Duratherm Windows announces major technology upgrades
May 22, 2015 - Duratherm Window Corporation has announced a major upgrade in its continuing program of bringing the highest-quality production technology to its shop floor.
This upgrade utilizes Rangate tooling and two Soukup America CNC machines to enable Duratherm to meet the burgeoning demand for its bespoke windows and doors well into the future. Examining the key steps which helped Duratherm keep their project on schedule and budget could help other shops considering similar upgrades have similar success.
Far too often, decision-makers fall in love with a machine at a demonstration or trade show, only to realize they have invested substantially in something which does not fit their specific needs. How can a shop owner have confidence when deciding to invest in new machines and equipment? As Duratherm's case makes clear, doing it right is a journey- one which requires collaboration, trust, and planning at each stage.
This is what Duratherm recognized in its chosen partners, Rangate and Soukup America. Timothy P. Downing, president of Duratherm, explained his decision to work with Rangate and Soukup America was an easy one. “Our companies share the values of commitment to the highest quality in everything we do, and a dedication to service that results in success as the only option.” he explained.
This plan to reach success has its roots in knowledge. Duratherm and Rangate began their relationship through Duratherm's participation in the Rangate Euro Tour. This annual program brings American shop owners and woodworkers to Europe to see the full range of window technology and shop practices at some of the world's most advanced high-performance window shops. During this process, Duratherm saw the machines and technology of the whole range of competitors on display- and chose Rangate as a partner. According to Rangate president Greg Godbout, "We take the idea that 'it starts with knowledge' as the basis of everything we do. The Euro Tour is about helping woodworkers across the continent build better windows, regardless of who they buy from or how they get there."
For Duratherm, the Tour was a valuable research opportunity which helped clarify their own needs in adding capacity. For any producer considering upgrades, shop visits provide context on everything besides the machine a shop will need to upgrade properly. Whether it's new training for the shop staff, a new layout or work flow for the build process, or new material handling equipment, upgrades require support to succeed. Recognizing and incorporating these elements into the plan with a partner like Rangate which collaborates to address these challenges potentially save thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours by identifying and avoiding potential pitfalls.
Identifying the correct machinery is only half the battle, however. Properly planning the steps between selection and installation are often what make the crucial difference between success and disappointment in any upgrade. Many shops have fallen in love with a machine, only to struggle with integrating it into their existing shop floor and workflow, or discover the machine does not work together with new tools as hoped. No matter how advanced, a machine can only deliver a cut as precise as the tools which run on it. Rangate's Zuani tooling is renowned for its customized engineering- providing a cut so fine sanding is not required for even precision joints. Rangate and Soukup America designed the Zuani tooling for Duratherm's window line collaboratively, ensuring the machine and tools worked together seamlessly to deliver the precise joinery Duratherm has built its reputation on. All equipment and tooling was tested before delivery, ensuring no surprises or unforeseen issues arose when the container arrived. When choosing machine and tooling partners for an upgrade, small details can create significant results in your timeline and costs.
The result is an upgrade enabling Duratherm to meet the burgeoning demand for its windows and doors for years to come, while upholding the uncompromising standards of quality and craftsmanship it has built its reputation on. For observers looking into the best practices to create or augment a window production, it's a case study worth a closer look.
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