Sternfenster has responded to a significant rise in demand for aluminium with a 101% increase in output, year-on-year, for the first quarter of 2021. Fuelled by continuing high levels of activity in the retail sector, volume of aluminium product in March alone was 83% up on the same period 12 months ago.
The Lincoln-based fabricator opened a dedicated, 30,000ft² £3.6m aluminium facility in 2017. It has continued to invest heavily in automation since then, with a six-figure outlay on machinery in the last 12 months. This included a new Schirmer ALU BAZ Composite Orbit-C machining and cutting centre and a four-head Ever Theta frame crimping machine from FOM. Both machines have delivered substantial improvements in manufacturing efficiency and have proved to be instrumental in Sternfenster’s ability to increase output of aluminium product, while retaining consistent, high levels of quality.
This means that, despite unprecedented demand, the fabricator is maintaining competitive lead times across its aluminium offer. This includes its Smart Visolfold aluminium bi-fold, in standard RAL grey, black and white and dual grey on white – plus its Smart Alitherm 300 casement window in RAL white and grey – on a five-day turnaround. If ordered with single colours, Sternfenster is offering its Visofold bi-fold in 10 days, with other products, such as its Smart Visoglide inline slider and Smart Heritage 47 casement also available from just 10 days.
Nathan Court, Sternfenster’s sales director, said: “Demand from the retail sector has continued unabated and that is reflected in our volume of output for Q1 2021. We are experiencing high order volumes across the board, for aluminium but also for PVC, and we are expecting that to continue in the short to medium term.
“While that’s good news for the industry, the flip side is that it’s going to put additional strain on supply chains that are already under a lot of pressure. Our Sternfenster Plus portal offers a wealth of information, news and downloadable training and marketing material, but one of the standout features is our live production feed, that offers real time data on capacity across our aluminium and PVC factories.
“It gives our installer customers complete visibility of our manufacturing capacity, at point of order right through to delivery. They can also take advantage of our CRM system, EasyAdmin, which allows them to prepare professional quotes, order online, keep track of leads and generate invoices and sales reports.
“Both are powerful, digital tools that are designed to help our customers run their businesses more efficiently and effectively, providing information that will be invaluable in managing their expectations, and those of their homeowner customers, in the challenging times ahead,” Nathan concluded.