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Atrium acquires North Star

May 11, 2008  By *

Atrium Companies, based in Dallas Texas, has acquired Canadian window
manufacturer North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors. The addition of the
Ontario based company gives Atrium and its family of brands a
significant presence in the Canadian window and door market.

Atrium acquires North Star
Atrium Companies, based in Dallas Texas, has acquired Canadian window manufacturer North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors. The addition of the Ontario based company gives Atrium and its family of brands a significant presence in the Canadian window and door market.

Headquartered in St. Thomas, Ontario, North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors operates a 223,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility producing a complete line of energy-efficient vinyl windows and patio doors. Seventy percent of the company’s product goes to the replacement/remodeling market, with 30 percent going to new construction projects. North Star sells 90 percent of its volume to dealers in Canada, with 10 percent of its product going to dealers in the US.

“We started building this company in 1985 and it has grown remarkably in that time,” explains North Star president, Jim Banman. “Joining forces with Atrium allows us the opportunity to take North Star to the next level. It’s the right move at the right time for both sides.”


In addition to manufacturing windows and doors, North Star’s business is vertically integrated and owns and operates its own vinyl extrusion lines, known as North Star Profile Extrusions. Adding to the bottom line, North Star’s extrusion capability also enables the company to produce window systems for outside manufacturing customers.

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Unified franchise
Uniban Canada has acquired Ziebart Canada’s master franchise and the rights to the 28 existing Ziebart franchises outside of Quebec. This transaction completes the purchase of Ziebart’s master franchise and its franchises in the province made in 2002 to diversify the VitroPlus network.

This transaction resulted in the creation of VitroPlus/Ziebart. Outside of Quebec, it will bear the name of UniglassPlus/Ziebart and offer the same services as VitroPlus/Ziebart, including windshield replacement among other automotive services. This expansion allows Uniban Canada’s networks – which include: VitroPlus, Ziebart, VitroPlus/Ziebart, Ram-ko in Quebec and UniglassPlus/Ziebart, Ziebart, Unipro Auto Glass and Accessories outside Quebec – to offer nationwide coverage which strengthens Uniban Canada’s value proposition while offering 225 point of sales.

Uniban Canada also includes one of the largest distributors in Canada, PH Vitres d’Autos which has 18 warehouses across the country as well as 217 mobile units in order to support Uniban Canada’s operations.

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Canada to update Model National Energy Code
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) has announced that the Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the president of the National Research Council Canada (NRC) have embarked on a joint venture to update the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.

Published in 1997, the Model National Energy Code for Buildings has not been updated by the Canadian provinces or territories since then. Three years ago, discussions at the standards development organizations contemplated withdrawing the energy code. Today’s announcement is part of the Canadian government’s ecoENERGY initiatives.

Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director, attended the press conference to ask if the updated code would cover residential and commercial buildings.

Bruce Clemensen, chairperson of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), noted that the new code will not include buildings covered under Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada; therefore, residential buildings will be excluded from the code requirements with the focus on buildings greater than three storeys.

Webb also asked if there would be a formal liaison between the CCBFC and the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) as work on updating the code proceeds. The OEE is responsible for the Canadian Energy Star program.

Clemensen noted that these working relationships have not yet been developed but anticipated that they would be established.

It is anticipated that the updated standard, development of which will be under the mandate of the CCBFC, will be published in 2012. A new standing committee on energy will be formed to develop the code and the Canadian Code Centre is seeking volunteers to participate on the committee.

For additional information, contact:

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Silver Line is congratulated for producing the 10 billionth foot of Intercept Spacer at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida. From left: Tom Calcei, regional manager, GED; Peter Baka, business development manager, GED; Randy Isles, president, Silver Line Windows; Dominic Benevenga, vice-president of
engineering, Silver Line Windows; Bill Weaver, vice-president of sales and service, GED.

Setting the mark
Silver Line is celebrating a milestone after manufacturing its 10 billionth foot of Intercept Spacer since the product’s introduction in 1992. The company says the Intercept Spacer has been installed in more than 500 million windows throughout North America and Europe and attributes this manufacturing achievement to the many window and door manufacturers worldwide that insist on producing high quality, durable, long-lasting systems.

Silver Line Windows, an Andersen Company, was congratulated by GED as the producer of the 10 billionth foot of Intercept Spacer in the fourth quarter of 2006 with a plaque presented to company president, Randy Isles.

