Product development with purpose
Deceuninck Aluminium has been defined by a relentless programme of product launches. What’s most impressive, argues the company’s director Nigel Headford, is that they have been delivered with a minimal increase in stockholding.
In 2023, it was about the launch of Deceuninck’s new flush casement. Designed in the UK, flush inside and out, and with U-values as low as 0.8W/m2k triple-glazed – and 1.2W/m2k with a standard unit – it’s a new aluminium system which immediately attracted the attention of fabricators.
It is, however, only the latest in a series of launches which began with the Decalu88 bi-fold (U-values in this case go even lower to 0.68W/m2K).
This was followed by the Decalu163 lift-and-slide; then the Decalu88 range of contemporary casements, reversible, tilt and turn, and heritage options – each delivering U-values low enough to comfortably meet whatever changes Part L and Future Homes delivers.
But it’s not about u-values!
“Everyone thinks Decalu is about U-values. How low we get in an aluminium system right across our range,” said Nigel Headford, director, Deceuninck Aluminium.
“But that’s not the mainreason for fabricating it. It’s just one of them.
“The biggest win is stock holding. That you can manufacture a complete window and door range – a casement window, a bi-fold, a French door and a genuine entrance door, holding only 15-different profiles in stock plus one common glazing bead.”
“We are offering a complete system, each element is designed to meet a different requirement, a casement, a tilt and turn, a bi-folding door – but it is a system, not a series of distinct products.”
Decalu is built around a single energy efficient inner frame and mid-section. Only the front face changes.
“Modularity delivers a lot of benefits. If you can make one product, your fabrication teams can make them all,” Nigel says.
“The same goes for installation. If you fit one Decalu product, you can fit every other product, with pre-installed co-extruded gaskets delivering stacks of time on site.
“And if you’re the homeowner, what you’re getting are uniform sightlines, with flush finish gasket. It works for everyone from the fabricator to the end-user.”
Decalu offers manufacturing efficiencies and time savings of 30-40% over other premium aluminium systems. This includes, in addition to the single inner frame and mid-section, integrated insulation and pre-inserted, flush to the bead, co-extruded gaskets.
It also comes with a PVC-U Eurogroove, which means that it accepts standard hardware. The point being that if you’re running a PVC-U line, you don’t have to buy in, and stock separate aluminium hardware alongside it.
Re-thinking the supply chain
“Installers are selling, or ideally want to be selling, a whole houseful of products,” Nigel continued. “They want to be selling products which deliver consistent sightlines and which they’re comfortable fitting. Their customer, the end user also wants that consistency.
“I’m not convinced that that always carries across to fabrication when the benefits of adopting a ‘whole house approach’ are even bigger for manufacturers because it directly benefits their cashflow by lowering stock holding.
“The fabricators who get it, get it. But there are plenty of others who could benefit but aren’t and that’s what we’re working to change.”