Futureproof your business with improved efficiency

Brian McDonald
Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald, the recently appointed CEO of Forel UK and Ireland, gives his thought on the exciting times ahead for the Italian business.

Since setting up the UK subsidiary, the business has gone from strength to strength. Having both a UK based service team and large warehousing facility, we can now offer the support our customers expect.

Over the last two years we have seen an increase in UK sales not just from existing Forel customers but other companies who now recognise the quality of the machinery we produce.

There are many factors why customers are replacing machinery. But looking at the main incentives, it is speed of production and the ability to reduce headcount in a time where employing people within our industry is becoming increasingly harder.

For instance, our latest generation of sealed unit lines can manufacture triple glazed sealed units in a similar time to a 15-year-old line would manufacture a standard double-glazed unit and in many cases with less staff.

With the uncertainty in the market about proposed legislation changes in 2025, our customers are taking the opportunity to make sure their businesses are futureproofed whilst being able to manufacture more efficiently today.

My mission is to bring in the full range of Forel glass machinery to the UK, not just the sealed unit lines that we are so well known for.

In January, our campaign will start for Glasstec in Dusseldorf where we will be showing all our technologies on one stand.

Two of the biggest worldwide markets for the group are glass edging and laminate glass cutting.

Our vertical laminate cutting line works with two cutting bridges which optimise, cut and store the remnant plates. The advantages are both space and output. Because the line is vertical its footprint is much smaller than a traditional laminate cutting table. This, teamed with two bridges, can offer a much greater output than traditional tables.

With the demand for laminate glass growing for the new build sector, many traditional tables will struggle to handle the increased demand. The Forel gives the manufacturer the extra capacity but not at a prohibitive cost.

With glass processing, our vertical processing line is one of our best sellers worldwide as it offers so many processing options in one machine.

The line consists of two stations and a wash, firstly our grinding and edging station, then the separate milling and drilling station.

This gives the processor the ability to manufacture large complex shapes with both internal and external radius as well as our patented system that supports offcuts, preventing damage to the glass being worked and the machine itself

Our vertical processing doesn’t end there. Our vertical arris lines are now becoming commonplace in the UK market. Their speed and efficiency are complimented by a totally dry environment to the working parts so only the areas exposed to water such as the wheels and suction cups see any residue.

This technology is used in all our vertical processing lines and ensures cleanliness and the longevity of our machinery.

As an industry, we are facing some unprecedented times, household names disappearing and a degree of uncertainty due to market forces and issues affecting our economy.

That in many ways is a worry for the coming years but we are seeing that businesses are still prepared to invest now to become more agile

Manpower, quality and efficiency are three factors that are pushing these decisions through. Our ability as a major machinery manufacturer to make these reality are what’s making a difference for Forel.