Industry Insights

Approaching Innovation in the Window and Door Industry

Approaching innovation in the window and door industry

The innovation challenge

Windows and glass doors seem to be simple products to manufacture at first glance, but at Western Window Systems we have taken on the challenge of improving existing products with the newest innovations to produce high quality products and reduce lead times.

Now, we have shifted our focus toward addressing market needs through innovation in not only existing products, but also upcoming products.

“We saw some opportunities for product improvement and so we’ve been focused on that,” Kevin Vilhauer, VP of Engineering at Western Window Systems, said

of previous product innovations that have taken place over the last few years. “At the same time, there’s a need and a desire to launch some new products, mainly to help address some of the customer needs.”

Making a classic product even better

Vilhauer highlights innovations made to the frame of the Series 600 Multi-Slide Door, one of our most sought-after products. Our new thermal hybrid aluminum vent panel allows for increased production capacity and decreased leads times.

“Indirectly, it affects our customers positively,” Vilhauer said. “Better quality, better throughput, more capacity on the line, so that definitely helps the customers.” While the Series 600 Multi-Slide comes with a pour and debridge thermal break, we have added a polyamide strut to the product to make production faster and smoother. The thermal hybrid, which includes both types of thermal breaks, allows for manufacturing flexibility.

“Essentially, it’s a polymer profile that we crimped between two pieces of aluminum. So you still have that look of aluminum, but you have the thermal performance of a polymer plastic,” he said.

Meeting market needs for minimalist design

An emerging window and glass door trend in the United States comes from Europe, where manufacturers are creating windows with bigger glass and narrower sightlines. Our newest product, the Series 300 Minimalist Multi-Slide Door, has been created to address the increasing demand for narrower sightlines on multi-slide doors.
“We feel that we’re hitting the market at the right time, because you’ll see over the next year, a lot of companies are going to be trying to go for the same sale,” Vilhauer said. “Being able to come with the competitively priced products that are available quicker than most, it’s going to be a big advantage for us.” By taking the Series 600 Multi-Slide Door platform and incorporating interlocks that are just over an inch wide, Western Window Systems is able to create a minimalist product with short lead times and high capacity.
“The benefit that we have is that we’re doing it on a product that we can easily build, we can build a lot of, and the prices are pretty competitive, in many cases lower than what the European brands are able to sell here in the U.S.,” he added.

Learn more about our Series 300 Minimalist Multi-Slide Door here. And keep an eye out for our newest products this year.