G3: Industry insiders talk glass

The late Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” What role does innovation play in your business?
November 1, 2011
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION

Commercial

David Petratis, president and CEO, Quanex Building Products 

"We're shaking things up and trying to take advantage of the change that is happening [in our industry]. There is more change and innovation going on today than there ever has been in the history of the planet, and there is tremendous change coming to our industry. I think about PV, BIPV [photovoltaics, building integrated photovoltaics] and energy efficiency. There has never been a better time; you just have to seize it. We're thinking in terms of energy efficient systems that will help our customers prosper."


Petratis

Retail

Lloyd Talbert, president, C.R. Laurence Co., Inc. 

"Our whole existence [relies on] being able to innovate. Hopefully, when [the industry] gets back to a growth position again, we will see new innovators get into the business to keep us all challenged. We need people challenging us; we don't have a monopoly on good  ideas. A lot of our new products as far as tools go, for example, [are the result of ] glaziers that have come to us with ideas, and we work out a licensing arrangement. We have really good people as well, but that type of organic growth is great. "


Talbert

Fabrication

Mark Silverberg, president, Technoform North America

"Innovation has to be a stable process in order to work. [At Technoform], customer and market requirements are driving investment in innovation, [and we] are innovating along with our fabricator partners to develop window and glass insulation systems to meet and exceed future energy codes. Customers are getting ready for the codes that aren't here yet. Technoform is bringing in innovations such as inserting foam [into aluminum systems insulated with polyamide strips]. We're blowing away what the market thinks the thermal capabilities of aluminum systems are. "


Silverberg