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Edgetech celebrates its 30th Super Spacer® anniversary

In demanding, sustainable construction projects, the psi value of a warm edge is not the only thing that counts. The importance of aesthetics, precise, automated application and durability has caught up with the burning issue of energy efficiency – as demonstrated by two flagship projects in Vienna and Vilnius.

When the world’s first metal-free Warm Edge Spacer System was introduced in the form of Super Spacer® in 1989, the term sustainability was just transforming from a niche notion into a mainstream one. “Super Spacer already offered the option of thermally optimising edge seals even before the era of Low-E thermal insulating glazing had commenced. We thus proudly view ourselves as pioneers of the warm edge”, states Joachim Stoss, Managing Director of Edgetech Europe GmbH. In its anniversary year, the European subsidiary of the Quanex Building Products Corporation which produces its flexible spacers in the United States, Great Britain and Germany is very optimistic about the future. The industry anticipates a further tightening of the regulations for energy-efficient construction, whilst ambitious builders and investors are also placing sustainability, with all its facets for new buildings, at the top of their list of priorities. A recent market survey conducted by Global Market Insights forecasts an annual demand of 100 million warm edge metres for commercial buildings in Germany alone by 2024.

Warm edge technology has long been state of the art

A low Psi value for the thermal bridge at the edge of the glass is, and will continue to be, an essential asset for a positive energy balance – that’s also according to Hanspeter Petschenig, Managing Director of Petschenig glastec GmbH. In the case of its latest flagship project, the attractive PARKAPARTMENTS AM BELVEDERE and the Hotel Andaz Vienna at the Belvedere in Vienna, planned by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the Austrian glass processor supplied some 15,000 square metres of heat and sound insulating, as well as drop-guard, insulating glass elements complete with Super Spacer®. The company Flintermann Glasverdelungs GmbH, based in Lower Saxony, Germany, contributed by providing curved insulating glass elements for some of the building edges. “The demanding geometry of the glass panes really did put our team to the test,” explains authorised signatory Reinhard Gruber. Five large-format single panes, tapering straight at the ends and a central bend with a very narrow radius, have been combined with Super Spacer® TriSeal™ Premium Plus to form triple-glazed insulating glass units.

Modern architecture in harmony with nature

The real estate project in the new Belvedere urban district to the southeast of Vienna’s main railway station was commissioned by the SIGNA Group, or more precisely a SIGNA Group/Hyatt joint venture, and was challenging in every regard. The original project developer had already recruited the Italian architect back in 2008. A state-of-the-art high-rise building in the immediate vicinity of the Baroque palace grounds of Belvedere, the Swiss Garden and the Botanical Gardens had to be designed in such a way that the Belvedere world heritage site was not impaired, as Piano stated at the time in an interview on the subject. His architectural credo in terms of urban design aesthetics is as follows: leaving the past the space it needs, but always looking into the future. One of his architectural goals is to put an end to soulless peripheral city districts. Suburbs must become urban centres with social and cultural meeting places, that bring people together and where they enjoy living. At the same time, Piano is one of the pioneers in the field of sustainable construction, uses durable materials and seeks to establish a connection with the surrounding nature through his architecture. The 342 apartments and the 303-room hotel complete with skybar, ballroom and a large convention area are spread over five towers with polygonal floor plans that are set up on slender pylons measuring several meters in height. Piano’s columns were inspired by the tree trunks in the surrounding parks. The green areas under the towers have the effect of virtually extending the adjoining Swiss garden into the grounds that cover an area of more than 10,000 square metres. The beautiful view “Belvedere” is impressively transformed into reality here as the first storeys float above the treetops, and a unique, stunning view of Vienna that also extends into the distance emerges from the towers.

