Offering something new

Deceuninck has raised its UK profile in recent years, particularly in relation to it investment in colour. Part of this is thanks to the company’s strong Belgian parent company, so Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell went to find out more.

Deceuninck’s UK base in Calne, Wiltshire, continues to expand as the company grows its market share and invest in colour – promoting the headline-grabbing promise that it offers 26 colourways in stock, including matching trims, ancillaries and cills.

The company’s 140,000ft2 warehouse was recently opened to house up to £4 million in stock to meet this promise, while creating extra space for new extrusion lines and four new foiling lines.

Deceuninck’s managing director Rob McGlennon told Glass Times that almost 50% of its order book includes colour.

“It’s taken a lot of time, effort and investment for us to get to this point but we saw the trend for colour coming and we wanted to be ready on behalf of our customers and our customers’ customers,” Rob said. “The fact that we planned ahead and put our money where our mouth is, has given our customers the ability to get ahead of the competition, which is precisely what Deceuninck always aims to do for our fabricators and their installer customers.”

Recently, Glass Times joined a couple of Deceuninck’s customers to Belgium to understand the scale of the operation that supports the company’s operation in the UK. One of those customers was in the process of switching over from a supplier that it had been with since it started business. The reason for switching? Colour, alongside a better supply guarantee and a working relationship.

Deceuninck’s site in Belgium is massive – so big that bikes are provided to help staff get around. Dozens of extrusion lines sit alongside labyrinthine warehousing, advanced profile manufacture, and significant advances in colour technology.

In the lobby, a video runs on a loop detailing the company’s 80-year history. Some of the figures are worth pausing to digest: 4,000 customers in 91 countries from 14 factories and 22 warehouses worldwide; 3,600 employees; and 670 million euros in sales (2016).

Furthermore, Deceuninck is one of Belgium’s top five companies, and claims to be the third largest extruder of profile in Europe.

During a tour of the site Glass Times was given exclusive access to two areas that housed new technology.

The first was a new £4 million investment in painting technology that gives profile a solid grey substrate, which comes with a ten-year guarantee.

“The new grey base substrate can also be foiled which gives our customers yet another way to deliver colour in an increasingly colourful market,” Rob said. “Grey continues to be a popular colour choice for end users and our new grey substrate uses RAL 7021 which we think will meet this demand perfectly.”

The water-based paint is applied at a 25-micron-thick consistency, which is then baked for peak durability. The finish has a slight grain that helps it to emulate aluminium and provide a better surface for foil adhesion.

“It’s a rather unique challenge that PVCU has,” Rob said, “in that it is always being compared to something else. We are expected to devise profile and finishes that can be mistaken for timber or aluminium. But the market wants it, and we provide slim sightlines, low U-values and realistic colour.”

It is an ongoing discussion that systems companies have – that PVCU should be regarded as a profile in it its own right and not as a substitute for something else.

Interestingly, this leads us on to the second exclusive area, which is Deceuninck’s new reinforced profile, called Linktrusion that offers improved thermal performance, alongside greater strength, with an attractive price point.

Yes, there are comparisons made with aluminium, but the firm hopes that Linktrusion will be an attractive product in its own right

“As specifiers, clients and architects have woken up to the benefits of this unique technology, we are now looking for ambitious companies across the UK to help meet this relentless demand for next generation fenestration solutions and to help grow our fabrication and installation network,” Rob said.

“London and Quadrant (L & Q) was one client who chose this advanced technology for its recent flagship project in Abbey Road, Barking. Being one of the UK’s leading housing associations and one of London’s largest residential developers, this technology was fitting for this attractive development. Using Deceuninck’s unique Linktrusion technology the project was completed in Decoroc anthracite grey RAL 7016 – a very popular choice of colour in the current commercial sector.”

Rob said windows made with Linktrsion are as strong as steel reinforced windows, 30% more thermally efficient with U-values below 0.8W/m2K, and save up to 40% on materials and weight. New design opportunities are also generated through slimmer sightlines and increased sash sizes (1,150mm x 2,500mm single doors).

Deceuninck is self sufficient in the UK, with a significant manufacturing and warehousing presence. However, it is always worth remembering that its Belgian backers help it to achieve heights that similar sized companies would have difficulty reaching.

Deceuninck Ltd
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