HOUSTON - Painted PVC window frames are coming. At the National Association of Home Builders' annual show, held Jan. 26-29 in Houston, Silver Line Building Products Corp. and Spectus Systems Midwest, touted painted vinyl. Each firm devoted nearly a decade of development work to the process.
``It's a relatively new process in the U.S.,'' said Silver Line President Kenneth Silverman. ``The Europeans have been painting vinyl windows for a long time.''
Silver Line will begin running a painted window line in about five weeks at its Middlesex, N.J., facility, he said.
The Middlesex plant will house the paint line, aluminum window paint line and aluminum fabrication line. Silver Line buys aluminum profiles and forms them into windows. Silverman said vinyl is 80-90 percent of the business. Silver Line, unlike most other window extruders, internally fabricates its profiles into windows, marketing them directly to retailers and construction professionals.
``We're very big with the inde-pendent lumberyard dealers,''Silverman said.
Silver Line did not show painted windows at the show. Spectus had the window frames, twirling on a platform. Spectus, of Winnebago, Ill., will extrude profiles and ship them to the Wausau, Wis., factory of Linetec Inc. where they are painted and returned to Spectus for final shipment. Valspar Corp. of Garland, Texas, supplies the industrial coatings. Spectus will offer about three dozen colors. An almost unlimited spectrum could be produced, said Geoffrey Card, vice president of international technical marketing.
Card was one of the British founders of Spectus Systems Ltd., owned by Mottram Group of Macclesfield, England. He came to the United States in 1986 to explore the market and has stayed. In countries such as Germany and England, PVC windows dominate but have matured, while the United States remains a growing market, he said.
PVC windows have 41 percent of the total U.S. residential market, just behind wood, with 44 percent, according to Card.
Silver Line last September moved into a big, existing plant in North Brunswick, N.J. Silver Line's Extrusion Division had 1995 sales of $41 million.