Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Raising the Roof in Las Vegas

Commercial and technical representatives from Americhem’s building products team visited the InternationalRoofing Expo (IRE) last week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. We’ve attended the last two shows and the market appears to be growing. One of our customers who has exhibited at the Expo for years said he thought attendance was up, probably the highest attendance he has seen at this show. Preshow exhibitor news confirmed that this was the largest Roofing Expo ever in terms of exhibit space, which was completely sold out. The show encompassed 131,000 square feet and 465 exhibitors, the most in the history of the 62-year show.

In addition to the trade show, the National Roofing Contractors Association holds their annual convention at the venue. Forty-four educational sessions were held on a variety of topics, many of which were approved for continuing education credits.

From our perspective, the most commonly displayed roofing was metal, steep slope roofing, both for commercial and residential properties. Steel and aluminum materials in these roofs are painted to achieve the desired aesthetic. These roofing systems are considered lighter in weight and more durable than their asphalt counterparts.

A couple of companies were geared towards residential steep slope and produced polymeric roofing. These products were injection molded, and fit into two categories: similar to cedar shakes and a slate-like appearance. The ability to create custom colors was touted by one of these organizations. Some of these materials had a different look, more like flexible cedar shake. Some of these products come with 50 year warranties, class 4 impact resistance and a class A fire rating.

From a standpoint of booth size, the top three were definitely GAF, Johns Manville and Firestone Building Products. Other sizeable players included Seaman Corporation and Carlisle Syntec Systems. There was a lot of equipment at this show, certainly more than last year. The most prominent group of these seemed to be ultrasonic welding equipment.

We learned a lot about the industry during our visit to IRE. Next year’s show moves to New Orleans, from February 6-8. Until then, Americhem will continue to innovate  on behalf of our roofing customers, leading the industry in color and natural woodgrain and other effects. Polymeric roofing has come a long way, and we’re proud to have taken part in its growth to this point.
Kelly Gager
Development Segment Leader – Building & Construction

Brian Cur
Field Service Specialist

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Americhem Supports by Participation in AAMA 80th Annual Conference

I attended the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) 80th annual conference in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. It was held from Feb. 12-15 and it attracted an excellent turnout of 360 attendees, one of the best attendance figures since I’ve been attending these events.

The conference consists of 1-2 hour sessions including council meetings geared toward window, door, skylight, curtain wall and storefront manufacturers. AAMA is a material neutral organization, so materials of all kinds are covered under their product umbrella. I sit on several task groups, which help set the standards for the window industry in areas such as thermal performance, insulating glass certification and code acceptance. Other committees include the aluminum materials council, the wall interface council and the residential products council. Building products manufacturers covet AAMA’s certifications and approvals, and the standards are some of the toughest in this industry. An awards banquet was held Monday night where the contributions and accomplishments of award winners was recognized.

There were a variety of good speakers at the conference, including Dick Doyle, head of The Vinyl Institute, who advocated the use of vinyl in windows and doors and also spoke of the institute’s lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. There were even speakers who talked about persuasive and selling skills, such as the role that body language plays in achieving what you want to achieve. The sessions were spirited and showed that the industry as a whole is moving forward in protecting home owners and commercial property owners with its research and certification programs.

For Americhem, this is a great opportunity to support the industry and to help AAMA achieve its goals. The top decision makers in the industry are present and this makes the event one of the most important that we attend each year. It’s also a great networking opportunity where all the important manufacturers in the industry gather in one place at one time. Color certainly plays an important part in the proceedings, as the vinyl materials council advocated switching to a CIE color system for its products. Americhem proudly manufacturers color and additive masterbatches that play a crucial role in architectural products. We enjoy bringing innovation to our customers, many of whom were in attendance at the conference. We also enjoy helping our customers attain AAMA certificiations. I look forward to representing Americhem at the AAMA conference for many years to come.

Rich Camacho
National Account Manager
Americhem, Inc.