LUMBERYARDS

KitchenAid’s new dishwasher turns up efficiency factor

BY HBSDEALER Staff

KitchenAid is doubling down on its efficiency standards with the release of the new Ultra-Fine Filter Dishwasher.

"One of the biggest complaints about dishwashers is how long they take to clean dishes, especially when cooking or entertaining for a crowd," said Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. "Our engineers have addressed this by designing a system that incorporates a highly efficient filter that significantly reduces cleaning time and allows more time for enjoying friends and family."

The wash system employs an ultra-fine filter (hence the name), which (in comparison to KitchenAid models without the filter) helps clean 18% faster, use 35% less water and 13% less energy on the heaviest loads, according to the manufacturer. It works by removing a greater amount of food particles from the water, which means there’s fewer particles streamed into the next cycle and fewer rinses required overall.

Other features include a ProScrub cycle that eliminates the need to soak or pre-scrub; a ProWash feature that customizes the wash cycle; and the ProDry cycle, which optimizes drying with a special fan and recessed heating element.

Additionally, the filter is self-cleaning and doesn’t require replacing.

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Seven Point Equity Partners acquires RiteScreen

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The North American window, door and commercial ventilation market has gained a new fabricated screen heavyweight.

Building industry investment firm Seven Point Equity Partners, LLC acquired Elizabethville, Pennsylvania-based The RiteScreen Company, LLC from JT Walker Industries, Inc., to create what it says is the market’s largest standalone supplier of screens.

“We look for strategically important companies that have a strong focus on quality, reliability and customer responsiveness as a foundation to build future growth," said Seven Point managing partner Tom Burchill. "RiteScreen certainly meets these criteria. In addition, we are impressed with the passion for manufacturing and high service standards we see throughout the organization. As the building materials market continues its recovery, manufacturers will increasingly look for opportunities to deploy scarce labor and floor space to build their primary products. RiteScreen is particularly well positioned to support this by supplying assembled screens as and when needed.”

RiteScreen provides screen products to window and door manufacturers on a "just-in-time" basis, a cost-effective alternative to in-house screen assembly. It also makes replacement screens for the DIY market and offers maintenance and repair solutions for multi-family and commercial applications.

In addition to its six plant locations throughout the country, RiteScreen will maintain its headquarters in Elizabethville, as well as its management structure.

Seven Point operating partner Randy Iles will serve as the company’s new CEO and a member of its board of directors. Iles is also president of Pella Corporation’s Entry Systems Division and CEO of Andersen Corporation’s Silver Line business unit.

“We knew it was time to turn over the reins of RiteScreen to new ownership to direct the next phases of investment and growth, but there is a lot of emotion for everyone involved with RiteScreen since JT Walker founded the business so many years ago," added Jay Poppleton, president of JT Walker. "So we are delighted to have found the Seven Point team. Their resources, long term vision and respect for the RiteScreen people, coupled with the unique industry knowledge and expertise that Randy Iles brings, made them an ideal successor. We really feel JT Walker’s legacy, the RiteScreen team, and RIteScreen’s customers are in the very best of hands.”

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NativeStone boosts concrete-sink concept

BY HBSDEALER Staff

It’s not yet clear whether concrete will become a bathroom trend mainstay in 2014, but one company is launching a new line of sinks that makes it all seem possible.

Native Trails has come up with a cement and jute fiber material called NativeStone, which resists staining and cracking while maintaining a cool, silky exterior. It also provides a lower price-point for customers who desire the look and feel of concrete but can’t afford a custom project.

"Concrete is an emerging home design trend that we see used far more often for countertops, floors, furniture, and even home exteriors," says Native Trails CEO and founder Naomi Neilson Howard. "NativeStone makes great use of concrete’s natural beauty and its natural color—gray—which is also a hot design trend right now, and avoids all of its previous downfalls. It is gorgeous and silky to the touch. For the first time, concrete communicates luxury just as powerfully as it does function."

Howard, together with Native Trails president Tim Blair, came up with the product after spending time with artisans in Vietnam and researching their methods. 

In keeping with Native Trails’ Eco-Social Positive company ethic, the addition of jute (a natural, renewable vegetable fiber) makes the sinks stronger and more sustainable than other concrete alternatives — generating less waste and requiring less energy to produce.

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