In recent years, the structure of the IGU market has seen some dramatic changes.
Since 2007, the number of companies manufacturing glass units in the UK has dropped by one third to just 848. But, despite this, in recent years the total number of units being fabricated has seen a steady increase.
Many of your readers will surely be wondering how this is possible and here at Edgetech, we believe that automation is largely responsible.
For a long time, energy efficiency and high performance in glass units was the exception – the mark of a truly extraordinary product. New innovations such as polyamide thermal breaks and warm-edge spacer bars were introduced and, consequently, standards soared.
Now, however, these high standards have become the norm – the baseline that manufacturers must not only hit but surpass.
The result of these now commonly-held, elevated standards – combined with an ongoing decrease in the number of IGU manufacturers operating in the UK – was a new pressure to produce large volumes of windows, all offering unbeatable levels of energy efficiency and great all-round performance.
This led to a heightened interest in automation and, at Edgetech, in applying our flexible Super Spacer product on automated lines.
One of the automated lines available boasts an incredible turnaround time of just 15 to 20 seconds per IGU when using Super Spacer and this has proven particularly popular in the US. In the near future, we anticipate that this level of investment in automation will be echoed in the UK too.
As we move into an increasingly competitive economic climate, more and more companies will begin choosing automation as a way to drive their business forward. As a method of manufacturing, it offers customers not just faster lead times but also improved quality and greater consistency.
The opportunities that automation offers are limitless. In the future, those companies embracing this technology will set an important example for others in their sector, helping to move us ahead and create a forward-thinking industry that will not be left behind in today’s information age.