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The Importance of Hardware in Window and Door Efficiency

Components and hardware should meet, or even increase, a window and door’s efficiency 

Assa Abloy door handle

Above: Assa Abloy door handle

Hardware is the “glue” that holds our windows and doors together. It’s important to make sure your hardware is as high quality as your fenestration and meets the same requirements in terms of efficiency, reliability and sustainability. Components and hardware need to be able to meet, or even increase, a window and door’s efficiency. 

What customers want in hardware

Assa Abloy Director of Business Development, Glass and Aluminum Solutions, Tyler Baker, says security and convenience are two important factors in hardware that customers seek. “We also see a high demand for aesthetically cohesive decorative hardware, including customization of designs, finishes and colors,” says Baker.

VBH Marketing Manager Gary Gleeson says the company’s greenteQ hardware products undergo testing. “Our testing shows that products in our door handle range, for example, can achieve well over 1,000 hours in a salt spray test environment without degradation. The accepted norms in the UK are 240 hours or, in extremes, 480 hours,” says Gleeson.

The manufacturing process for hardware and how it’s changed and improved

door handle
Roto’s 990 sliding patio door handle

When it comes to manufacturing hardware, Amy Musanti, director of sustainable building solutions, Assa Abloy, says the company is always looking for ways to continuously improve its manufacturing processes and offerings to meet customer needs. Long term, Musanti says transparency has become more important to customers; companies have to be willing to share manufacturing processes, materials used, and more with customers. 

“We listen carefully to our customers, recognize pain points, identify needs and develop the best solutions to address them. Our sustainability initiatives also positively affect our manufacturing processes,” adds Musanti. “We’re a firm believer in manufacturing at our facilities here in the U.S. All the raw materials we receive are put through the machining, finishing and assembly processes across many of our facilities here in the states.”

Gleeson says VBH’s manufacturing has both changed and stayed the same. “We have always ensured our range meets the highest quality processes, and products go through at least three quality control checks before they leave VBH (GB),” he says. “Our adjustment has been to focus more and more on high-end products, such as the introduction of a 316-grade stainless steel range of products in 2024.”

Currently, all VBH products are designed in the UK, using a variety of specialist manufacturing facilities across the world that work in partnership with VBH (GB). An example of this process can be seen in how the Alpha and Aspire handle ranges can have up to six layered coatings of copper, nickel and chrome if the base material and color finishes require it.

Gleeson adds that over the past five years, automation has assisted in the ongoing labor shortage. 

Roto Frank Market Product Manager Chad Hackman agrees that automation has helped Roto be more efficient as business grows. Hackman says the company has made small adjustments to its “already lean process,” which has increased the amount of recycled materials and decreased outbound packaging. Automation has assisted this as well.

Roto’s current process is zinc die-casting completed on semi-automated machines. Parts are powder-coat finished before being custom packaged to meet customer requirements. This in-house production ensures a controlled supply and allows for greater levels of customization.

New hardware to meet efficiency/performance goals

door hinge
VBH’s Velocity door hinge

Companies are prioritizing the efficiency of their hardware for both customers and installers. For example, VBH’s Sigma Velocity fast-fit fabrication door hinge is designed to save time and labor in the door manufacturing process. VBH also recognized the growing trend of smart security products in the market. A few years ago, VBH launched its Q-Smart electronic door handle that allows domestic entrance doors to be locked and unlocked without a key, using fingerprint recognition, a mobile phone app or contact tag. 

Gleeson says the reaction to both products has been incredibly positive. 

Similarly, Baker says Assa Abloy has recently released wireless locksets, motor-driven exit devices and thermal break entrance solutions.

“Customers see the value in our products that make openings much more energy efficient and a lot more functional and practical for today’s security needs versus products that have been in the market for years that didn’t focus on such concerns,” says Baker. “We continue to invest in solutions that help make buildings more energy efficient and that will continue to reduce the footprint our manufacturing locations and operations have on the planet.”

Roto’s Inowa system was developed to be efficient with air and water resistance. New one-piece handles with extended screw supports decrease installation time and ensure optimal seal when used with handle gaskets.

Hackman says the response has been positive to these products and there is value in further expanding these lines. “More gasket options are being developed,” he says. “Our sliding door roller offerings are expanding to fill gaps and add additional wheel material options.” 


Rachel Vitello

Rachel Vitello

Rachel Vitello is the Assistant Editor & Researcher for Window + Door and Glass Magazine.