September '18

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134 • RV PRO • September 2018 rv-pro.com O R I G I N A L E Q U I P M E N T the frame side of the window market, but we're trying to push the bonded windows, again mainly because of their aesthetics." One of the advantages Edwards sees to the company's acqui- sition of Taylor Made, and more recently of Hehr, is that it expands Lippert's product knowledge. "Obviously, they have different customer bases, as well as different products and product knowledge," Edwards says. "We're able to teach them some of our process improvements and expand their business and help them grow. There's always something to be learned from consolidation." One area where more bonded windows may show up in the future is in the aftermarket. Although neither Edwards nor Whetton is oriented toward that segment of the market, both say that glass windows have a presence there. "People are always looking for upgrades," Edwards says. "Especially with the bonded product we manufacture, people may want to upgrade from the old windows in whatever unit they've bought – just jazz it up a bit and go from a framed window to a frameless one." However, going into the aftermarket for windows can be more than just a matter of aesthetics, Whetton says. He estimates that 90 percent of what Lippert sells in the OEM market is single glazed windows, but some RV owners may want more. "We offer an insulated glass," he says. "If somebody wanted to go to the aftermarket side and get insulated glass, it would cut down on noise in the unit, and reduce condensation, similar to taking your home to insulated windows." Plenty of Potential With a greater emphasis on windows as a styling element in RVs of all sorts, Whetton says he is excited by the work Lippert is doing to improve the technology of glass windows. Both he and Edwards agree that in the past much of the window design came from the OEMs as part of their overall updating of particular models. LCI team members Leticia Brito and Isabel Rodriguez work on the cockpit window line, where they complete the final steps in the process, including sealing, cleaning and doing a final inspection. In 2017, LCI produced more than 2 million windows.

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