Monthly Archives

November 2016

Engineering-in value

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The bi-fold door sector is going through a period of significant change with the launch of a series of new generation PVC-U systems.

“There’s an affordability gap” says Steve Mines, Sliders UK, “The end user demand is there but not everyone can afford an aluminium door. New generation PVC-U systems close that gap, delivering a high level of performance but increase end-user affordability.”

Mines’ is about as an impartial assessment as you’re going to get. Alongside a raft of inline sliding doors, Sliders UK manufactures two aluminium bi-fold systems and with effect from last month – and the launch of the Duraflex bi-fold – three PVC-U bi-fold doors.

“It’s a genuinely interesting time for the industry.  Not only do we have some very strong forecasts of growth on the horizon (at the very least for bi-fold doors), we have some PVC-U systems coming online, which genuinely challenge aluminium bi-fold systems. Duraflex’s new offer is a case in point.”

Sitting alongside the Aspect bi-fold from Eurocell and Imagine from Veka, Sliders UK began manufacture of Duraflex’s new bi-fold system last month.

PAS24:2012 and Part Q compliant, the new Duraflex bi-fold is fully integrated with the systems company’s Diamond suite, featuring bevelled and chamfered options.

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations, three low threshold options and featuring Duraflex’s Q-lon, low line gasket, the system also achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

Colour options include a complete range of the latest solid and wood grain foils, as well as further aesthetic appeal including grey both sides on grey substrate; woodgrain on both sides, on brown, or tan substrate.

“This is one of those statements that is possibly open to misinterpretation but a real selling point that we see for the Duraflex bi-fold is that it doesn’t stand out”, says Mines.

“It’s fully integrated with Duraflex’s diamond suite and is available in either chamfered or fully sculptured options.

“It means that it offers a strong aesthetic match to PVC-U systems which don’t carry a bi-fold door option or where the options that do exist don’t deliver the same high levels of performance.”

Sliders UK has also built on the core Duraflex offer to include a white PVC-U outer frame on a traditional cill in addition to the black and silver aluminium threshold options offered by Masco as standard.

“We felt that there would be demand from the market for a white threshold and traditional PVC-U cill in addition to the solution offered as standard by Duraflex”, says Mines. “It’s just another option for our customers and we hope will support future sales.”

Contrasting with forecasts for the industry as a whole, which at best remain turbulent, forecasts for bi-fold door sales remain positive going through to 2020.

The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain, report, published last month by Palmer Market Research, bi-fold doors saw 7.9% growth in volume in the home improvement sector last year.

Palmer also forecasts that this continuing growth and that forecast in new build bi-fold sales, will collectively contribute to a 44% leap in volume through to 2020 on 2015 figures.

“Forecasts are promising. Aluminium continues to dominate but this doesn’t negate the potential reach of PVC-U.

“Across product ranges, PVC-U is still by far and away the dominant frame material, accounting for more than 80% of all window and door installations.

“If you can offer a product that delivers a really great performance but equally as importantly a strong match to PVC-U systems already installed, it generates a lot of potential retail opportunities.”

Sliders UK’s other PVC-U bi-fold offerings, the Eurocell Aspect and Veka Imagine also carry the same Part Q security approvals and offer an advanced thermal performance with U-values as low as 0.94Wm2/K.

The Ultimate Aspect delivers a real step change in the appearance of PVC-U bifold doors with slim sightlines, elegant hardware and wide choice of foiled options.

The Ultimate Aspect delivers a real step change in the appearance of PVC-U bifold doors with slim sightlines, elegant hardware and wide choice of foiled options.

“The energy efficiency offered by PVC-U systems is another key point. Aluminium systems in general, aren’t as energy efficient as PVC-U systems and the cost of an advanced thermal performance in an aluminium system can put it beyond the reach of homeowners.

“PVC-U systems with strong sightlines like the new Duraflex door, the Imagine and the Aspect, provide an alternative option.”

Despite its recent PVC-U additions, Mines goes to lengths to emphasise that the door specialist remains committed to manufacturing a range of products.

To this end, it launched the Ultimate Evolution aluminium adjustable jamb bi-fold system at the end of the summer alongside its established ALUK offer. PAS24:2012 and Part Q approved, the Ultimate Evolution features strong sightlines even by the standards of aluminium systems and a highly innovative adjustable jamb option.