28,000 square metre facade is being put to the test

A mullion-and-transom 28,000 square metre facade was chosen for the ground floor of the two hotel towers that are designed in the form of an elemental facade. Also where the facade’s material was concerned, Piano once again searched for the connecting element. In homage to the historic brick facade of the neighbouring former arsenal of Vienna, he chose ceramics, a material that Piano repeatedly uses due to its natural origin, durability, ability to reflect light and its versatility. Among other things, Strabag Metallica that was in charge of the project, installed 60,000 grey glazed ceramic strips with a total weight of 770 tonnes and 1,100 triple insulating glass units within the 5,600 facade elements. Just six months passed from the issuing of the order in May 2017 to the installation of the first element. A Herculean task, due to the fact a time-consuming testing process had to be gone through between the planning or design, and manufacture of the components. All elements had to prove during the simulation as well as on the test bench that they meet the high civil engineering requirements placed upon the thermal insulation and sound insulation.

Precise and rapid: automated spacer application

“Without an automated insulating glass line, a project with such tight deadlines and quality specifications is virtually impossible to tackle”, Hanspeter Petschenig confidently claims. “The robot-controlled application of the flexible Super Spacer guarantees the total parallelism of the glass panes on the one hand, on the other hand, the production is, of course, performed much more quickly since a flexible, thermo-set spacer does not have to be bent, nor filled, connected and PIB-applied. Especially where large, floor-to-ceiling panes are concerned, such as those used in the Belvedere project, the precise application down to the last millimetre of the flexible spacer constitutes a decisive criterion. The appearance of a spacer is assuming ever-increasing performance according to Petschenig. “Super Spacer reflects the colour of the frame profile and thus appears completely neutral in colour,” he explains.

Flintermann supplies curved panes of glass for Green Hall 2

Super Spacer® is also in high demand for sustainable showcase projects in Northern Europe. The Green Hall Valley with its three Business Centres in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, designed by Arrow Architects from Denmark, is one of them. Room cooling through air circulation ensures a pleasant microclimate, a geothermal heat pump covers more than 80% of the heating and cooling requirements. The first building complex Green Hall 1 was constructed in 2009, Green Hall 2 was opened in 2017. The energy efficiency class A building is also a prime example of how architecture can harmoniously be merged with the environment. The sweeping facade follows the bend of the Neris river, on the banks of which the Green Hall Valley is located, and the landscape is reflected by the window panes. Cars are banished beneath the earth ensuring the overall natural appearance is not impaired. The facade elements were manufactured by Schüco in Germany, while the planning and assembly were performed on site in Lithuania by KG Constructions UAB. The architects paid attention to the principles of sustainability even where the most minuscule details were concerned. Thus, the insulating bars of the façade system are produced using polyamides from renewable raw materials.

Super Spacer® TriSeal™ Premium Plus for manual application

In order to let in as much natural daylight as possible and thus also thermal energy into the building’s interior, the double facade covering an area of 3,800 square metres consists of triple insulating glass units with solar control glazing on the outside and thermal insulation glazing in the middle. It achieves an impressive Uw value of 0.6 W/m2K. Flintermann Insolierglas GmbH supplied the concave-curved triple insulating glass units for the curved edges of the façade, in a 2.800 x 3.800 format using exactly the same windowpane design, and 16 mm Super Spacer® TriSeal™ Premium Plus as spacer. “Super Spacer TriSeal Premium Plus is our product for simple manual processing using large-format insulating glazing and facade glass panes due to the fact the polyisobutylene seal is already pre-applied by us,” explains Edgetech’s authorised signatory, Johannes von Wenserski. Reinhard Gruber added: “When using curved insulating glass units of this size, and what’s more in a climatic zone where it can be extremely cold in winter and very hot in summer, the spacer is of particular importance for the durability of the edge seal. A flexible spacer offsets any weather-related pumping movements, thus reducing the pressure on the primary seal, whilst we also have the necessary flexibility during the production of curved special forms.”

Source for the market figures:

About Edgetech Europe GmbH

Edgetech’s Super Spacer® flexible foam-based spacer systems acts as energy-efficient warm-edge spacers in insulating glass windows. They significantly reduce energy loss to the outside, largely prevent condensation and also contribute to the lifetime of a window. On average, worldwide, more than 300 million metres are sold annually in over 90 countries.

