Sliders UK launches its new bi-fold door, the Ultimate Evolution, last month.
Sliders UK announced the launch of the Ultimate Evolution aluminium bi-fold door this summer. Another new addition to Sliders UK’s expanding inline sliding, bi-folding and composite door portfolio, it features a number of ‘neat’ benefits for installers – most notably a fully adjustable jamb option, which simplifies installation.
But in a competitive market with competition from a raft of manufacturers does it offer enough to win over installers?
“We wouldn’t have launched the Ultimate Evolution if we didn’t believe that it delivered more opportunity to our customers”, says Steve Mines, Sales Director, Sliders UK.
He continues: “We have some really strong products in our range, our established aluminium system, the ALUK Ultimate Aluminium bi-fold and some really strong PVC-U systems, the Eurocell Ultimate Aspect and the Veka Imagine, which we launched in the Spring.
“But having looked in detail at the retail market, we felt that the Ultimate Evolution, offered our customers something that was different again and with that the new opportunities that go with it.”
Coming as part of strategic growth plans, Sliders UK’s track record for new product launches this year puts the door specialist in a league of its own.
The launch of the Veka Imagine as a second PVC-U bi-fold system in addition to its established Eurocell Ultimate Aspect PVC-U bifold offer, was immediately followed by that of PremiLine PRO inline sliding door from Kömmerling. The launch of the Ultimate Evolution brings the tally to three so far this year, with further launches to follow.
“As a specialist door manufacturer we have scope to manufacture doors in multiple systems, giving our customers choice. We’re better placed than most fabricators because we aren’t running other products – just doors.
“But that still requires investment on our part so the addition of any new product has to fit within a strategic framework and it has to give something more, or perhaps more accurately different, to our customers.”
The Ultimate Evolution draws on innovation in hardware, combining a ultra-smooth bottom running system with impressively slim sightlines – even compared to other aluminium systems.
This may give it end-user appeal, but it’s an innovative fully adjustable jamb option which dramatically simplifies door squaring and setting and increases tolerances, which is perhaps the biggest single innovation. An easy-adjustment system making if far simpler to align the door even where apertures are out of square.
“We have a four-man maintenance and support team out on the road, to support customers – normally builders but one or two installers – to correct the running of installed doors.
“9 times out of 10, the issues are caused because doors haven’t been installed square. Everything we do is built in a jig, its fully tested and filmed as part of our quality control procedures so we know it works.
“Over-packing, under-packing against walls – it all contributes to putting the door out of square. The adjustable jamb option simplifies installation – it’s forgiving! And that saves time on site and time lost in call backs”, argues Mines.
The Ultimate Evolution is available in multiple panel configurations including open-in or open-out, with a maximum sash height and width of 3000mm x 1200mm. With colour-matched handles and magnetic door holders, a low threshold option and 30mm polyamide thermal break for increased thermal values, it is also fully tested to PAS 24 and BS6375 Part 1 Weather Testing.
“The other thing to emphasize’ he continues, is that it looks really good, all the standard colours are there, the sightlines are stunning, there’s colour coordinated hardware. The Ultimate evolution is a really well considered product.”
According to the Window Industry Report, at the last count 4,834 installers offered aluminium doors and windows – the majority bi-folding doors – as part of their product portfolio. This represents a six per cent increase. With analysts forecasting continuing growth in bi-fold door sales, particularly aluminium products, the market presents significant opportunities.
Mines argues that the launch of the Ultimate Evolution brings additional flexibility to its trade customer base, giving it one of if not the UK’s widest bi-fold door ranges. He also suggests that alongside aluminium PVC-U continues to have its place.
“The Veka Imagine and Eurocell Ultimate Aspect PVC-U systems pick up a sector of the market. I would describe them as new generation PVC-U doors, delivering far slimmer sightlines and massively increased reliability and durability but also increased affordability”, he says.
“At the other end of the scale you’re looking at the ALUK Ultimate Aluminium bi-fold. The Ultimate Evolution sits somewhere in between. It generates the higher margin opportunities delivered by aluminium and combines it with installation efficiencies and a competitive price point.
“It works for homeowners, increasing affordability but giving them ultra-slim sightlines and installers because it’s good to fit and supports them in building margin into their businesses.”
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