Deceuninck’s Commitment to Listening and Problem Solving

Innovation. Reliability. Sustainability.

These three pillars are foundational to Deceuninck’s business, driving the company to innovate new product development and meet the market’s most pressing demands.

Deceuninck’s commitment to constant innovation is evident in the introduction of ECLIPSE, the company’s solid color PVC extrusion for windows and doors. Introduced in 2023, ECLIPSE addresses a specific marketplace demand.

Jon Hauberg, director of product research and development, is at the helm of the organization’s ideation. Hauberg says such innovation is the direct result of keeping a pulse on industry trends and evolving customer needs. He adds that such game-changing solutions come from an arduous process that requires input from every facet of the organization.

Two Types of Innovation

There are two common pathways that lead to new product innovation at Deceuninck North America.

First, there is innovation driven by customers who have a problem but do not know how to solve it.

“They recognize there is a need, so they approach us to help them find a solution. We then put our heads together to find the best solution,” Hauberg noted. “Typically, when one customer has a pain point, others are experiencing similar situations, and finding a solution serves a greater good.”

Second, there is innovation where there is not yet a widespread need, but Deceuninck’s team brainstorms potential problems and how the company can solve those problems, or simply how it can push the envelope on window and door system design. This is known as push innovation.

This might mean creating something that makes it easier for fabricators to put a window together; an innovation that benefits the end user with regard to window operation, energy efficiency, or longevity; or a new color that makes windows absorb less thermal energy.

Perfecting the Process

Deceuninck’s research and development (R&D) approach is rooted in customer engagement and market observation.

“It really starts with listening to customers,” Hauberg explains. “We make it a priority to get the R&D team in front of customers, traveling around with regional sales managers. We firmly believe that anything might spark an idea, so staying abreast of what is happening in the industry is critical to our innovation process.”

Hauberg elaborated on the importance of industry conferences and trade shows as well. This includes visiting exhibitor booths that fall outside the window and door category, highlighting the importance of staying on top of manufacturing, electronics, and technology trends. The key is to pinpoint how some of these innovations can impact window and door manufacturing.

R&D at Deceuninck is “an intentional and ongoing process,” according to Hauberg.

Furthermore, making new innovations easy to use and understand is a constant challenge.

“We need to solve a problem,” said Hauberg. “But we can’t solve one problem and create two more.”

Hauberg explained that generating new ideas is important, but once a direction is chosen, it is essential to stay on track, focus on evaluating solutions, and reaching a conclusive decision.

“Things might not be working, and you need to adjust, but you can’t stay in a state of impasse for too long,” explains Hauberg. “If you’re stuck for too long, you’ll never make progress toward the final result. It is important to declare feasible possibilities up front, concentrate on a select two or three, and then drive those to conclusion.”

A Joint Effort

Collaboration is at the heart of Deceuninck’s R&D department. In fact, the team holds a weekly meeting where the entire project list is evaluated.

“We ask, ‘In the next five days, what is your focus going to be? Is there something the rest of the team can help you with? What are your challenges?’”

This fosters collaboration and leans into the team’s strengths of already being open and focused on teamwork. The Deceuninck R&D team will soon take advantage of a new open workspace, a move that will foster an even more collaborative environment where ideas can freely flow and team members can continue to support each other to achieve common goals.

Meeting the Standard

Ensuring that new products meet industry standards and regulations is a key component of the Deceuninck R&D process. The company employs rigorous testing protocols, including real-world testing in various climates (Louisville, Miami, and Arizona) to ensure products meet or exceed established performance, durability, and sustainability requirements.

“There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to satisfying industry standards,” said Hauberg. “Our extrusions need to sustain in all climates – hot-humid, dry-hot, cold, and mild – and they need to offer proper thermal performance. We also need to make our materials weldable for fabricators, and they need to be able to punch and process the extrusions.”

Furthermore, Deceuninck closely collaborates with customers on new products and work in their facilities to assist with initial product testing and refinement.

“We were in our customers’ plants for our recently launched ECLISPE product to ensure they could process the material without scratching or marring it. As a new black solid color extrusion, it’s important to ensure it will last on structures without any major risk for marking or scuffing.”

The Deceuninck team gets specific data from customers and builders, but the engineering department also persistently stays on top of market trends, the latest industry surveys, AAMA and FGIA intelligence, consumer trends, trade shows, and information in trade publications. This data all informs market needs and lends key insights into which direction the R&D team should be innovating.

The Latest Innovation: ECLIPSE

The development of ECLIPSE stemmed from collaboration with a potential customer who expressed a need for a dark bronze window solution. After discussions with Paul Adams, director of materials research and development, the Deceuninck team knew a solution was reachable. The process began with compound development in 2018, finalizing the dark bronze formulation that same year, which was then followed by extensive testing.

Subsequently, the Deceuninck team explored the possibility of going even darker and experimenting with creating a compound for a black extrusion. Initial iterations were sent to customers, which led to feedback indicating that the gloss was too high. This meant going back to the drawing board in the compounding room to adjust the gloss level. The new goal was to achieve a matte finish consistent with the latest design trends. However, this material adjustment process resulted in the need for additional weathering testing.

ECLIPSE was finalized and launched at GlassBuild America 2023 with a phased rollout in 2024.

“The decision to create ECLIPSE was driven by consumer preference for darker colors,” explains Hauberg. “Although we offer black laminates, which proved significantly more popular than our wood grains and other laminate colors, solid black color product brings features to the final window assembly that the lamination process cannot.”

Sustained Innovation

At Deceuninck, the company’s innovation efforts are more than just products. They are a commitment to excellence and sustainability across the organization’s operations.

“We have a global innovation team that meets to stay apprised of what Deceuninck is doing internationally as well, which includes product design, processes, and how we can achieve our 2030 and 2050 sustainability goals,” said Hauberg.

Innovation will always be a core pillar of the Deceuninck brand, one that embodies customer needs, market trends, codes and standards, and an eye on advancing what’s possible in the industry. The company’s dedication to collaboration and continuous improvement is evident in global innovation efforts and the development of groundbreaking, in-demand products such as ECLIPSE.

Through constant R&D initiatives, Deceuninck remain enthusiastic about pushing the boundaries of window and door system design, thereby setting new standards for quality, durability, and sustainability.

Check out our very latest innovation, ECLIPSE.

Sign up for the Leading InSight eNewsletter.