044 GGP 1214

GGP December 2014

Profiles & Systems Manufacturing a better frame TruFrame is one of the largest window and door manufacturers in the UK and have launched an initiative to promote a better finished frame. Managing director, David Firmager, explains the rationale behind TruFrame’s dedication to providing a more The modern day window manufacturer is a very different animal to the one of 10 years ago and a walk around our factory will be testament to this. We have, in recent years, introduced a paperless production environment, world class manufacturing processes and the latest automated machinery from Germany, yet we still hand finish every PVC-U window and door we make. Our philosophy may well be at odds with other manufacturing companies in the sector, who look to process PVC-U profiles as quickly as possible. We have a number of unique value added processes, which we believe enhance overall product quality and add a level of craftsmanship to every frame we make. In any production-led environment, the materials are as important as the processes employed to make the finished product, and window and door manufacturing is no different. We have been exclusively manufacturing the Liniar profile system since 2012 and its sixchambered range of Energy Plus profiles allows us to supply the industry with the most energy efficient 70mm PVC-U casement window and doors. This is also complemented with our range of upgrades and ancillaries, Liniar patio door and impressive bi-folding door system with patented concealed hardware. Hand finishing All of our profiles are prepared by one of the three automated cutting and machining centres, before being sent down dedicated frame and sash lines for welding and cleaning. Unlike some of our competitors, we quad weld all of the sashes to ensure uniformity and squareness in all three axis, an important part of our manufacturing process. The next stage is very much unique to TruFrame and something that our customers truly value and see as a feature they can, in turn, sell to the consumer – hand finishing. All of our PVC-U frames are worked over by a skilled technician to ensure an exemplary high quality finish and we believe that there should always be a degree of craftsmanship involved when producing a ‘made-to-measure’ product. The process begins with all corner contours being checked for general visual appearance and consistency, before being refinished by hand using precision chisels to guarantee the best 44 December 2014 possible finish. The outside edges are then levelled at the corners using engineered contour blocks, which helps to maintain the sash’s square silhouette once hung into the frame. The next stage involves checking the uniformity of all corner grooves, with a manual deepening operation being performed if an individual groove is found to be too shallow. Finally, all apertures are inspected for weld build-up in the corners, with any protrusion removed to ensure a perfect weather seal. The frames are then beaded before being passed through to quality control, unless the customer has requested to have decorative astragal bars on their product, which itself is a carefully managed additional process. To make the transition period for new customers from their existing supplier to TruFrame a seamless experience, a two-step check is done at this stage. This is also done for high value items, such as bifold and patio doors or anything that has had astragal bars fitted or painted, to ensure that the finished product matches up to our exacting standards and the consumer’s high expectations. It’s important to note that there are over 40 barcode scanning stations positioned throughout the factory. These stations offer time-saving automation for processes such as welding, whilst allowing TruFrame to operate a completely paperless production environment as well as ensuring total traceability of every frame by producing a 100% accurate audit trail. The final stage of the process involves the careful packaging, storage, dispatch and delivery of products across the UK, within seven days for the vast majority of orders. Throughout the entire manufacturing environment we have implemented what we believe to be some of the best manufacturing processes in the industry. These are also recognised by the international quality standards that we carry, including ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Our manufacturing process is considerably different to any other one in the UK at present and one which we are constantly refining. The point is that modern manufacturing processes can be integrated with a degree of craftsmanship to create products that exude just a little extra care and quality – for us that means a better finished frame with our name on it. hand crafted product. “Our philosophy may well be at odds with other manufacturing companies”


GGP December 2014
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