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You can call it an association in motion for an industry that won’t stand still

September 3, 2009  By Chris Skalkos

The window and door industry is constantly changing. Not only do manufacturers and fabricators need to keep their eye on new fenestration components as they are introduced, and new technologies as they come online, they also need to keep informed about new standards and updates to energy codes.

The window and door industry is constantly changing. Not only do manufacturers and fabricators need to keep their eye on new fenestration components as they are introduced, and new technologies as they come online, they also need to keep informed about new standards and updates to energy codes.

Whether at a regional meeting or at its annual trade show, keeping members updated through technical sessions is a key element of CWDMA events.

This is a business that won’t stand still, and that’s why the Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) is in a constant state of motion.


The CWDMA is a national association representing all aspects of the window and door manufacturing industry to promote high standards of quality manufacturing for all types of window and door products. With more than 150 members from all across Canada, and several from the U.S., its membership includes manufacturers of all types and categories of window and door products, from aluminum, steel, vinyl and wood construction to the suppliers of raw materials, processing machinery, and research and testing facilities.

A mature and well organized association run by a board of directors who come from all facets of the window and door industry, it is well known for providing several venues for its members to exchange ideas and network with other companies in the industry. One of which took place in June during the CWDMA 2009 Annual Meeting held in P.E.I.

Kevin Pelley, the president of the Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association, says the association has developed a reputation for running well organized and well attended meetings and this one was no exception. “The board of directors had a very dynamic and productive meeting and developed an action plan to implement the items from the January 2009 strategic planning session and other activities from our working committees,” says Pelley.

There were 92 delegates, from 43 organizations present in P.E.I., for the three-day conference. Technical sessions included an update of the latest codes and standards presented by Jeff Baker, CWDMA technical consultant, an update about the proposed Energy Star program changes by Steven Hopwood, from National Resources Canada and a presentation by Miles Murphy, CSA, about certification for window installation personnel. “The codes and standards of the industry are a moving target and you need to be aware of the changes,” says Pelley, adding the general sessions were particularly interesting as it included a presentation on the experience of a Canadian company who made the leap to build a manufacturing plant in China. “It was an interesting story about the trials and tribulations of setting up a manufacturing facility in China,” he says.

The second part of the general session featured the dynamic Energy Efficient Fenestration Steering Committee meeting, which was well attended. Delegates were also fortunate to have representatives on hand from Industry Canada, CMHC and Export Development Canada for a presentation, and question and answer session on Exporting Tools. “Overall, the sessions were very informative, well received and in keeping with the goal of the summer meeting, which is to provide great value for the delegates,” says Pelley, adding that attendees also had the opportunity to tour a manufacturing plant.

Matt Kottke, the current chairperson for the CWDMA Win-door North America trade show says it’s a constant challenge trying to keep raising the bar at every meeting.

“I believe our audience is already very informed so not only do we want to make it informative we want to keep it interesting as well,” he says. “There was quite a bit of technical information presented about energy Star and code updates that will be key for people involved in the manufacturing of windows and doors.”

Although Energy Star has been around for a while it is constantly evolving and Kottke says it is important for manufacturers to keep up to date with the changes to meet new standards. “People need to be aware about Energy Star and how it works in the window and door industry to get their units ready for testing; not just for today, but also what they will need to do down the road,” he says. “I think the CWDMA did a real good job with the technical sessions. There was something of value for everybody who attended.”

The conference was topped off with a couple of great social events including the President’s Dinner, hosted by outgoing President, Eva Ryterband, and the presentation of the 2009 C.P. Loewen Award Presentation to Jim Krahn of Marvin Windows. Delegates were also treated to an Atlantic Canadian Kitchen Party, a trip on a heritage river and the annual CWDMA Golf Tournament.

Eva Ryterband, CWDMA’s past president and treasurer, during the opening ceremony of 2008 Win-door North America. The trade show is celebrating its 15th anniversary in November.


15 years and counting
Providing its members with a venue of value will continue this fall as the CWDMA hosts its trade show Win-door North America on November 17-19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre held in downtown Toronto.

The trade show is celebrating its 15th anniversary, a testament to its ongoing success, says Kottke. Billed as the most focused show in the fenestration industry featuring a wide variety of machinery, products and services, it is visited by more than 2500 representatives from window and door manufacturers every year.

“Win-door has been increasing in size over the years, even through the downturn in the economy, the show last year was up by 15 per cent,” says Kottke about exhibitor participation which has not diminished. “That’s a real positive sign because businesses have to decide what’s important to them during recessions,” he says, adding that the show in November is well timed to take advantage of the predicted rebound in the economy. “Manufacturers are expecting a stronger fourth quarter. There is going to be a turnaround and these companies will be ready.”

Organizers for Win-door North America have unveiled a new floor plan and a new IG Alley Feature Area for the company’s show in 2009. The new IG Alley feature is planned to showcase companies in the engineering and manufacturing sectors of insulated glass. Live, ongoing impact and pressure testing demonstrations will allow show attendees an up-close view of testing procedures and the chance to gain valuable technical advice from product testing experts and government officials.

“It’s a natural extension of what the show is doing already, offering more value to both exhibitors and attendees,” says Kottke. “There are certain industries related to components of the industries we are trying to represent, and we can extend our audience by including these companies at the Win-door show, because attendees will have a lot more to see.” He also promises a full lineup of interesting topics for seminars and educational sessions. “The CWDMA is offering these sessions right on the show floor which keeps attendees close to exhibitors,” says Kottke.

Pelley says that Win-door, along with technical sessions offered at regional meetings, work in combination with each other to offer a valuable package to manufacturers and fabricators, something that becomes even more important in today’s economic climate.

“Our goal is to be a one-stop source for information and it is during times like this when information is key to the success of any business.”

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