Edgetech Europe GmbH, located in Heinsberg Germany, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Quanex Building Products Corporation, an industry-leading manufacturer of components sold to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the building products industry. Quanex designs and produces energy-efficient fenestration products in addition to kitchen and bath cabinet components, with its head offices in Houston, Texas. Based on turnover Edgetech/Quanex is the world‘s largest manufacturer of spacers. Edgetech Europe GmbH is a sales location for the markets in continental Europe and one of the three worldwide Edgetech production plants, with a total of 450 employees and 16 extruders. You can obtain additional information about the Super Spacer® systems and the Warm Edge Technology of Edgetech here: www.superspacer.com.

New laboratory to accelerate Edgetech innovation

Warm-edge experts Edgetech are gearing up for future innovation with the opening of a new research laboratory.

Situated at the company’s Coventry headquarters, it’s been built to enable Edgetech to develop new products, assist customers in meeting accreditation and compliance requirements, and generally distribute technical expertise more widely throughout the company.

Thanks to parent company Quanex, Edgetech is already blessed with world-class testing facilities in Akron, Ohio – but this is the first time the firm has had the capacity to develop products independently in the UK.

“The demands placed on IGU manufacturers are growing all the time,” comments Technical Development Manager Gary Shoesmith.

“They’re caught in a squeeze between the increasingly stringent standards demanded of them by governments and regulators, and their customers and end-users wanting exceptional performance for ever-more competitive prices.

“On top of that, we’re seeing more and more volatility in the supply chain. Raw material prices have risen, sometimes quite substantially, in the wake of Brexit – and, most pressingly of all at the moment, the silicone shortage is causing headaches throughout the industry.

“At Edgetech, we take these issues extremely seriously – and now, thanks to the new laboratory, I’m spending a significant amount of time and resources on helping our customers respond.

“At the time of writing, I’m evaluating no less than five potential new products, capable of delivering the same outstanding performance the industry has come to expect from us, using materials that are more readily available.”

Managing Director Chris Alderson comments: “This is a major milestone for Edgetech – and with it, we’ll be able to help our customers face up to the challenges of the modern marketplace better than ever before.”

From spacer bars to football shirts: Edgetech sponsors Barwell FC

Warm-edge experts Edgetech are sponsoring a football club close to the hearts of one of its longest-standing customers.

David Laing isn’t just Managing Director of Cleartherm, one of the UK’s most respected IGU manufacturers – he’s also Chairman of Evo-Stik Southern Central Premier League side Barwell FC.

Founded in 1992 as a merger between Hinckley and Barwell Athletic, The Canaries finished ninth in 2017-2018, and have already got the 2018-2019 season off to a promising start with two wins and a 1-1 draw.

But regardless of how they perform this year, the team will at least look the part, with a new kit emblazoned with the Edgetech logo.

Edgetech Managing Director Chris Alderson explains the rationale behind supporting David’s footballing endeavours.

“Cleartherm are a hugely valued and long-standing Edgetech customer – they were one of the companies we marked a ten-year anniversary with last year while celebrating a decade of us manufacturing in the UK – and this is just a small way of saying thank you to David for all his support.

“We’re really pleased with how the branded shirts have come out – and we hope Barwell go on to have a fantastic season!”

David Laing commented: “I’m delighted that Edgetech have decided to support Barwell this season. The club is hugely important to me, and it’s a really kind gesture from a company I’ve loved working with for over a decade. It’s small things like this that make Edgetech such a pleasure to deal with.”

If you’re looking for a spacer bar supplier you can trust, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. www.edgetechig.co.uk

Quality you can trust, set apart by the Edgetech name

PR312___Edgetech_Head_of_Marketing_Charlotte_Mercer__1531474966_25150 (1)

A wide-ranging research project commissioned by warm-edge experts Edgetech has seen the company refresh its commitment to customers with a new mission statement.

Edgetech enlisted branding specialists Orb to conduct a thorough analysis of its relationship with its customers, and perceptions of the company in the market more generally.

Over dozens of interviews with customers and staff, Orb sought to build up a picture of what stands Edgetech out from the crowd.

The results have informed Edgetech’s strategy for the years ahead.

