After over 40 years of designing, engineering, and installing windows and doors in Ontario, we here at Magic have gained a unique perspective on the window and door industry — where it’s been and where it’s going; what technologies deliver, and which need replacing. We are passionate about the products we sell and the services we provide. As a result, we want to share our perspectives with fellow Ontarians, so they can gain more insight into the industry as a whole and learn how we are committed to pushing things forward.
We sat down with Lior Goldenberg, the Managing Director of Magic, to learn more about the history of the industry and some key design and engineering innovations that have shaped Magic’s product line.
What did the window and door industry look like in the 1970s?
LIOR: It didn’t look much different than what it is today: You had a very heavy concentration of companies selling a very similar product line and typically competing on price. The only major difference was that the primary material was a thermally-broken aluminum window. Vinyl hadn’t really entered the industry yet and it wasn’t a very popular material at the time; you only saw that as we moved into the 1980s. Other than that? Nothing has really changed.
What Does Thermally-Broken Mean, You Ask?
Thermal breaking refers to the process of adding a material with a low thermal conductivity to a product’s assembly. This means the material is very good at resisting the transfer of heat and cold — the entire point of insulation. Aluminum is very strong but it has a very high thermal conductivity, meaning it cannot resist the transfer of heat and cold. As a result, thermal breaking can help to make aluminum windows more energy efficient.
LIOR: In the 1970s, when Magic really became established as a window and door company, it was primarily an aluminum window market. Saul, the founder of Magic, entered the window and door industry at this time, primarily as a salesman. He was selling these conventional, thermally-broken aluminum window and door systems with a crank mechanism.
“What was unique about Saul was that he was an engineer by trade. Because of this, he understood the flawed mechanics of the product he was selling to consumers. This was the initial spark that allowed him to develop the really unique product line we have here at Magic.”
Let’s talk about vinyl PVC. What issues come with using this material?
LIOR: PVC is used in probably 98% of the window and door frames that are sold to the general public. It’s a very cost-efficient material, it’s an energy-efficient material, it allows us to weld the corners to get a very tight seal, but it expands and contracts very drastically with weather fluctuations.
In the Southern Ontario market that’s so prone to drastic weather fluctuations — we can have a 30+ degree day in the middle of summer and a -30 degree day in the middle of winter — it’s so important to design a window that’s going to be able to withstand that fluctuation in temperature. If not, too much pressure will be placed on the insulated glass unit of a vinyl window system which will eventually cause it to fail.
An Insulated Glass Unit
This glass portion of the window unit is essential for insulation. It consists of two (sometimes three) panes of Low-E coated glass that are separated by a spacer unit and sealed within the window’s frame. These glass units are also filled with heavy gases such as krypton or argon to better resist air and heat transfer.
How did Magic fix the problem for their vinyl PVC windows?
LIOR: When Magic pivoted to become a vinyl PVC window manufacturer in the late 1970s and early 80s, we quickly understood the need for some metal reinforcement into the core structure of our window frame. We took inspiration from German window design. The Germans invented the PVC system and they understood that if there wasn’t some type of reinforcement — whether wood, steel or aluminum — inside that core vinyl frame, that window was bound to fail.
“We went to the drawing board and said how can we design a very unique window that gave consumers a very thin, slim profile and an energy efficient product?”
This was the thought process in developing what we call Hybrid Fusion Frame® technology — a window frame that can still provide the energy efficiency, the zero maintenance, and the welded corners of a vinyl PVC frame, with significant strength and durabililty that is going to be able to withstand drastic weather fluctuations.
The Hybrid Fusion Frame®
Hybrid Fusion Frames from Magic consist of a skeleton of stainless steel and anodized aluminum, providing the vinyl shell with the reinforcement it lacks to create a stronger, more well-rounded frame. In this way, we’re able to offer the best qualities of vinyl without any of the drawbacks. It also means you can enjoy low-maintenance, thermally-efficient frames you can count on season after season.
Before we go further, let’s dig into Parallex™ Hardware
Despite their popularity, window cranks are flawed pieces of hardware that cause more problems over time than they’re worth. Because cranks only work by moving the window at the bottom, the top of the window only ever passively reacts to this movement. Over time, this uneven distribution of motion and weight cause the sash to warp, sag and bow within the frame.
Crank mechanisms will frequently strip, break and loosen over time. To improve upon this design flaw, we created our Parallex™ Hardware System — an award-winning system that eliminates the crank altogether, easing operation and improving durability, performance and functionality.
- By installing a large galvanized steel rod through the internal part of the sash, Parallex technology forces the top and bottom of the sash to move in complete tandem, evenly distributing the weight of the sash.
- This rod is connected to carrier shoes that slide along a super-strong Zytel gear track (which we will talk about next)
- Without the need for cranks or hinges of any kind, the likelihood of mechanical failures is slim to none.
- Parallex technology also improves energy efficiency through tighter seals and creates a wider opening for better views, improved ventilation, and a much more accessible route of escape in case of emergency.
Moving onto the Zytel Track — what is it?
LIOR: Zytel is a very unique composite material developed by the company DuPont. The reason why we use it in our Parallex Hardware track is because it’s significantly stronger than other composite materials available in the industry. It also molecularly sheds itself at a very granular level: When the carrier shoe in our Parallex Hardware system glides along the Zytel gear track, it becomes easier over time for the end-user to operate that window system. This is because the Zytel continuously sheds itself and almost smoothes the track without any application of a silicon spray.
What is Magic’s end goal in using these types of materials?
LIOR: We have a very deep association with high-level chemical engineers here at Magic. One of our chief engineers — Bob Davies — was a staple in the plastics industry throughout the 1970s and 80s. When he became chief engineer at Magic, his goal was to incorporate the most innovative and sophisticated plastics throughout the product line that would provide maximum value to the end-user. There is probably no better example of this than the incorporation of Zytel.
Is this system superior to other window systems in the industry?
LIOR: The Zytel material found in our Parallex Hardware system is by far and by none the most innovative hardware system available in the industry.
“Every other type of casement window available on the market is operated by a crank hardware system that the consumer could have bought 30, 40, 50+ years ago. There has not been a lot of innovation, not just in hardware systems or in window systems as a whole, but also in the materials used within those window systems.”
That’s what I think is so unique about Magic. Not only have we developed some of the most revolutionary technology in the window and door industry, but we are constantly developing new and innovative systems. We are constantly bringing in new advancements and constantly pushing the boundaries of design and engineering. And that, to me, speaks to the core ethos of Magic — we are never really satisfied.
Realize Your Vision and Redefine Your Space With Magic.
Want to learn more about installing customizable windows and doors? Interested in seeing our innovative window and door systems in action? Reach out today to book a free, no-hassle consultation! One of our qualified representatives will be happy to walk you through the process and help you find custom solutions that will suit your preferences and meet the needs of your space.