A new approach to supply

Emplas’s new aluminium offer extends beyond bifold and inline sliding doors, explains Jody Vincent, sales director at Emplas.

Emplas isn’t new to aluminium, even though our offer is. We have decades of experience in commercial aluminium supply, which we have been applying to a new trade offer since May.

We have a 20,000ft2 standalone aluminium manufacturing facility, and extensive expertise in manufacture of commercial aluminium. We simply haven’t pushed that capability to the trade.

We started manufacturing the Aluk F82 Bifold in 2019, followed by the 58BWST, including flush casement option, plus an extensive aluminium door offer.

This includes Aluk’s BSF70 Bifold, the BSC94 Inline Sliding, and the 58BWD Entrance Door, including a flush option.

The 58BW ST Heritage and Flush windows were important in driving our decision to launch with Aluk. The expanded range of doors that we can now offer to our customers was even more fundamental.

The F82 and BSF70 give our customers access to a leading edge and thermally efficient aluminium bifold and an established 70mm system. With the Aluk BSC94, it’s a very compelling offer.

The launch product for our move into aluminium in 2019, the Aluk F82, offers class leading U-values of 1.4W/m²K double-glazed, and as low as 0.9W/m²K when triple glazed. It’s also Part Q-approved and features Aluk’s patented ‘T’ handle.

Also, Part Q and PAS24 accredited, the BSF70 features concealed running gear, heavy duty rollers and stainless-steel tracks with multiple opening options. Also, featuring a patented flush-line pop-out handle, its available in 14 different configurations and up to a maximum of seven individual panels.

It’s a 70mm system, and that gives it perhaps slightly more appeal where doors are being installed as a replacement product as it saves time on plaster cut-back.

The Aluk BSC94 Inline Sliding Patio gives us an aluminium option, in addition to our PVCU offer from PatioMaster. Accommodating individual panel heights of up to 3,000mm and maximum weights per panel of 400kg, it maximises opportunities across retail and commercial markets. It also features an ultra-slimline 45mm interlock option. This compares a standard 85mm interlock, minimising disruption to sightlines.

Bifolds are forecast to see average growth of 5% through to 2023, with a projected value of £113 million by 2023.

Aluminium remains overwhelmingly the most popular material type, with the majority of bifolding doors supplied as replacements for older inline sliding products, with enhanced aesthetics, energy efficiency, and the desire to connect spaces key drivers of purchase.

The other product that we think will have significant market reach is the flush option on the 58BW entrance door. It delivers a lot of deign design flexibility, accommodating glazing units of up to 44mm with a maximum vent weight of 90kg and frame height of 2,160mm, but you can also choose a flush sash option.

That ability to match a flush casement window to a flush door is a real selling point at point of retail. We know how much demand we’ve seen in PVCU. It’s going to drive sales in aluminium.

The ability to place orders for aluminium doors and windows in the same way as they place orders for PVCU products is another selling point for our new door range.

Emplas customers automatically get access to Window Designer and can get quotes, and place and track orders 24/7 through EVA.

In extending that to our aluminium range we’re making aluminium far more accessible, and we believe challenging accepted standards of service, as well as support.

With lead times of as little as 15 days, we have also developed a flexible colour offer from stock including hipca white, anthracite grey, chocolate brown and deep black, plus dual colour options as well as bespoke colours and textured options.

I don’t need to labour the point about the demand that exists for aluminium products, particularly bifolding and inline sliding doors. It’s about how you service it and the support you get in doing that as an installer. All of our PVCU customers will be buying and fitting aluminium, and there are lots of other people who we don’t currently work with but would like to.

To them, I would ask do you get the support and service levels from your fabricator that you need? Sales tools like WindowCAD, the ability to place orders on Window Designer, video installation guides, retail brochures? And, if you’re already buying PVCU product from us, could buying aluminium too simplify your business and give you time back to focus on fitting?

These are real opportunities, and we are going to drive change.