40th anniversary celebrated in style

Emplas has set out its plans for growth and continuing investment as part of a special celebration to mark its 40th year in business.

Held on the 15th June, the open day was attended by more than 150 customers and representatives from across the industry.

It began with a tour of Emplas’s manufacturing facility as customers saw how £3.5 million investment in the last year alone is driving improved efficiency, quality and service levels.

The factory tour was followed by a review of the key influences driving the window and door market by Ryan Johnson, managing director of Emplas.

Speaking at the event he warned consolidation continued to shape fabrication and glass sectors, something which he said had driven Emplas’s acquisition of Padiham Glass in May this year

“We’re seeing continuing consolidation and significant change in the IGU market,” he said. “Taking a controlling stake in Padiham Glass, we’re to some degree able to insulate ourselves and our customers from its wider impact.”

This was a theme developed by Kush Patel, deputy managing director, who said that automation was key in securing Emplas’s and its customers long-term futures.

“The £3.5 million investment that you’ve seen, and we’re making in our factory, is being done in response to challenges in the market,” he said.

“It allows us to control our costs and to drive up quality. The investment we have made in our two Schirmer cutting and machining centres have driven step change in our manufacturing process.

“We don’t get it right first time, all of the time, but we’re getting closer and closer to that point, because of the incredible accuracy that we have introduced right at the very start of our manufacturing process and which then carries on right through production.”

Ryan also highlighted the additional opportunities that ownership of its glass supply offered Emplas customers.

“Glass is our second biggest purchase cost and there are opportunities to make more from it,” he said. “Energy efficiency, solar control, acoustic glass – these are significant opportunities.

“If we embrace glass, understand it and take advantage of it, it gives us a far stronger argument to take to the homeowner and persuade them that they should replace windows that in most cases have already been replaced once already.”

This market analysis was followed by a special preview of the new ‘Smart Equipped’ door handle, which Emplas will launch and supply as standard and at no extra cost to the installers, later this summer.

Other new product developments on show included new seamless reverse-butt welds and seamless bay sills, thanks to investment in the latest machinery.

Emplas also previewed its new Super Espag PAS24 certified window lock. Developed with SAC, in improving the performance of espags, it eliminates the need for shoot bolts. This reduces costs while still meeting requirements under Part Q and SBD.

John Leary, sales and marketing director at Emplas, said: “We have a growing number of customers working in new build where there is always a pressure on price point.

“We have developed a solution in partnership with SAC, which allows our customers to offer a very competitively priced new build window, which should give them a distinct advantage.”

Following tours of Emplas retail business, T&K home improvements, guests departed for a gala dinner, held at near-by Whittlebury Hall and hosted by comedian and comedy writer Paul Kerensa.

Concluding, Ryan said: “I’m very proud of what we have delivered over the last 40 years. We are also committed to being here for the next 40.

“There are some challenges ahead but the investment we’re making allows us to insulate ourselves and also our customers from those challenges, by continuously improving quality, service and efficiency.

“We also remain true to the values on which we were founded. We are a family-run business and that’s not going to change. We look forward to working with our customers, existing and new, long into the future.”