We have all heard it. “There is a fabricator down the road who sells his windows for less than I can make them; that can’t be possible can it?” Well I am afraid it is. The reason is investment in machinery and good management at all levels, especially in production. Fabricators who want to stay in manufacture must be prepared to constantly re-invest in their business and have excellent management, otherwise they will certainly go bust sooner or later.
On the management front there is no easy answer other than to keep looking for the right people and be prepared to cast the net to a wider catchment area, or alternatively use a specialist recruitment agency like TEN, run by industry veteran Bill Pratt.
In machinery the names are well known enough and all have something to offer, although it is likely the unwary fabricator will become the victim of a dishonest salesman who will sell what suits himself or his company rather than what is best for the fabricator. Lying about the output of machines is one of the commonest problems faced by fabricators and they normally find out much too late to be able to do anything about it.
The best advice is to ask the machinery company to give written guarantees about the output of their machine against set criteria and not be fobbed off with nonsense about it not being possible to do it because there are too many variables. Companies like Stuga when offering their ZX or Microline cutting and prepping centres are always prepared to make detailed guarantees about the output of their machines as part of a purchase contract. Stuga cutting & prepping centres are successfully working throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland and there are a range of machines suitable for every size of fabricator from the smallest to the biggest.
Stuga have had so much success with their honest business model that they have responded to requests to expand their range of machines by entering into an agreement with Sturtz Maschinenbau, the well known German market leader for welding and cleaning equipment to supply their automatic welding and cleaning lines in the UK. Sturtz manufacture a top range of welding and cleaning equipment suitable for the UK market and in particular six and eight head horizontal welding machines linked to double headed corner and transom cleaners. These machines are in direct competition with similar ranges from Urban and Rotox and are competitively priced when compared with these products.
Sturtz also manufacture automatic corner and transom cleaners, a complete range of quad format welders including four, six and eight head horizontal and vertical welders. For the fabricator with repeat sizes they also offer double and quad stack welders, all with the facility to feed directly into cleaners if necessary. The six and eight head welders weld all combinations of corners and transoms and the cleaners are designed to clean them. There is also a range of cutting & prepping centres that compliment the Stuga range together with high output saw centres for producing large volumes of sashes for instance.
This development creates the opportunity for Stuga to offer the full range of their own cutting and prepping centres together with the Sturtz range of automatic welding and cleaning lines, which are two of the key areas when it comes to automating fabrication.
Sturtz are also able to offer complete turnkey plants and well proven production control software packages if required. With the exception of Anglian, Speedframe and Swift Windows there are no major fabricators in this country that have gone down the total automation route as has happened in other countries and both Stuga and Sturtz are convinced that this is a mentality problem that will change due to the competitive pressures in the market and the need to reduce costs to the lowest point possible.
Stuga are currently recruiting more engineers in order to cope with the increased workload expected as the Sturtz range comes on board.
For further information on Stuga or Sturtz products please call Steve Haines free on 0800 169 5444. We can also recommend good reliable trade fabricators for those who do not want to invest in automation