Last week Phil Olson and I attended a training and new products seminar at Marvin Windows and Doors  in Warroad, Minnesota. Marvin Windows sponsors such events from time to time in an effort to make contractors aware of new products, new installation details, and to see exactly how the windows and doors are manufactured. We left from the business airport in Minneapolis and flew to Warroad in on of Marvin’s business jets. While it is a mightly long automobile ride to Warroad, the jet, flying at an airspeed of 495 miles per hour, only took about 45 minutes to arrive.

Once we reached Warroad our first stop was at the museum and training center. This is a fabulous building, new since the last time I was in Warroad. Marvin Windows constructed the building for training and handling groups that tour the factory. There are six main training rooms. Each of the large rooms is complete with full video systems and is surrounded by a particular type of Marvin product. One room has all types of casement windows, another all types of double-hung windows, another all types of doors, etc. You can work with the products, operate all of them, and see features that make the Marvin Windows and Door lines unique. The facility is a great addition to Marvin’s corporate campus, providing areas for meetings, relaxing and learning.

After each training session we then went and toured that part of the factory that produces the product. No cameras are allowed in the manufacturing plant, but we were able to access all areas, visit with workers and learn a lot about the products. Marvin Windows and Doors uses a complex order processing method that impressed me. When a custom sized window frame is moving through the plant, when it gets to the sash department there the custom sash is waiting right on the line where it should be. And when the sash is finished and heads over for glazing, there is the custom glass ready and waiting. It really is remarkable.

After dinner the first evening we went to The Shed. This is a private automobile museum owned by a member of the Marvin family that features about 85 automobiles. The vehicles are mainly from the late 1950’s to the early 1070’s….the ‘muscle car era’. Each automobile has been restored to pristine condition. There were also some older originial vehicles that I really liked.After a busy two days at the Marvin Windows and Doors facility it was back to Northfield.