Latest Articles in Industry Watch

  • Setting standards for innovations to come
    It appears that the future of windows and doors will involve the confluence of technologies that previously have had little to do with fenestration products. Some examples of improved fenestration functionality being conceptually introduced around the industry involve automatic operation of fenestration products, as well as integrated security, locking and alarm systems. There are also plans for... more »
  • The benefits of risk management in terms of safety
    Three Goals for Improving Safety Culture Part of safety culture entails documenting and distributing safety procedures throughout the plant for uniform understanding, each with the three following goals. 01. Improving awareness Establish a procedure to follow. Broadcast it through training and ongoing communication vehicles (bulletins, incident report postings, awards, etc.). 02. Mitigating a... more »
  • The increasing role of environmental impact disclosures
    What’s in a Label An EPD “ecolabel” shows some or all of the following impacts, expressed where applicable in terms of equivalent CO2 emissions: Climate change Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer Acidification of land and water sources Eutrophication Formation of photochemical oxidants Depletion of fossil energy resources Depletion of mineral resources Any harmful... more »
  • Good news/bad news for business
    The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is largely positive for business but has some potentially devilish details to navigate. This is an inevitable result for a measure pieced together through a myriad of compromises among varied interests. But then, as has also been observed, if both sides are dissatisfied, chances are it’s a good deal overall. Corporate tax rate The centerpiece of the TCJA is the... more »
  • How manufacturers can take the lead on addressing the issue
    Availability of qualified labor is increasingly seen as a major problem for both the construction industry and for manufacturers. In the former case, the National Association of Home Builders reported in a 2017 Eye on Housing blog that the percentage of its surveyed builders who indicated that cost and availability of labor is their most significant problem skyrocketed from 13 percent of builders... more »
  • Disruption? Or windows of opportunity?
    Although the term “disruption” sounds vaguely apocalyptic—conjuring asteroid impacts, nuclear war or some folks’ vision of climate change­­—in business, it refers to innovation that creates a new business model and market that eventually disrupts an existing one, displacing established market-leading firms, products and alliances. Many have been blindsided... more »
  • Could privatization be a positive for the fenestration industry?
    *Editor's Note: Since the original publication of this article, the House passed a spending bill that included Energy Star funding at $33 million, 53 percent less than current funding. The below does not take into account this specific development, but does explore what may transpire, regardless of the level of funding for the program. Energy Star has become a highly visible... more »
  • New legislation seeks to ensure that’s the case
    This May, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which seeks to reform the process federal agencies use to analyze and formulate new regulations. The RAA is designed to ensure that agencies take the time and due diligence to implement Congressional intent, not the intent of their respective agency. The bill is... more »
  • Cutting regulations with a two-edged sword
    As we have been observing over the last few articles, the regulations imposed by various federal agencies has, in large part, been initiated by a blizzard of executive orders. Many feel that these usurp the prerogatives of Congress and that duplicative and unnecessary rules have unjustifiably harmed manufacturers, without demonstrable benefit to the citizenry. To illustrate the point, an Office... more »
  • In the last installment of Industry Watch, we looked at the Department of Labor’s move to redefine overtime pay. As readers may recall, the new edict proposed last summer set out to essentially double the salary threshold under which employees would have to be paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 per week from the current annual level of $23,660 to $47,476. If it became effective... more »