Demand is strong for well-built, thermally protected garage doors, available in any style imaginable
Evidence indicates that the wheel was invented approximately 3,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Sculpted from stone, ironically the first wheels were not used to facilitate transportation but rather for making pottery. It is estimated that 300 years would pass before wooden wheels started being used for chariots around 3,200 years ago. While there may have been a lag between wheel and wagon, there was no such lag between the first wheeled carts and the desire for a place to protect them when not in use. With the first garages, of course, come the first garage doors; secure enough to protect what is inside, but light enough to easily move.
Today, America’s garage door industry is thriving. Across both residential and commercial sectors, demand is strong for well-built, thermally protected garage doors, which are now are available in virtually any style imaginable. From traditional to contemporary, the array of insulated garage doors offered by many manufacturers spans a wide range of lengths, heights, and options across multiple lines.
Atlas Molded Products has been a proud partner to the American garage door manufacturing industry for nearly three decades. Our plants supply more than a dozen different garage door makers across the U.S. with molded polystyrene foam and high-impact polystyrene insulations that facilitate a thermal barrier within the doors. Atlas works hard to understand our OEM manufacturing partners’ acute sensitivities and deliver scalable solutions that maximize product performance and production efficiency.
Identify the specific client challenges and construction objectives.
Like the homes they grace, garage doors are manufactured in a nearly endless range of materials, dimensions, and fabrication processes. From solid wood to insulated steel and polyurethane composites, garage doors can be mass-produced or custom-made in response to architectural aesthetics, local climates, or extreme weather conditions like hurricanes.
The garage is generally the home’s largest external opening and the garage door, therefore, is a home’s biggest opportunity for extreme heat and energy loss during winter months. Thermally insulated garage doors beneficially limit internal/external air transfer into a garage, which is especially practical in homes with an attached garage.
While a garage door is not the most complicated or expensive necessity on a single-family home, they are very large and difficult to transport long distances cost-effectively. Consequently, as an industry, there are many, many different garage door manufacturers all over the country serving a largely local-to-regional market. Seemingly every manufacturer has practices that are particular to their singular operation and overall, there is a general lack of uniformity among the industry.
Detail what Atlas did to solve those challenges and meet the client’s project objectives.
Among several different types of materials being used as insulation within garage door panels, molded polystyrene from Atlas Molded Products has proven to be one of the most effective for long-term performance and lightweight, durability.
Atlas OEM Components, made from molded polystyrene, are typically used in one of two ways. In the top-of-the-line doors, an inch and a half of molded polystyrene is laminated between two layers of steel to create a tightly sealed thermal barrier within each panel. A second pan style, value-based product type incorporates a layer of High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) laminated to molded polystyrene, which is curfed on the opposite side to allow insertion into channels on the single layer of steel. These pan style garage doors are lighter, less expensive, and the HIPS laminate inner surface is cleanable on the inside.
A garage door insulated with Atlas molded polystyrene foam or high impact laminate polystyrene foam provides a thermal barrier that inhibits the flow of heat either from the inside out or the outside in. Measured in R-Value, a particular insulation’s resistance to heat flow is a matter of the material’s properties, thickness, and density. Molded polystyrene is a lightweight cellular plastic that has exceptional insulation properties and can be manufactured in almost any dimension or density. Garage doors incorporating molded polystyrene materials from Atlas Molded Products typically achieve R-values from R-2 to R-8 without adding significant weight to the door.
As garage door manufacturers often serve regional markets, there is a very broad range of manufacturing processes and preferences. Atlas OEM Components strive to dovetail with each OEM client’s manufacturing processes to produce molded polystyrene foam insulation inserts made to specific tolerances.
Many of our Atlas OEM garage door customers also have a large volume of different product stock keeping units (SKUs) corresponding to the varying lengths, widths, and required depth profiles of dozens of different panel sizes. Some of our larger customers have between 30 and 50 different SKUs, each of which can require different manufacturing set-ups.
Atlas works with our OEM garage door customers to manage inventory levels and fill orders based on their handling and storage capacities. In some cases, this requires breaking up floor stock and packaging many mixed SKUs in a single delivery truck, so the manufacturer has a steady supply of routinely used materials.
Summarize the overall solutions to client challenges to show why it matters to others.
Atlas partners with many OEM industries across the U.S. Our 16 manufacturing facilities supply durable, reliable, lightweight molded polystyrene foam used in OEM Components for garage doors, watercraft, spa covers, and many other products. Likewise, in construction, molded polystyrene is a versatile insulation used in walls, roofs, and perimeter foundations and a super-strong structural fill in loading and retaining applications of every scope and scale. Inside or out, top to bottom, molded polystyrene from Atlas Molded Products performs.