NEW YEAR MESSAGES
If 2018 was good for ODL
Europe then 2019 is looking
When I look back at 2018 I
see a strong year for the company. The
composite door market continued to grow and we benefited from
that growth thanks to the strength of our offering.
We are the exclusive UK partner of internationally renowned
Capstone Engineering. There are three things that set the
Capstone door apart: superior construction, superior security
and superior aesthetics. We also supply the industry-leading
TriSYS glazing cassette system that is easy to install and delivers
outstanding aesthetic appeal. Together, the two products mean
we offer a market-beating composite door solution and, in 2018,
more customers than ever before discovered what we have to
2018 also saw us focus on making our business more efficient
and more sustainable. For example, in just nine months we
reduced the amount of plastic and general waste we were sending
to landfill by four tonnes per week. Our efforts were recognised
when we were shortlisted for the Sustainability Initiative of the
Year category at the G18 Awards.
Looking forward to 2019, we will be introducing a new online
platform that will help us to deliver even more value for our
customers. We believe in continual investment in our business
so we can be sure we are offering our customers the very highest
levels of service. Our new online platform is just the latest
example of this.
I’m excited to announce that we will be unveiling new products
in the first few months of the year too. I can’t say much at the
moment, but I can say that the products will offer even more in
composite door design and flexibility, helping our customers to
maximise the opportunities that exist.
Our new products, together with the rest of our range, will be
on display on our stand at FIT 2019, where visitors will be able to
find out more about what we have to offer and the value we can
add to their businesses.
There are number of key
factors which we’d argue
will have a significant
influence on the fortunes of
window and glass manufacturers – oh, and
then there’s Brexit as well!
Taking the ones closest to home first, it’s clear that we’re not
only facing a skills crisis but a fundamental shortage of labour.
Net migration is down while employment and wages are up
– in the case of the latter, 3.1% at the last count going into last
Why is this important? Well, as a manufacturing industry,
we’re still heavily reliant on labour – far more so than any other
developed European economy. This has had a massive impact on
productivity, but also now, in the face of rising wages and lower
availability of workers, labour costs.
If you have been throwing manpower at the job to delay
capital spend on automation, 2019 really is going to be the time
to think again because your labour costs are going to spiral.
Automation is also going to be far more significant in
aluminium manufacture. That’s because PVC-U manufacturers
are moving into aluminium in bigger numbers and applying the
highly automated principles of PVC-U fabrication to aluminium
“it’s clear that we’re not only facing
a skills crisis but a fundamental
– particularly bi-folding doors.
Machinery platforms like the FOM LMT65, mean that they can
bring the same fundamental principles of PVC-U manufacture to
aluminium - namely, volume, efficiency and consistently product
quality through automation of process.
The LMT65, which can fully cut and prep a complete bi-fold
in 15-minutes or less, is already delivering a step change in the
aluminium doors and windows are being made.
We’re also seeing continuing demand in PVC-U for higher
quality finishes. The Graf SL4FF and SL4FF Evo seamless
welders, alongside the SLS seamless sill welder, are setting a
new standard in PVC-U finish but doing so alongside significant
production efficiencies – manufacturing frames in as little as
In glass we’d suggest the defining trend this year will continue
in the same vein as last year – namely super-sized IGUs. Forel’s
newly refined Art VC laminate cutting line which is, for example,
geared up for large scale processing and is capable of handling
sheets of up to 6,000mm x 3,300mm.
So, what does that leave? Oh yeah, Brexit! We, like the rest of
the country, haven’t got a clue, but we do know about machinery,
so that’s what we’ll continue to focus on!
www.ggpmag.com January 2019
shortage of labour”