SCM Group Hosts European Window & Door Tour

SCM Group USA of Duluth, GA, hosted eight members from five U.S. window and door companies on a week-long technology tour of European plants in February. Participating on the tour were members from Pella Corp., Pella Architectural Products, Buffelen Woodworking, Creative Woodworks and Hartman Window & Doors.

Four of the plants toured by the group are featured on the accompanying pages: HEBO Kozijnen in Holland, Werner Ballerstedt GmbH & Co. and Sebnitzer Fensterbau GmbH in Germany, and Falegnameria Pulliero Lino in Italy. A visit to the SCM factory in Rimini, Italy, was also included on the tour.

“I would have to say I was impressed by the level of automation that was present in facilities of that size,” said one tour participant. “They invested a lot to be able to produce units without having a lot of setup time involved.”

For more information on this or future SCM Group USA tours, contact Andrew Jowett at (770) 813-8818 or e-mail:

New Growth Opportunities for HEBO

While many companies claim to be a diversified manufacturer, HEBO Kozijnen BV truly is one. This Hengevelde, Holland-based company began 37 years ago selling wedding dresses, then 10 years later moved into the construction market.

A HEBO operator uses the Kontur to profile the outside edges of the assembled sash.  

In the mid-1980s it added another niche to its repertoire — manufacturing custom windows and doors for residential and commercial applications. The move proved successful. Today, HEBO claims to be the largest custom window and door manufacturer in Holland, employing approximately 100 people in its shop.

According to Norbert Kuipers, HEBO director, the market differs from that in North America with regards to style and material used. The company uses strictly hardwoods, purchased primarily from Malaysia and Indonesia, for its products. “We don’t use softwoods because of the climate. The material will only last five years,” Kuipers explains.

Kuipers says the prevailing preference for window sizes seems to be that bigger is better. “In Holland, you typically see big windows in the houses. Also, you’ll find when they construct houses, they sometimes make the basement, put up the frame for the house, add the windows and then put up the brick,” he says.

In addition to “standard” window selections, HEBO also offers tilt and turn styles, as well as mutton bars and security shutter options. The company also manufactures sliding doors, entry doors and wooden garage doors with center openings.

Like many companies in the area, HEBO not only manufactures the components, but assembles, finishes and installs all the hardware and glass in its approximately 120,000-square-foot facility; plans are underway to expand the plant to approximately 200,000 square feet.

A variety of machines are used in the plant. Sliding doors, for example, are first machined on an SCM Superset 27 moulder, then conveyed automatically to an SCM Windor 60 for tenoning, and on to another Windor 60 for profiling. The company has a DMC Topset widebelt sander which is used to sand the door core.

Stiles and rails are machined on a System 5 double-end tenoner. The process for manufacturing the windows is: tenoning on the System 5, then drilled, and sent on to a P230S profiler with 20-inch-long, left and right, vertical stackable spindles, followed by a second P230S profiler also with stackable spindles. The sash is assembled and then the outside edges of the sash are profiled using an Kontur machine. The machines were all purchased from SCM Group. Leitz cutting tools are used in the shop.

Although the company’s distribution is primarily regional, it has sold its products internationally, including the United States. HEBO markets its products through its Web site,

Ballerstedt Overcomes Tragedy

Less than two years ago, tragedy befell Werner Ballerstedt GmbH & Co. KG when its plant was destroyed by fire. The Pretzien, Germany-based company had to rebuild, including purchasing new equipment for its window and door lines.

“We had to start from scratch,” says Jens Ballerstedt, who, along with his brother Dirk, owns the company. Although production halted for a short while, the company was soon back to manufacturing 50 to 60 custom windows per day for an estimated 300-mile market area.

The production process in the 30-man shop (48 employees total) is similar to that of other European companies. The company uses hardwood lumber from Norway and other northern countries, which it cuts and shapes on an SCM SI450E tilting sliding table saw, Altendorf F90 saw and a Panhans 240 spindle shaper. Doors and arches for radius windows are machined on an SCM Routech Record 240 which features an automatic magazine, 24-position tool changer and has clamps to process small parts.

