert
Integrated Automation Systems LLC & Fenetech Inc.

 

MARKETING

Most Innovative Marketing Progam

Large Manufacturer
No-Leak Skylight Introduction
Velux USA

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Sentinel by CGI Product Launch
CGI Windows & Doors

Industry Supplier
Project Nexus Launch
Quanex Building Products
 

Best Product Literature

Large Manufacturer
The Design Center Literature System
Jeld-Wen Inc.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Tru Tech Magalogs
Tru Tech Doors

Industry Supplier
Sentry Multipoint Hardware Sysem Brochure
Truth Hardware
 

 Best Industry Web Site

Large Manufacturer
Windsor Windows & Doors

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Lincoln Wood Products
 

Industry Supplier
Phantom Screens

 

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