“The Ultimate Evolution sits within our over-arching strategy to offer our customers access to the UK’s widest range of inline sliding and bi-folding doors from a single source supplier”, says Mines.

“We have brought a couple of new PVC-U systems on board already, and there are further announcements on our aluminium offer coming down the line. We’re covering all bases.”

He concludes: “That has to be the key. Aluminium is going to continue to sell but there are also some interesting opportunities on the horizon for aluminium systems, particularly in retail but also increasingly in new build.

“The point is that the market for bi-fold doors is going to grow. We are working to position ourselves but also more importantly our customers to maximise the opportunities that this delivers. “

 

For more information please email sales@sliders-uk.com

 

Grounded growth

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Sliders UK added Duraflex’s new bi-folding door to its rapidly expanding range last month.

Sliders UK’s exponential expansion of its product offering has continued at pace. With three new product launches already under its belt this year alone, the door specialist added a fourth – Duraflex’s new bi-fold door to its offer this autumn.

“If you’re manufacturing a wide range of products, windows, doors, roofline – you perhaps don’t need quite the same level of investment but when you’re a specialist, it’s absolutely critical that you remain at the leading edge of technology and service”, says Steve Mines, Sales and Marketing Director Sliders UK.

“That’s what’s driven our investment. We see our growth coming from that of our customers, so if we identify an opportunity which we believe will give them a little more reach or a new platform in what remains a competitive market, we’re committed to pursuing it.”

This is a key point. Mines lays emphasis on the fact that Sliders UK’s market development strategy is built around the growth of its existing customer base, not necessarily the acquisition of new business.

“Don’t get me wrong – if the right customers come along we’d be delighted to work with them but as a business we’re now relatively mature, we have a good customer base and a good order book.

“We’re much more focused on growing our market through our existing customers. That drives a definite shift in thinking. As a business it’s made us look at the fundamental customer benefit of what we do, what determines – and still limits – our growth and that of our customers.”

Sliders UK’s development of its bi-folding door range and the addition of the new Duraflex bi-fold is a case in point. Although it has an established pedigree as a manufacturer of aluminium systems, it has also built a portfolio of PVC-U bi-folds.

“There are a couple of factors that have driven our thinking”, continues Mines. “The first is that when we started out, PVC-U bi-fold doors in general, couldn’t manufacture the aesthetics and architectural merit of aluminium systems.

“New generation PVC-U bi-folds have now changed and offer a far higher level of performance. The Aspect from Eurocell, the Imagine from Veka – both of which we already fabricate – and now Duraflex’s new offering, give aluminium systems a run for their money.

“And this really is the second point. If you’re looking at the limits on bi-fold market growth, it’s product affordability not end-user aspiration, which puts a ceiling on market potential – PVC-U bi-folds lift it.”

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations,  there new Duraflex Bi-fold from Sliders UK achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations, there new Duraflex Bi-fold from Sliders UK achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

PAS24:2012 and Part Q compliant, the new Duraflex bi-fold is fully integrated with the systems company’s Diamond suite, featuring bevelled and chamfered options.

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations, three low threshold options and featuring Duraflex’s Q-lon, low line gasket, the system also achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

Colour options include a complete range of the latest solid and wood grain foils, as well as further aesthetic appeal including grey both sides on grey substrate; woodgrain on both sides, on brown, or tan substrate.

“Sightlines on the Duraflex door are great – it’s such a transformation from where PVC-U bi-fold doors were”, continues Mines.

“Thermal performance over aluminium systems is another major advantager. At 1.1Wm2/K, in common with the Eurocell Aspect and Veka Imagine, the Duraflex bi-fold delivers a level of performance out of reach of aluminium systems.

“The aesthetics and high end architectural quality delivered by aluminium systems mean that they are always going to be an important part of your portfolio as an installer but new generation PVC-U products give a different area of reach.”

So what of forecasts for the bi-fold sector? Well although fortunes for the window industry as a whole may be mixed, it remains tipped for continuing growth.

Published in October, Palmer’s new market research report, The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain, argues that it will see growth on current figures of 44 per cent through to 2020 and although still dominated by aluminium, PVC-U will see growing volume.