“As businesses, we often think we know our customers – but often, we don’t know them quite as well as we think,” comments Head of Marketing Charlotte Mercer.

“For example, we assumed that the key reasons customers continued to work with Edgetech would be very product-centric – and respondents were certainly very complimentary about Super Spacer and our other offerings.

“But actually, they were more focused on the standard of service they receive from us – the consistent product quality, the reliability, the technical support and so on. A comment that comes up more than once was the idea that we were ‘a safe pair of hands’.

“I know a lot of businesses are sceptical of this kind of exercise – but for us, it’s been hugely beneficial.

“It’s provided us with a fantastic opportunity to stop, reflect, and decide how we want to position ourselves in the months and years ahead – and even given us a clearer focus on who we are, what we do, and what makes us special.

“We’re leaders in the insulating glass spacer market, built on a legacy of customer trust and focused on building the future. We’re established, customer-driven, and innovative. And now we’ve got a new mission statement – we exist to create value by putting our customers first, delivering unrivalled performance, and doing the right thing.”

For more information on Edgetech’s range of spacers and to stay up-to-date with the latest developments from the company visit: www.edgetechig.co.uk

Promotions and appointments see warm edge pioneers gear up for growth

PR062 - New Staff PromotionNew staff and internal promotions are seeing warm edge spacer experts Edgetech gear up for the next phase in their ongoing growth.

Joining the internationally renowned firm’s senior team is Commercial Manager Brian Stewart, an experienced sourcing and procurement specialist.

Past roles have seen him deliver savings of more than £3m by effectively managing organisations’ direct and indirect costs including supply chain, contract negotiations and

more.

At Edgetech, he’ll be charged with overseeing all client-focused aspects of the business, including logistics and customer service.

“I’m delighted to be joining such an innovative and quality-focused business,” Brian commented. “Edgetech is an extremely lean and efficient organisation, giving us an excellent foundation to build on in the months and years ahead – but I’m confident that we can continue to control costs, priorities innovation, and offer our customers the very best quality products and service.”

Recent months have also seen two key promotions within the business. Long-serving staff member Ami Chana has been promoted to Warehouse Supervisor.

Ami was among the first employees hired to work on Edgetech’s manufacturing line back when the company first began making Super Spacer in the UK in 2007. Having experienced roles throughout the business, Ami has now been tasked with overseeing the company’s newly-opened warehouse facility.

Jason Blundred has been promoted to Operations Manager. Starting his Edgetech career as Maintenance Manager, Jason played an integral role in helping Edgetech establish the first UK warm edge spacer manufacturing facility back in 2007.

In his new role, he’ll continue to be responsible for the maintenance department, but will also begin overseeing the firm’s manufacturing capacity more generally.

Edgetech Managing Director Chris Alderson commented: “It’s a hugely exciting time for us here at Edgetech. We’ve invested extensively in new staff and facilities, as we strive to make buying from Edgetech an even better, easier experience. With such high-quality people on the team, we’re confident we can make our second-decade manufacturing in the UK even more successful than the first.”

Warm praise for warm edge experts Edgetech with Net Promoter Score

Chris Alderson, Edgetech UK Managing DirectorA recent customer survey revealed an impressive Net Promoter Score and saw glowing praise for market-leading spacer bar manufacturers Edgetech.

The Coventry business routinely approaches a random selection of clients taken from all spending brackets and to ask them a series of questions about their experiences dealing with Edgetech.

The company analyses the responses using a measurement system called Net Promoter Score, a management tool used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. By taking the percentage of customers that rated the business 9 or 10 out of 10, and subtracting the percentage of customers that rated it 6 out of 10 or under, Edgetech was able to arrive at its total Net Promoter Score. NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter) with an NPS of +50 regarded as an excellent result.

Throughout the year, Edgetech’s Net Promoter Score didn’t once drop below +50 and peaked at +88, an achievement the team is keen to maintain and build on.

As well as measuring customers’ overall satisfaction with Edgetech, the survey also captures more detailed information about their relationship with the company.

