The future of VS manufacture is here

I’ve been round countless window and door factories over the years, but I’ve never had the opportunity to actually make a frame – until last week that is, when Quickslide invited members of the industry press to check out its new, all-singing, all-dancing Schirmer machining centre.

Representing a huge £1.71m investment, the new Schirmer has been custom made to Quickslide’s exact requirements.

With a footprint of 4,120ft, it’s a substantial piece of kit that took three days to be delivered from Germany and two months to install.

Just finding the space for it in Quickslide’s 150,000ft2 Brighouse HQ was a big undertaking, one that eventually meant the removal of the existing IGU line. Glass is now outsourced.

One reason why the Schirmer demands so much space is that it actually incorporates two lines, one for machining, and the other for the insertion of steel reinforcement. The two operations are perfectly synchronised, with profile fed from one to the other at high speed and with pinpoint accuracy.

And to demonstrate just how much time and effort the new machine saves in the manufacturer of Quickslide’s vertical slider range, the company’s bosses invited us all to have a go the old-fashioned way, cutting the steel to length, milling the profile and then screwing it all together.

It was, as you can imagine for a group of people more used to holding a pen than a screwdriver, not the easiest of tasks. But even for time served fabricators, it’s clearly a time-consuming process that has the potential for errors.

According to Ben Weber, Quickslide’s MD: “The length of time that it takes to produce a VS window now compared to 15 years ago has reduced significantly, and with our new Schirmer we are setting new standards for quality and complexity whilst further improving lead times, and doing much to at least stabilise costs, despite the pressures everyone is experiencing.”

Since February 2022, Quickslide has invested £2.7m, and hints that there is more to come in the near future, with additional machinery designed to further automate the production of its VS range, taking product quality, lead times and customer service to a whole new level…

Keep a look out for a full article in the November issue of Glass Times magazine.