New welder underpins growth

Unique Window Systems has continued investment in manufacturing with a second Graf SL4FF.

Fabricating more than 2,000 windows per week, the Leicester-based trade and commercial fabricator has reported exponential growth.

Having invested in a Graf Synergy SL4FF seamless corner welder from the Promac Group at the end of 2017, Unique has placed an order for the SL4FF-Evo, further increasing its capacity.

Atul Patel, joint managing director of Unique Window Systems, said machinery investment formed a key element of the company’s growth strategy; delivering efficiencies and volume, while guaranteeing product quality.

He said: “Our growth has been underpinned by our commitment to product quality and service. You can’t deliver that at volume without investment in machinery.

“The outputs and the quality of product that we have been able to deliver through the SL4FF, have been critical to our growth. We have volume, but we have exceptional quality.

“Forecast demand for premium products, particularly foils, but also WarmCore, have driven our decision to expand that capacity still further as part of our long-term strategy.”

According to Palmer, PVCU sales were up by 8% at the last count, driven by a significant leap in sales of foiled products. This, the Palmer report suggests, was most clearly illustrated in the window market, where a 1.2% increase in overall volumes to 6.82 million frames, was outstripped by the increase in installed value of 5.5% to £2.38 billion. This was driven by demand for foils including both woodgrains and solid colours – up 45% since 2013.

Supplied exclusively in the UK by the Promac Group, having pre-cleaned to exacting tolerances, the SL4FF zip welds the corner joint while controlling the flow of sprue, delivering a seamless but strong corner joint.

Unique’s other premium offering is Eurocell’s Modus flush casement system. Unique employs its existing Graf to support its customers in pitching this high-end offer against other top end systems.

“You’re getting an exceptional finish on a foil,” continued Atul. “It generates a sales platform at point of retail, allowing our customers to up-sell Modus … on the strength of the seamless weld.”

The SL4FF and updated SL4FF-Evo both employ an on-board control system and CAD Scan software, which maps the profile chamber configuration directly from a standard photocopier scanner. This allows the operator to work with actual dimensions rather than profile related drawings, bringing a new level of accuracy and finish perfection, Promac said.

According to Promac, the SL4FF not only delivers a better-quality product but can also deliver a twofold increase in productivity compared to other traditional manufacturing processes. This is in part because the SL4FF eliminates any requirement for cooling tables and corner cleaning, also giving it a space-saving footprint of just 25m2.

The machinery platform is self-contained with installed extraction and automatic heater plate cleaning, reducing downtime for any manual intervention. For maintenance and service, the SL4 FF is also equipped with onboard self-diagnostic software and can be accessed via remote support.

Joe Hague, managing director of the Promac Group, said: “The SL4FF has delivered a step change in manufacture. As one of the most innovative platforms to be launched in the UK in a decade or more, it delivers exceptional precision in manufacture over and over again, giving you volume and outstanding quality.

“The SL4FF-Evo has been refined again, accommodating even greater tolerances to bring even more precision to manufacture. Unique’s decision to invest in a second platform is testimony to the quality and efficiencies that it delivers.”