How well is the uPVC window and door fabrication sector doing is a question often asked by people involved with the sector and Stuga is no exception. Here at Stuga we look at various factors to try to fathom out the answer as it helps us to plan staff and stock levels among other things. What we have seen for a continuous period of time is fabricators investing in both the biggest and the smallest capacity automatic sawing & machining centers.
The ZX5 launched at The 2017 Fit Show is Stuga’s fastest, most accurate and most reliable automatic sawing & machining center the company has ever built which is good because it is also the best-selling high-output Stuga machine the company produces. In addition to this the compact AutoFlow-2, designed mainly for fabricators making up to 400 windows per week, is also selling well indicating that this size of fabricator is still surviving and taking the automation route as a serious means to stay competitive. Whilst these sales of automated machines are a very good indicator Stuga also measures activity in areas like service, spare parts and consumables such as cutters and blades. These areas are also showing very positive and encouraging signs that the sector is doing well in turnover terms at least but the greatest indicator is labels where each label sold represents a uPVC window segment being produced. More label sales means more windows being manufactured and currently this trend is strong.
To get back to machines Stuga makes no secret of the fact that the ZX5 is quite expensive and the number sold and installed is a significant indicator of the serious intent of fabricators to equip themselves with expensive leading edge equipment to ensure they stay competitive in the current dog-eat-dog market.
Some installations of the flagship ZX5 are listed here:- CMS Enviro are one of the leading fabricators of uPVC windows in Scotland and have two ZX5’s in their main window factory with two ZX3’s in their other Scottish factories. Customade/Polyframe Livingstone have a ZX5 as their latest sawing & machining center which joins a long history of Stuga’s which include a Flowline, a ZX3 and a ZX4. The Customade Group has fifteen Stuga high output sawing & machining centers in total. Cairngorm Windows in Inverness have replaced their Stuga Flowline with a new ZX5 in order to update their equipment and enjoy the benefit of much greater output.
The Flowline which was fifteen years old is now being rebuilt into a Flowline/ZX3 for another fabricator and will continue to produce windows for very many years to come. Sidey Construction in Perth have been using Stuga sawing & machining centers for nearly twenty years and the recent addition of a ZX5 adds to the two ZX4 machines that have worked very hard for many years. Sliding Doors & Windows in Devon are a long established fabricator that chose the Stuga ZX5 for their first investment in high-end automation. As a very successful new-build fabricator this company is extremely well placed to deal with the increased demand for windows and doors in new houses. Britannia Windows in Clevedon is a very well-known fabricator who traded in their twenty year old first Stuga, a Flowline, for a ZX5 to work alongside their ZX4 and further increase capacity. Their Flowline is now fully rebuilt and installed at another fabricator. Graham Holmes- Astraseal of Wellingborough is one of the most well-known fabricators in the uPVC sector and they have installed a ZX5 to work alongside a Flowline and a ZX3. This is another fabricator that has used Stuga for nearly twenty years. Glazerite Northern in Bolton have installed a ZX5 to work alongside their Stuga Microline and further installed their original Flowline at Glazerite East in Peterborough. More ZX5 installations are planned over the next six months indicating confidence in both Stuga and the sector.