Angled or square windows are machined on the SCM Superset XL moulder, then conveyed to the Hess Junior, and on to the first of two SCM Windor 60 machines for profiling the sides and lengths. A Kontur machine, also from SCM, is used to profile the outer edges.

Spray guns are used to apply water-based materials to frames traveling along an overhead conveyor. The company offers a variety of colors for solid or two-tone effects.

The software program used by Ballerstedt generates cutlists and shop drawings and can be downloaded to the machines. According to Dirk Ballerstedt, the software, which is proprietary to the Windor, can also be used to tally any additional costs, such as mullions, hardware or finishing materials, factor in the company’s preferred profit margin, and then generate a suggested cost for retail sale.

Ballerstedt’s products are used in both residential and commercial facilities, including the Tagesklinik (clinic), Klinkepark and Brükfeld buildings in Magdeburg as well as city apartment buildings. These and other projects can be seen on the company’s Web site,

Sebnitzer Profiles from Plantations

Sebnitzer Fensterbau GmbH, like other European window and door companies, sticks with hardwoods when it comes to manufacturing its wood window and door lines. The Sebnitz, Germany-based company uses laminated hardwood from Scandinavia, as well as meranti in its products.

Sebnitzer Operations Manager Sirko Hänsel (right) shows the ease of construction in making a window.  

The meranti used at Sebnitzer is purchased from sustainable forest producers. “We buy our meranti from plantations,” emphasizes operations manager Sirko Hänsel. “We are not buying from places where they are destroying the rainforest.”

In addition to being ecologically minded about its wood sources, the company recycles its scrap wood chips for fuel. Also, excess PVC from its other window line is recycled and sent back to the extruder for reuse.

Although the company currently produces twice as many PVC windows per shift than wood ones, Hänsel notes that the trend for PVC usage in his area is decreasing slightly. “There was a big fire recently where people were injured from breathing in the PVC fumes,” he adds, which has made people somewhat leery of the material.

Sebnitzer’s geographic target market is the eastern portion of Germany. It sells to commercial facilities, such as an officer candidate school in Dresden and a housing complex in Berlin, as well as to single residential homes. The company also markets its products through its Web site,

Fixed, winged, arched and fanlight windows, are just a few of the products in Sebnitzer’s repertoire. The company also manufactures wood doors for interior and exterior use. Founded in 1992, Sebnitzer first produced PVC windows before transitioning to wood in 1993. Approximately five years later, it expanded to wood/aluminum windows.

Today, products are manufactured in a 70,000-plus square foot production area, part of the company’s 159,000-square-foot facility. In the wood window area, for example, lumber is surfaced on all four sides using a Superset 23 moulder before being profiled on a Windor 50, both from SCM Group. The part is then rotated and sent back to the Windor 50 for tenoning. Next, the top and bottom are sanded on a Hess Expert prior to assembling on a Hess Quickstep clamp.

Windows are finished using a water-based material and allowed to dry. The company installs all the hardware and glass prior to shipment.

Pulliero Windows a Family Affair

Marianna Pulliero is following in her father’s footsteps ... and her grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s as well. At the woodworking shop of Falegnameria Pulliero Lino, she is responsible for running the equipment to manufacture the company’s line of windows and doors.

A four-person shop, FPL may be low on employees, but not on production capability. Located in Gambarare Di Mira, Italy, FPL produces approximately 45 windows per day, in addition to shutters and custom stile and rail doors. Pulliero credits equipment technology with helping FPL maintain its production rates.

Located in the 7,700-square-foot shop is a full array of machines, including a T130 shaper, Sandya 10 sander, S520 planer and F520 jointer, all from SCM Group. The two workhorses in the facility are the Routech Record 120 CNC router and Windor 20 tenoner with profile capabilities, also from SCM Group.

“You just program in the angle for the cuts, information for the frame, rails and type of stile for tenoning or profiling,” she says. Although the Windor 20 is designed for single tenoning operation, FPL added a profiling unit on the side of the machine.

The majority of wood machined at FPL is mahogany. Pulliero says there is a regional preference for mahogany in the windows due to the strength and durability of the wood species. Doors are typically machined from marine-grade plywood, although customers can customize with other species of wood, she says. Products are sold to both commercial and residential customers. Her father handles the installation of all the windows and doors produced at the shop.

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