Putting a new engine in an old car
Someone recently quoted that old expression ‘you can put a new engine in an old car but it is still an old car’. This is of course true but what if you can actually rebuild the whole car and make it better than some new cars complete with a full warranty and total service care back-up? We are of course referring to Stuga rebuilt sawing & machining centers for uPVC window and door production rather than cars, along with somewhat juvenile negative publicity aimed at offering new and cheap machines from a low cost manufacturing country.
For those of us that can remember how cars were built in the days prior to mass production these vehicles were much like bespoke machine tools that are used for uPVC window production whereby every part can be replaced as required creating a fully rebuilt machine with a new engine. The original quote appeared to suggest that it was perhaps better to purchase a new machine that was cheap, with the super cheap price being connected with a strong Pound however where the now fast sinking Pound leaves that one is an interesting question. This of course could be considered if the new machine and the rebuilt machine were like for like but they are not and even a rebuilt Stuga Flowline has considerably better output than the machine being put forward against it. ‘Apples for apples’ comes to mind.
The fact is that some fabricators like to buy rebuilt British, direct from the manufacturer, rather than cheap and new from a dealer with a foreign manufacturer that has no track record of building this type of machine for our window styles. Perhaps the machines will become established in the future but how much pain does the unsuspecting fabricator need to take on behalf of the developers of a new machine, even if they have been given a fabulous introductory discount?
Even more important might be the back-up for such an important piece of production equipment. It doesn’t matter if the car has a new engine or an old one if the supplier doesn’t have the capacity or skills to offer a top class and fast service in every eventuality that might occur and potentially halt production. If the machine breaks down on Friday afternoon and the technical support is in a time zone that is, say, two hours in front of the UK then perhaps it could be sometime Monday before the fault is identified and the parts can be ordered. When will the machine then be back in production? Perhaps the supplier does have what is needed but purchasers need to make sure and sadly most don’t.
Stuga are always happy to be in competition with other suppliers but we suggest that potential customers look beyond the hype for in-depth technical resource here on the ground in this country where it really counts. A visit to Stuga isn’t quite as exotic as visiting somewhere like Istanbul for instance but it doesn’t take as long either, the language and culture in Norfolk are arguably British, the time-zone is the same and the depth of technical resource can be seen and touched. The stock can be looked at and the team behind design, build, software and back-up all met in one day.
Stuga are currently building more new than rebuilt machines but demand for Stuga rebuilds with a proven track record are such that the company is actively seeking machines to fill a waiting list. A Stuga Flowline rebuilt is able to produce between 500 and 600 windows per week. The same machine built to a ZX3 specification can produce 600 to 700 windows per week and both versions come with 12 months parts and labour warranty. An extended warranty can also be purchased as long as the machine is properly serviced by Stuga technicians. All outputs of Stuga machines are guaranteed but some dealers claim that the output of these machines cannot be calculated. If this is the case then how can Stuga guarantee it? The simple fact is that it can be easily calculated.
Sixteen fabricators have now benefitted from Stuga rebuilds. Some of these are new customers and some are established ones that purchased their Stuga 10 to 13 years ago, made hundreds of thousands of windows with it and now want to come up to date with a newer more versatile version. Others simply wanted more capacity at an affordable price but wanted another Stuga rather than something new and unknown that is slower and has no additional benefits.
With sales of new machines picking up Stuga hope to take more old machines back in part exchange so that the waiting list for rebuilds complete with their new engines can be satisfied to everyone’s benefit. Orders for new machines include a second recent ZX4 top of the range sawing & machine center with an output of 800 to 1000 windows per week and an AutoFlow-2VS for producing ‘VS’ style special operations in addition to all normal casement, tilt & turn and door outputs. The AutoFlow is a fast machine with a small footprint including the optional facility to produce the frame to sill angle as well as the mechanical preps in the VS sills which it also saws. Variable angles are also possible.
It is hoped that more fabricators will invest in the latest technology especially now that the government has introduced one hundred percent capital allowances on machinery and the ‘funding for lending’ scheme is making money slightly more available for fabricators with satisfactory credit status. The latest Stuga sawing & machining centers have even more intelligent software, use offcuts up very quickly and intelligently as well as come with the latest management systems to tell management about output, efficiency, downtime etc. All of this is available on every new model and all Stuga rebuilds.
Technology, innovation, total customer care, peace of mind, enduring brand and local as well. These are the qualities you get whether buying a brand new machine or simply want an amazing value for money rebuild with a new engine from the experts, Stuga.