Pro Installer December 2021 - Issue 105 - Page 44

44 | DECEMBER 2021



Glass manufacturer , TuffX , has applied for planning permission to increase its Knowsley premises by a further 30,000ft 2 in the latest stage of its extensive , long-term expansion plans . Combined with its existing 80,000ft 2 facility , the proposed addition will bring the total factory area to a substantial 110,000ft 2 .
The move , made in response to continuing high demand for TuffX ’ s products , follows the addition of an extra 10,000ft 2 of factory space earlier this year , allowing the company to ramp-up production of its increasingly popular
Infinity range of rooflights and walk-on glass units .
Further investment to ‘ future-proof ’ the business comes in the form of new machinery including a third cutting line , a fourth glass furnace , a second screen printing machine and a third insulated glass ( IG ) line .
This comes after the purchase of a new Bovone SLE machine , made earlier this year , as well as recent investment in a state-ofthe-art Glaston RC Series furnace and Bottero cutting line , as part of TuffX ’ s ongoing commitment to increase both throughput and efficiency .
With a consistent track-record of investment in recent years , the new developments form the latest part of the leading toughened glass specialist ’ s long-term plan for growth . As well as factory expansion and machinery purchases , this has included the recruitment of more staff and the addition of three new 13-tonne Mercedes trucks to the TuffX fleet , bringing the total number of TuffX vehicles on the road to 34 .
www . tuffxglass . co . uk
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Andrew Scott , industry consultant and CEO of Insight Data , predicts an increase in fabricator start-ups as capacity problems plague existing fabricators . His prediction follows data revealed at the recent Glazing Summit conference , where he highlighted a decline in PVC-U fabricators – from 1,860 manufacturers ten years ago to 1,195 today .
“ Some have pulled out of fabrication to focus on installation , others , such as Sash UK and Indigo Products have collapsed ,” Andrew explained .
While many fabricators have expanded production capacity in recent years the current increase in consumer demand , coupled with supply-chain problems means many installers are struggling to source products , with lead times extending and prices increasing . Some fabricators have even turned away customers .
Andrew continues : “ Faced with ever decreasing options , some installers are now seriously considering manufacturing . The main driver appears to be better control over their supply chain . Indeed , one systems company reported that only 40 % of new customers this year are swap-overs , 60 % are either companies wishing to fabricate for the first time or are returning to manufacturing after pulling out in the past .
“ Of course , manufacturing brings its own set of problems and requires specialist skills – as well as availability of machinery , materials and labour . However ,
it appears to be an increasingly attractive – or necessary – option for some firms .”
Make UK , the body that represents 20,000 British manufacturers , upgraded its forecast in June and expects manufacturing growth to double .
This data is an extract from the full Insight Data Report 2021 , available at www . insightdata . co . uk / reports /

Window Ware impresses leading fabricator through pandemic

Window Ware ’ s unwavering commitment to customers has impressed one of the country ’ s leading premium fabricators .
The trusted hardware distributor has pulled out all the stops to keep the hardware coming for its customers , meet heightened demand and maintain a strong OTIF despite ongoing supply chain challenges in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic .
Tony Nelson , Procurement Manager at Dekko Window Systems Ltd agrees : “ Window Ware have been a reliable and supportive supply chain partner to Dekko for many years . More recently during the pandemic , we have been impressed with the business resilience they have built to
protect and maintain service continuity to us , which is testament to them , and has been essential for our business during these unprecedented times .”
Even though the last 18 months has thrown up everything from lockdowns and factory closures to resource constraints and shipping delays , Window Ware has still strived to maintain their same-day response promise and made sure no customer enquiry went unanswered . No matter what , they have continued to monitor their KPIs throughout and hit targets on order input , pick accuracy and back orders
which all support high OTIF and keep customer service levels high .
Window Ware MD Sam Nuckey said : “ We know how much our customers depend on our products and services and we ’ ve worked hard to meet their every hardware need
through what ’ s been a particularly demanding year and a half . Hearing positive feedback like this from a renowned fabricator like Dekko makes all the effort worthwhile .”
www . windowware . co . uk