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Royal closes Winnipeg plant
Royal Group’s window and door profile extrusion facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has closed, says Georgia Gulf Corporation which acquired Royal Group in October of 2006. The extrusion operations currently in this facility will be transferred to other Royal Group profile extrusion plants as part of a plan to optimize manufacturing operations and improve financial results.

The company says this move reflects its pursuit of improved manufacturing efficiency and reduced fixed cost. “Customers purchasing window and door profiles from our Winnipeg facility will be better served by our other
facilities, as these plants house the latest in extrusion technology,” says Bill Doherty, Georgia Gulf’s vice-president of custom products.

Royal Group has profile extrusion facilities located strategically throughout North America to serve its window manufacturer customer base. Royal Group’s Canadian window and door profile extrusion plants are located in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.

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Greater design flexibility
Goldray Industries has announced a licensing agreement with DecoTherm Custom Glass Decoration. Goldray will produce DecoTherm’s digital ceramic frit designs on glass. Its unique manufacturing equipment expands the maximum panel size to 80 by 144 inches.

The company says this is a novel way to apply ceramic frit patterns to glass and offers greater design flexibility with the use of shading and colour. DecoTherm’s digital process allows it to create unique designs for short-run projects without the prohibitive up front screen costs.

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Industry appointments
Ultrafab has added John Rancourt and Sylvi Labelle as sales representatives for Quebec. Rancourt and Labelle, possessing more than 21 years experience in the window and door industry, will represent Ultrafab and be responsible for day to day sales
operations in Quebec.

Rancourt also operates Quincaillerie Rabel, a Quebec based distribution company that services the window and door industry in Quebec and eastern Canada. Serancourt’s primary office and the Quincaillerie Rabel distribution warehouse are located in Terrebonne, and will carry the complete line of Ultrafab sealing solutions.

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Arch Canada ULC dba Trulite Industries has appointed Richard Verdon as a sales representative covering a territory that includes Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston and other locations in eastern Canada.

“Verdon is well known by his customers in the markets he will cover and will further Trulite’s development in those territories,” says general manager Gerry Duffy. “With more than 30 years experience in the glass industry, he is well respected and is known for his superb customer service techniques.”

Verdon is also one of the founders and former president of the National Capital Glass Association, of which he remains a director. “He will be strongly supported by everyone at Trulite,” adds Duffy.

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Intermac America has appointed sales veteran Carey Brayer to the position of North American glass product manager. Brayer has 20 years experience in management, business development and sales, with particular expertise in the glass industry. He will lead sales efforts for Intermac’s complete line of glass machinery in Canada and the US, including the Master Series which offers CNC solutions ranging from entry-level machines to the Master Twin, a state-of-the-art four-axis work centre introduced to the North American market for the first time in October 2007. Biesse America established Intermac Canada in April 2007, after acquiring AGM, Inc.

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AGC Flat Glass North America has appointed Steve Micheli as vice-president of the company’s fabrication division.

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Flynn makes dual acquisition
Flynn Canada has acquired Bahry’s Glass. Principals of Bahry’s, Ron Kokotilo and Brian Romanchuk, have taken an equity position in Flynn and will be staying with the company in senior management positions.
The company says this ensures long-term employment as well as personal growth opportunities on a national and regional scale with a strategy of combining the Bahry’s staff with the current Flynn staff members in Alberta who are involved with the company’s architectural metals sector.

Flynn Canada currently employs more than 2800 people in 16 offices located from coast-to-coast. The company says the merger will allow it to take on major glazing projects throughout western Canada, while sharing best practices with its current glazing operations in central Canada.

Flynn Canada has also purchased the assets of AGS Contract Glazing which will allow it to assume certain outstanding contracts. Andy Jackson will remain with the company in a consulting position through this transition period before he assumes a senior management position within the organization.

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A gathering of autoglass professionals
Attendees of the 2008 National Auto Glass Conference gave a collective ‘thumbs up’ to the event’s new educational emphasis. The 18th annual event was hosted by the National Glass Association (NGA) and held February 11 to 13 in Tucson, Arizona.

Nearly 200 autoglass professionals attended the conference and offered high praise for its enhanced focus on executive education and practical problem solving. Participants engaged in first-time sessions on such topics as changing technology demands for the independent shop owner, increasing profitability through diversification, and training, recruiting and retaining employees.

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New location
The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) has moved its office to 130 Albert Street, Suite 1208, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4. Telephone: (613) 235-5511, Fax: (613) 235-4664, E-mail: info@ -end-

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