Investment for the long term

The £3.2 million investment programme at TruFrame is one for customers over the long-term, according to managing director David Firmager, who wants to strive for ever better product quality and overall frame finishing.

As part of our product specification, every single PVCU window and door frame we make undergoes our unique four-step hand finishing process. We believe that it is this level of attention to detail that makes our frames so desired by our customers. So why the big investment?

Although, we’re ahead of the game as our financial performance and position within the industry shows, this is a collective success that we share with our valued customers. For any business to thrive in the long-term, there has to be investment in people, processes and capital equipment, something that we’ve always adopted across all business functions at TruFrame.

While we are focussed in the way that we are commissioning new machinery, this cannot detract away from the requirements to service existing customers on a consistent basis and to world-class standards. We have already introduced three single headed welders for butt joints with a weld restriction of just 0.2mm for an improved finish on coloured and woodgrain products, with one now dedicated for ‘T’ and ‘Z’ shaped profiles, and it’s made a positive impact within our busy factory.

Customer feedback has already been very positive with our desire to further improve the quality of frame finishing. Yet the big investment from a financial and operational point of view is the four new BDM cutting and machining centres, the first of which has already been signed off.

These BDMs have been specified with unique features for TruFrame, to satisfy our demands for the best possible capital equipment and manufacturing processes. There is an acoustic cabinet to reduce noise, a custom extraction and evacuation system for unusable off cuts, so we can automate what traditionally has been a manual operation. There’s also an upgraded clamping system so we can cut profiles down to 195mm, to eliminate the need to hand-cut small profile lengths.

Once the last of these four cutting and machining centres has been commissioned we will look to introduce two single head crucifix welders. This will see us change our manufacturing processes from v-notching to arrow heading, so we can produce higher quality and more accurate welds with a restriction of just 0.2mm. Everything that’s part of this machinery programme has been geared around productivity, highly accurate product tolerances and quality.

The final phase of new machinery will conclude in Easter 2018 when the two full Urban 800 lines will be integrated into the new manufacturing process, ultimately providing improved weld finishing and product consistency. Overall this programme of new machinery will not only improve methods and product quality, but will also near double production capacity to cope with increased demand in the long-term, as we continue to enjoy strong growth.

So, while the rationale for all the new machinery as a whole is very much customer centric, we have added clever and safer solutions in the machinery specifications to improve processes within the factory, which also looks after our corporate responsibilities to our employees. While capital equipment and automation is the way forward for us as a business, it’s the people we employ that ultimately satisfy customer needs.

This £3.2 million investment has been driven by our desire for ever better product quality and overall frame finishing, along with increasing our production capacity and improving processes within our manufacturing facility.

It’s also a long-term investment to help support the requirements of our customers today and our prospective customers tomorrow with an unrivalled product proposition, bearing the TruFrame name.