Future proof

CN Glass has invested in a new IGIS IG line from Unilam. Glass Times editor, Luke Wood, talks to CN Glass MD, Gary Mouat, about the advantages it brings.

Luke Wood: Can you give us a little background on how the company was formed, how it has grown and the biggest changes you’ve seen in that time?

Gary Mouat (GM): The company was formed in 1970 by my parents, Trevor and Gill Mouat and based in Chipping Norton – our original name reflected our location, Chipping Norton Glass. We had a small workshop and workforce serving the domestic market, making, installing and repairing windows and doors.

Quickly the company gained a reputation for the quality and professionalism of our work. And with that reputation came growth and diversification. I joined the workforce in 2005 at the age of 15.

Stepping into the commercial glazing market saw a significant growth in business and with it, the realisation that space was required to meet demand. So, in 2015, came the move to our current location a 40,000ft2 factory in Banbury and with it, a simplification of the company name to CN Glass.

The new location allowed us to manufacture glass and double glazed sealed units on a much larger scale, securing our reputation as the leading glass and glazing service in Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas.

Today, my wife Louise and I have stepped up and proudly taken the reins of the company. Since the move to Banbury, CN Glass has evolved to truly be a one stop shop for all things glass: manufacturing, installation and maintenance.

Whether the glass is for domestic or commercial use, we can help manufacture, supply and install windows and doors, mirrors, splashbacks to name just a few.

LW: Industry data suggests an upturn in consumer confidence since Autumn. Would you agree?

GM: Broadly speaking, business has been consistent throughout 2023, although is fair to say that at the beginning of 2023, there were challenges. Some supply chains still faced disruption from the back of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis was understandably having an impact on consumer spending within the domestic market.

However, typically as we move into the winter months, we’ve noticed an upturn as consumers want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

LW: What was the main driver for investing in your new IGIS IG line from Unilam?

GM: Demand. At CN Glass, we have an incredible and highly skilled team manning the factory floor. But as demand grew, we found timeframes slipping and pressures mounting.

LW: What was the level of investment?

GM: The level of investment along with other purchases is a big one but it does mean our lead times are shorter and our product is cleaner.

The advantages this investment brings to the company is clear. It helps us to meet our customer demand and deliver in a timeframe that is expected in the current market. The quality of production is second to none and the investment ensures we have a robust supply chain.

LW: How did Unilam support you with this investment?

GM: Unilam’s support is second to none. We have purchased lots of machinery from Nolan and his team both second hand and brand new. All of which have been good value and of excellent quality.

LW: Are you anticipating an upturn in demand for triple glazing with the forthcoming Future Homes Standard?

GM: We are and yes, we’re ready for it. Whilst we’re able to offer triple glazing, we are excited to be one the few UK suppliers of LandVac vacuum glazing which not only meets but surpasses the new regulations set in Part L.

With a U-Value of just 0.4 and an overall slimness of 8.3mm using 4mm toughened glass – we’re excited to get this out to the marketplace, helping homeowners and those within the commercial marketplace future proof their glazing.

It really is a fantastic product and, with no restrictions on size or shape, a perfect solution to meet the new standard in both heritage and new builds.

LW: Are you also anticipating any upturn in demand for laminate glass?

GM: We have already seen a massive rise in laminated glass. In fact, this will be our next area of investment. We will soon need to upgrade our existing laminated glass cutting line.

LW: What is your outlook for 2024?

GM: Positive. As focus, quite rightly, draws towards making our homes and work places more energy efficient, we are ready to meet demand with a number of solutions. We understand that every property presents its own unique challenges, and our experience enables us to offer advice and guidance to ensure the best solution is found.