CHICOPEE, Mass. -- Menck USA has closed its high-tech window manufacturing operation and a buyer is being sought.
According to MassLive, Menck shut down the factory in mid-January after investors decided not to put more money into the enterprise, according to a letter to creditors released to The Republican and MassLive by attorney Michael B. Katz of the Bacon Wilson law firm.
Katz is representing Menck, and is asking for creditors and customers waiting for windows to cooperate as Menck's investors find a buyer that could rehire the workers and restart the factory. If the operation isn’t sold, Katz said Menck will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and liquidate.
Earlier, FDMC Magazine and Woodworking Network reported on the new window factory.
Menck USA produced advanced, energy-efficient windows in 75,000 of leased space in Chicopee. The manufacturing operation made high-end windows to meet the demand by architects and developers for energy-efficient building projects.
Developed in partnership with Menck-Fenster of Hamburg, Germany, the new plant used state-of-the-art CNC equipment and the exacting specifications used at Menck-Fenster’s production facility in Scherwin, Germany.
Constructed of all wood or wood and metal cladding, tilt and turn windows were to represent a key part of the Menck Windows product range. Menck USA had an executive and production team with many years of high-end window experience in the U.S.
Menck Windows USA earned the 2015 Innovator of the Year Wooden Globe award from the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association at the Woodworking Industry Conference in San Antonio. See more here:
At that time, the market opportunity for European-style, tilt-turn windows manufactured in the United States had great potential. It could take three months or more to design, manufacture and deliver windows from Europe. By contrast, Menck’s automated facility in Chicopee, which began operating in February 2015, cut that cycle time in half.
Advanced automation technology allowed the company to produce windows with less than half the manpower typical in custom window and door shops.
Joint-venture partner Liesenfeld International has helped to fund Menck’s $10-million expansion into the United States.
Menck’s tilt-turn windows offered European styling and dual functionality. The sash opens two ways, providing flexible ventilation. The mechanical performance, multiple locking points and dual gasketing makes the window a more complex item to manufacture.
At Menck, advanced CNC technology for close tolerance and repeatability of custom components was modeled after automated window factories in Germany. Menck USA purchased much of its wood processing equipment from Weinig North America, including rip saws, chop saws and an S4S moulder.
Most notable is a Weinig Conturex CNC profiling center, which performs multiple processes automatically, overseen by just one worker. The Conturex also handles the 3x3 or 4x4-foot scantling blocks used to build the large-framed, European-style windows. For curved sashes and arched windows or doors, Menck was using the Mutlirex processing center. The Chicopee window plant also features S+S Maschinenbau presses and Ruchser Fensterbaumaschinen workstations to speed glazing and glazing.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.