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Trying times indeed

This issue of Glass Canada features an extensive story on the economy and its impact


October 30, 2008
By Chris Skalkos

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This issue of Glass Canada features an extensive story on the economy and its impact on the industry. While a downturn in the North American economy is nothing new, the factors behind this one, and the methods that companies are employing to deal with it are unique.

    This issue of Glass Canada features an extensive story on the economy and its impact on the industry. While a downturn in the North American economy is nothing new, the factors behind this one, and the methods that companies are employing to deal with it are unique.

    The most noticeable is that there is no common denominator in this situation. You can travel across Canada and see a dozen different economies affecting businesses in different ways. Window manufacturers and others in the fenestration industry, especially companies that depend on exports to the U.S., have been hit particularly hard.

    From currency exchange rates and the sub-prime crisis in the U.S., to rising costs of fuel and raw materials and competition from off-shore products, Canadian manufacturers are facing pressures from several fronts. Glass Canada interviewed several companies across Canada as well as in the U.S. to gauge their opinions about the current economic climate in their markets.

    If you think Canada is under the economic gun you should read John Roper’s column, European Scene, also in this issue, where he describes how the “credit crunch” in the U.K. is splitting the industry along material lines as the vinyl window industry is about to start a turf war over who best represents its interests as it struggles to survive.

    While currently a unique situation across the Atlantic, what triggered this crisis could easily happen here if some government backed research group singles out one window profile to be more “energy efficient” than the others. You couldn’t blame the others for being a little “green” with envy.

    It’s not all doom and gloom, but it’s not hard to predict it will get worse before it gets better. As one glass company bluntly stated: “It’s a very trying time for the glass industry itself and anyone who deals in glass.” Trying times they are indeed.

Win-door North America 2008

You can bet the economy will be a main topic of conversation among exhibitors and visitors to the Win-door North America trade show on Nov. 11-13, in Toronto, Ont.

    The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association hosts this event, which is a highly focused industry trade show for window and door manufacturers. If you are involved in the fenestration industry it is a valuable venue for meeting a cross section of suppliers from machinery makers to IG unit component suppliers and everything in between. Now in its 13th year, Win-door is the longest running glass industry trade show in Canada. In fact, it’s the only glass show of any sort being held regularly in this country. Don’t miss it!

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CGA launches Glazing Systems Specification Manual

I would like to part with you with some good news. Actually, with some historic news! In August, the Canadian Glass Association (CGA) officially launched the revised edition of the Glazing Systems Specifications Manual for Ontario. This was a huge undertaking. It took several years and countless volunteer hours from specialists in the industry to modify the manual specifically for Ontario building codes.

    Its ultimate goal is to have this manual recognized by architects, building de-
signers, suppliers and glaziers across Canada. It would greatly assist all of them to consistently specify the best products and right installation practices for glass and glazing materials no matter where the project takes place.

    You can read about it along with other cutting edge glazing topics in this edition of Glass Canada.


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