Traditional timber-type jointing

The ProfteQ machining, milling and welding platform combines affordability and advanced engineering, according to Lee Marriott, sales and marketing manager at Promac Group, who explains what it offers fabricators.

The ProfteQ milling and welding platform makes timber-look joints in PVCU accessible for a price tag that should be affordable to anyone in fabrication. When we saw its potential reach, we were just flabbergasted.

We unveiled the ProfteQ machining and cutting centre and accompanying four or two-head welders at the FIT Show in May 2017. It supports entry to high margin traditional timber-type PVCU welds through just two primary machinery platforms, while delivering a high level of flexibility.

There are so many advantages to this platform. The primary reason for investing in it is that it allows you to manufacture a 90° weld externally or internally, giving you a timber-look finish in what is a rapidly growing area of the market.

The focus on a single side rather than dual butt-weld means that joints retain a high weld-strength – just 5% less than a standard 45° joint – which is another key advantage.

What you also get is additional capacity to deliver a standard 45° joint – that means extra capacity and flexibility on runs of core product.

You can also switch between systems without changing the tooling on the cutting module – that’s another real advantage as a growing number of fabricators dual-source. It’s about flexibility, efficiency and affordable access to higher margin opportunities.

According to ‘The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain’, published by Palmer in September, PVCU saw 8% growth in margin last year alone on the back of new demand for traditional timber-effect jointing and flush casements.

“While the volume growth was only modest in 2016 it saw some interesting trends towards higher value products with PVCU seeing growth in foiling and mechanical jointing,” according to the report’s authors.

Promac Group has played an important part in setting the current direction of the market. The SL4-FF seamless welder from Graf Synergy contributes to the shift to premium and particularly volume foiled products.

Pre-cleaning to exacting tolerances, then zip welding the corner joint while controlling the flow of sprue, it’s a technology that has since been rolled-out to the SL4FF EVO and the SL4-H FF. The latter introduces a new capability to insert welded transom and mullions into a seamlessly welded frame or sash.

It’s also been applied by the FOM-GS Group to sill manufacture. The SLS deliveres an exceptional finish while reducing total cycle time to less than two minutes per weld, cutting total production time by 90%.

It was while we were out in Italy talking to FOM-GS about the development of the SLS that we started the journey with ProfteQ. We don’t just supply machinery but work with our supply partners to develop it based on the strength of our understanding of the UK market. It’s much more of a two-way process.
This is evidenced in the development of the SLS. The application of seamless welding technology to a sill welding platform by Graf, driven exclusively by demand from fabricators and our communication of it to its supply partner.

ProfteQ is also part of the FOM-GS Group. Although it’s less well known than Graf, it shares a similar culture and has been instrumental in pushing the possibilities of PVCU and welding technologies.

When we went to see ProfteQ, we were shown its platform for internal timber-effect joints. That’s where the market is in Europe – external timber effect jointing just wasn’t on anyone’s radar, it’s all about the internal finish.

When we asked could it do external joints, we were initially told that it wasn’t possible but we looked at it and we worked with ProfteQ and its engineers to develop the platform and a solution that would work.

Starting in June 2016, Joe Hague (MD of Promac Group) and I made a series of visits to Italy. It wasn’t straightforward and there were a lot of technical challenges along the way but we discussed and worked at it, driving the developmental process to come up with a solution that would work for UK fabricators, and seven or eight months down the line, we got there.

That is Promac’s great strength – the way we represent our customers and work in partnership with our suppliers. That means that we can offer fabricators access to some incredible platforms for their money and that’s what we’re now seeing in ProfteQ’s machining and cutting module and welding platforms.
We also supply a second solution: Timberweld. This delivers a twin-sided butt weld using an Urban miller with specialised cutters and an Urban welder with two or four heads, which has the capacity to simultaneously weld either four corners at 90°.

Timberweld delivers an exceptional finish and is perfect for high-end products, but won’t necessary deliver the volume.

ProfteQ is an affordable, efficient and high-yield platform, which allows you to manufacture an external or internal timber-look window, while retaining weld strength and working across multiple systems. It does all of that and more at an incredibly low cost, for what is a highly-engineered solution.