In the most recent survey, 91% of respondents said Super Spacer accounted for between 76-100% of the warm edge units they produce. 97% said Edgetech engineers respond quickly to any technical queries that arise and all customers agreed that Edgetech’s territory sales managers are making a positive contribution to their business.

“We’re delighted by the results of the customer survey,” comments Managing Director Chris Alderson. “Our excellent Net Promoter Score is particularly encouraging – the average company scores just +10, while the highest-performing businesses usually register between +50 and +80. Our scores give us a fantastic base to build on as we strive to become even more customer-focused in the months and years ahead.”

Edgetech parent company Quanex names new Chief Operating Officer

PR409 - George Wilson, Quanex Chief Operating OfficerQuanex, multinational building products supplier and parent company of warm edge experts Edgetech, has promoted an experienced member of its senior team.

George Wilson has been named Quanex Chief Operating Officer, a new post designed to oversee the company’s US and international operations.

Prior to his promotion, George was President of the firm’s Insulating Glass Systems division – and it was in this capacity that he visited the UK back in July to help Edgetech celebrate ten years of manufacturing in Britain.

For 18 years before joining Quanex, George held operational and financial positions of increasing responsibility at Lauren International and Federal-Mogul. George holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Akron.

Bill Griffiths, Quanex Chief Executive Officer commented: “George’s promotion to Chief Operating Officer is a natural organisational move that compliments his strong operations background and will enable the company to move to the next level in the journey towards operational excellence.

“George will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of our businesses worldwide, which will allow me to focus more on broader strategic initiatives in an effort to further enhance and create shareholder value.”

Edgetech Managing Director Chris Alderson commented: “We’re delighted to hear of George’s promotion – it’s a fantastic move for Edgetech and for the Quanex Group more broadly, showing just how much progress the business is making internationally.

“Everyone at Edgetech wishes George all the best in his new role, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity. We also look forward to working closer with Bob Daniels, previously President of the Homeshield division, who now takes up the position of President for Insulating Glass Systems.”

Edgetech gives a warm reception to returning R&D expert

PR278 - Gary Shoesmith, Edgetech Technical Development ManagerWarm edge pioneers Edgetech are welcoming the return of a key former member of senior staff after a three-year hiatus.

Gary Shoesmith served as Edgetech UK’s Director of Operations and Quality between 2008 and 2014, and now re-joins the organisation as Technical Development Manager.

Gary’s appointment significantly bolsters Edgetech’s local R&D capabilities. Working with Ohio-based R&D colleagues from US parent company Quanex Building Products, and reporting directly to Edgetech UK Managing Director Chris Alderson, Gary will be charged with spearheading a number of key projects aimed at further developing Edgetech’s already industry-leading product range.

Gary commented: “It’s been a great experience returning to Edgetech UK – the wonderful welcome I’ve received has made me feel right at home again, and the company’s commitment to continual investment in safety, quality, training and an expanded infrastructure was immediately clear upon my return.

“In a market that’s growing ever more competitive, differentiating yourself through innovation and an extensive range of unique, high-quality products is essential. It’s that innovation process that I’m here to resource and drive – and I’m confident that given our decades of expertise and well proven technology, we’ll be able to stay ahead of the field, to deliver even more value and choice to our customers.”

Chris Alderson, Edgetech UK Managing Director comments: “It really is excellent news that we now have Gary back with us. Our goal for the next ten years is to cement our position as the UK’s spacer supplier of choice, known for our commitment to continuous improvement and product innovation – and this appointment is an important part of facilitating that. Gary has been instrumental previously in bringing new products to market with Edgetech and we’re already benefitting from his knowledge. After a decade manufacturing in Coventry we’re on the cusp of another period of growth and advancement – making it a hugely exciting time for Edgetech and our customers.”

Founded in 1989, and today forming part of global building products group Quanex, Edgetech revolutionised the industry with the introduction of the game-changing Super Spacer flexible warm edge spacer bar. Currently celebrating a decade of manufacturing at its Coventry headquarters, Edgetech offers a comprehensive range of components for warm edge windows.

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