Is Innovation on the Upswing?

John G. Swanson
September 4, 2013
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

Congratulations are in order this week as we announce the winners of Window & Door's 2013 Crystal Achievement Awards. The presentation of these awards, honoring innovation in products, manufacturing and marketing, is one of my favorite tasks.

And we have some impressive winners this year. Velux is being honored for a skylight that uses solar power to provide remote operation without any need for wiring.  Masonite is being recognized for a new wood treatment process that significantly enhances the durability of its Torrefied Collection of doors. Solar Innovations' commitment to sustainability at its LEED certified headquarters–chosen by our judges as Most Innovative Plant–raises the bar high for other manufacturers. And, Kolbe & Kolbe's "We are the visionaries" consumer marketing campaign has earned three awards this year.

I am also pleased to report that the number of nominations was up in 2013, after a slight decline in 2012. It might be assuming too much, but I took the rebound in nominations this year as a positive sign for the industry. More companies see opportunities in the market and are ready to move forward with new products and other initiatives.

So with the positive outlook in both the new construction and remodeling and retrofit markets, I am looking forward to even more innovation in coming years.  What do you think?  That's our poll question of the week.  And, of course, I'd like to hear from you.  Do you expect new product launches in the industry to accelerate?  Do you foresee manufacturers investing in more automation in their plants?  Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Survey Results as of 09/10/2013:


Over the next few years, innovation in the window and door industry will:

Continue at a steady pace





Accelerate slightly





Accelerate significantly





Decelerate significantly





Decelerate slightly





Even with increased opportunities in the market, the majority of this week's poll takers see innovation continuing on a fairly steady pace.  Still, another 40 percent of respondents are expecting innovation to accelerate—perhaps a sign that we will see more window and door manufacturers and industry suppliers introducing new products and technologies in the next couple of years. 

GlassBuild America, which runs September 10-12, serves as a major showcase for new window and door components and equipment. Window & Door is at the show and a brief report on the opening of that event is now online, with more detailed coverage planned for next week.  

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