Dorma, Sentech Form Distribution Partnership
June 29, 2010

Dorma Glas in Millersville, Md., has partnered with Sentech Architectural Systems, a firm that specializes in pre-engineered systems for custom structural glass applications based in Austin, Texas. Sentech will serve as a U.S. distribution arm for structural glass hardware manufactured by the Dorma Glas division. The Sentech team will be using Dorma's structural glass systems to design, develop and test custom solutions and new structural glass technologies.

"About two-and-a-half years ago we decided we wanted to distribute our structural glass hardware products in the United States, which [Dorma] had already been doing in Europe," says Scott Welch, manager, product marketing and sales operations for the Dorma Glas division. "When we made that decision we knew that we couldn't distribute this type of product in the same way as our other products because of its engineering requirements. So we wanted to partner with someone who would act as a distributor and engineer for the hardware and we wanted to work with a company that specialized in structural glass systems."

Welch said that though Dorma had not previously worked with Sentech some of its customers had.

"As part of our partnership with Sentech, which we promote as Dorma Structural Glas Systems by Sentech, all leads go directly through them and they handle engineering and distribution; they are exclusively using our products," explained Welch. "So we act as the hardware manufacturer and design arm for the United States while they provide the distribution and engineering expertise in the United States."

He adds that it's becoming increasingly critical for architects and specifiers to work with a single source supplier.

"With these systems in particular, you're not just attaching the glass to the opening. You have to look at everything going into the structure to make sure it's all going to work together as it's supposed to," says Welch.

He adds that project possibilities range from structural handrails, canopies and roof structures to all-glass facades.

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