In addition to last month’s launch of the Duraflex bi-fold, Sliders UK had already significantly expanded its PVC-U product offer. This includes the launch of the Premiline Pro inline Sliding Door from Kömmerling, with its PAS24:2012 Part Q and Part M, accredited patented interlock shootbolt system in January.

Sliders UK then brought the Imagine from Veka – on board in the early summer and its new Ultimate Evolution aluminium fully adjustable jamb system at the start of the autumn.

Featuring custom designed hardware from ERA, the PAS24:2012 accredited Veka Imagine from Sliders UK also delivers top U-values of up to 0.94W/m2k and an indicative DSER rating of A+13 .

Featuring custom designed hardware from ERA, the PAS24:2012 accredited Veka Imagine from Sliders UK also delivers top U-values of up to 0.94W/m2k and an indicative DSER rating of A+13 .

“We have added products which we see as adding opportunities for the installer. The PremiLine Pro is a very strong sliding door proposition, particularly in the commercial sector” says Mines.

“The Veka Imagine and Duraflex Bi-fold, each offer something slightly different and with the Ultimate Aspect give us and our customers reach into a wider bi-fold door market. The Ultimate Evolution compliments our ALUK offer.

“For us it’s been about covering the market from a single point of supply. Our customers aren’t tied into systems but can also access a wide spectrum of products from a single point of supply.”

In addition to the expansion of its range, the door specialist is also in the process of delivering a 10,000 sq ft addition to its six-acre state of the art manufacturing centre.

“This year has been about laying down the foundations – literally but also in terms of our product portfolio for growth, ours but also that of our customers by adding to our range and investing in our infrastructure. It comes down to that same basic analysis of customer benefit – what can we do to support their success because that’s what delivers our growth?”, concludes Mines.

 

For more information contact sales@sliders-uk.com

‘Breaking new ground’: work starts on Sliders UK 10,000 sq ft factory expansion

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Work has started on a major extension of Sliders UK state-of-the art manufacturing facility factory and distribution centre, as the trade door specialist gears-up for continuing growth.

Scheduled for completion by the year-end, the new 10,000 sq ft facility, will house a new purpose-built distribution facility and new lines, as Sliders UK continues the expansion of its rapidly growing product portfolio.

Offering lead times of just two weeks, this has included the launch of four new products so far this year. This includes the Ultimate Evolution and Duraflex bi-fold doors, which were launched this autumn.

They followed the launch of the Ultimate Imagine bi-folding door in March and that of the PremiLine PRO patio from Kömmerling to its Part Q approved Ultimate inline sliding door and bi-folding door ranges, in April. This is in addition to established offers from ALUK, Eurocell and Distinction.

Our new 10,000 sq ft facility, will house a new purpose-built distribution facility and new lines

Our new 10,000 sq ft facility, will house a new purpose-built distribution facility and new lines as we continue the expansion of our rapidly growing product portfolio.

Operations Director, Alex Murphy, said: “We have seen some very significant growth, but it’s absolutely paramount that as we move forward, we do so sustainably.

“We have a number of exciting developments down the line and the current expansion of our facility gives us the future capacity that we will need to accommodate them and deliver growth sustainably.”

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations,  there new Duraflex Bi-fold from Sliders UK achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations, there new Duraflex Bi-fold from Sliders UK achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

PAS24:2012 and Part Q compliant, the new Duraflex bi-folding door is fully integrated with the systems company’s Diamond suite, featuring beveled and chamfered options.

With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations, three low threshold options and featuring Duraflex’s Q-lon, low line gasket, the system also achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.

Also Part Q approved, the Ultimate Evolution aluminium bi-folding door features ultra slim sightlines – even compared to the standards set by other leading aluminium systems. At the same time, an innovative fully adjustable jamb option, simplifies door setting and squaring, saving time on site.

Murphy continued: “We manufacture a wide range of composite doors and aluminium and PVC-U bi-folding and patio doors – probably more than anyone else.

“But as a specialist, that’s all we do. Our lines are optimized for door fabrication, our people are trained in it and that combination means that our quality and services levels are high.

“We continue to build our offer because we see the opportunities ahead for supply into trade and new build markets, for us its very much about controlled growth. The investment we’re now making gives us that.”

“New customers are important but bringing our existing fabricator and installer base with us is our priority as we recognize that our growth is built on theirs.”

 

For more information contact sales@sliders-uk.com