The chancellor has set a new investment allowance of £200,000 per annum ongoing and Stuga hope this will encourage more companies to invest in the latest automation, just the same as the government does. With low interest rates holding out and finance being easier to come by the investment environment is better than it has been for some time. In addition fabricators in most areas of the country are able to obtain substantial grants from the Regional Growth Fund and fabricators with a tidy balance sheet are also helped by the ‘Funding for Lending’ initiative. Stuga are able to help with all aspects of finance and grants.
Poor investment is holding the United Kingdom back in the wealth generation race and whilst the supply of cheap labour and welfare hand-outs has made this problem worse it can be seen in the 2015 summer budget that the government has plans to reduce in-work benefits significantly whilst increasing the basic minimum earnings incrementally in coming years. This will make employing staff more expensive. Automation continues to be the way forward whether for the first time or updating to the latest technology and as the years pass we see more and more fabricators leaving window manufacture because they cannot or will not invest in automation and ultimately cannot compete with those that do.
Stuga specialise in automatic sawing and machining centers which is the area where the most labour savings can be made but in addition to labour savings automation in this part of the production process saves a considerable amount of money in profile as well as reducing remakes. Also, for those that endeavour to produce a decent quality window automation improves quality and consistency.
From a stand-alone automatic saw through to a fully automated sawing & machining center Stuga machines are used widely throughout the uPVC window and door fabrication industry to improve efficiency and the savings are always significant with productivity rising exponentially. For the many fabricators that had the vision to be early adopters of this kind of new technology ten to twenty years ago now is a very good time to upgrade as technology has moved forward apace. Machinery becomes obsolete and wears out so those that thought their major investment many years ago would last forever might be advised to look into upgrading to a new or newer model. Stuga re-works and rebuilds old machines into the latest versions with the newest technology. This means they never become truly obsolete and can keep on working into the future with new and grateful owners that can’t yet afford to buy the latest most expensive models. As the original manufacturer Stuga is easily able to do this whereas machines from Europe that have been purchased from a dealer are usually sold on into the second hand market with nothing more than a spruce up. All rebuilt machines from Stuga come with a full 12 months parts and labour warranty as with a new machine, such is the confidence the company has in its rebuilt products.
Dealers change and dealerships change. An automatic machine purchased from a dealer is fine but what happens when the agency is lost to another dealer? Also an automatic machine purchased on the used market can be very problematic and it can be hard to get good back-up, especially if the dealership has changed. Stuga machines have been built in Norfolk since 1986 including a change of ownership. With such a large number of machines throughout the UK it is hard to imagine how these will not be supported indefinitely into the future as in the past. That is a great comfort for the investment risk when making a big purchase.
Stuga automated machinery includes the Autocut stand-alone saw center for high output sawing of window/door frame and sash with accuracy, consistency and speed; the AutoFlow-2 sawing & machining center with a feature packed small footprint including automated cutting of the frame to sill angle on ‘VS’ frame and the ZX4 fast sawing & machining center for producing 800 to 1,000 windows per week. The ZX4 has been constantly developed over the ten years it has been available and this improvement process will continue as Stuga never stands still.
All models by their nature improve productivity and it is hard to understand sometimes when fabricators cannot easily compete that they don’t see why. The uPVC window and door industry is still consolidating rapidly and only the most efficient will survive in the long term. If a fabricator truly wants to stay independent and manufacture their own windows they must be prepared to put investment high on their priority list, otherwise simply stop fabricating and buy in from a good trade fabricator who has invested. There are plenty of them, very many using Stuga automated sawing & machining centers.