Industry-leading spacer bar manufacturer Edgetech, a Quanex company, took visitors back to the classroom as they showcased the ‘science of warm edge’ at the FIT Show 2017.
Offering one of the most interactive stands at the FIT Show, Edgetech shared just a taste of the thirty years of fastidious research, constant development and thorough scientific testing used to create the ground-breaking Super Spacer flexible foam spacer bar.
The stand also featured live demonstrations of Super Spacer application, showing how glazed units can be manufactured efficiently and cost-effectively using Super Spacer. To complete the science theme, visitors were also able to pick up a test tube of Super Spacer branded M&Ms.
“We had a brilliant time at this year’s FIT Show taking visitors back to the classroom and behind the scenes of our unrivalled Super Spacer,” comments Edgetech’s Head of Marketing, Charlotte Davies. “Behind all of our products, there is a wealth of research and countless hours of testing to ensure every single parameter delivers only the best performance. Our stringent and thorough research and development programme provides the evidence we need to verify the quality and performance of our products, in addition to over three decades of real-life experience outside the laboratory.”
“As experts and pioneers of warm edge, it was great to come to the FIT Show and share the facts behind the technology through our fun, interactive stand. As veterans of the FIT Show, appearing every year since the event began, we can safely say it has been one of our most successful appearances in terms of quality leads. We were able to leave the NEC having established new relationships with installers looking to gain a greater understanding of the quality inside their products, fabricators who are looking to manufacture IG and leading, established IG manufacturers who want to use the best-in-class spacer bar. With such success, we are already looking forward to FIT Show 2019!”
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, the company offers a comprehensive range of components for warm edge windows.
It’s been three years since Edgetech hosted the Triple Glazing Question (TGQ) and brought together delegates from the whole glazing supply chain.
Double or triple glazing?
At TGQ, there was a great argument made for using ‘clever doubles’ instead of triple glazing. Especially as there were concerns about the manufacturing complexity of triple glazing and lack of availability, for units and appropriate profiles.
How has triple glazing evolved since TGQ?
Head of Marketing at Edgetech UK, Charlotte Davies reports: “With such good performance available from double glazed units, it was argued that an extra pane of glass wouldn’t necessarily be an improvement.
“However, since TGQ we have seen instances where the additional thermal efficiency from triple glazing is the better option, such as in super insulated buildings, where there are significant gains to be made by choosing U-Values of 0.8 W/m2K — easily achievable with triple glazing. Plus, the massive increase recently in sales of bi-folds and sliding doors, means that there’s a lot more demand for big units. Some of these can greatly benefit from using triple glazing also as with such vast expanses of glass it can make a real difference to the comfort levels in a room.”
What markets are triple glazing tested for?
It was confirmed at TGQ that the centre pane should be toughened because it can become very hot within triple units, especially if they are fitted in a building in the full glare of the sun. But the elevated temperature can have other ramifications too, as Charlotte explains: “The temperature within triple units can easily exceed the maximum required of volatile fog tests in current European standards. This means there is a risk of fog appearing within units from spacers, which are not compliant to higher international standards, giving off volatiles when overheated. This isn’t a problem for Super Spacer as it is installed in units from Alaska to Dubai and tested successfully from -15 to 125°C, so you can be sure it will perform in UK triple glazing.”
How has triple glazing manufacturing advanced?
Other advances since TGQ include developments in automated IGU manufacturing and the addition of profile options to accommodate triple glazed units by most window systems companies.
Where does the super spacer fit in?
Charlotte continues: “Machinery advancements have made it possible for complete and ready to handle triple glazed units to be manufactured in just 30 seconds using Super Spacer. Automatic reel changers have been added which virtually eliminate machinery downtime.
“Aesthetics are taken care of automatically too. Whereas rigid spacers are often lined up manually, Super Spacer is applied by referencing the edge of the glass. The two spacers line up perfectly so units made with Super Spacer always look symmetrical. Plus Super Spacer’s acrylic side adhesive means there’s no need to apply a PIB primary seal, removing risk of smearing inside the unit.”
What do the triple glazing trends show?
Charlotte adds: “Three years on we can see increased production of triple glazing and we know that there’s now manufacturing capability in the market for high performance triple units without compromising productivity or aesthetics. There’s not been a switch over from double to triple – but the trend continues to grow, especially where high levels of performance and energy efficiency are paramount.”
Whether double or triple glazed, Super Spacer® offers high levels of thermal performance, easy manufacturing and great-looking IGUs. If you’d like more information or want to discuss your specific requirements call: 02476 639931 or visit: Super Spacer.
Edgetech is celebrating a decade of manufacturing at its UK headquarters in Coventry.
Launched in 2007 after a £2.5m investment, the site became the UK’s first dedicated warm edge technology manufacturing facility, serving as Edgetech UK’s main base during a decade of rapid change.
In 2008, further investment saw the company double its capacity in response to surging sales, and, after three more years of impressive growth, Edgetech was acquired by billion-dollar building products giant Quanex. Soon after, Quanex merged Edgetech with their existing spacer company Truseal to become the largest warm edge manufacturer in the world, producing 300 million metres of spacer every year.
Now, established as the global experts in flexible spacer bar technology, Edgetech is marking both its factory’s tenth anniversary and a decade of phenomenal innovation and growth.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be celebrating ten years of manufacturing in Coventry,” commented Chris Alderson, Edgetech UK’s Managing Director. “In that time we’ve come a long way – launching some fantastic new products, and continuing to be the driving force for energy efficient glazing. Now though, we want to focus on what we do best – warm edge spacer bars.
“Thirty years on from when we launched Super Spacer, the world’s first flexible foam warm edge spacer bar, we still offer the best choice, the most versatility and the most outstanding performance of any manufacturer in the industry. From heritage to high rise, flexible to rigid, we manufacture best-in-class products to suit every context and application – and in the decade ahead, it’s our aim to make the world’s leading spacers even better.”
“We’ll be inviting friends throughout the industry to Coventry for an official 10-year anniversary event later in the year,” Chris concluded. “We can’t wait to mark everything we’ve achieved here in the past ten years, and look forward to sharing our vision of what the next ten will bring.”
“More of our customers are reporting an increase in demand for big glass units, in line with the growing domestic trend for wide-span glazed doors,” explains Chris Alderson, Managing Director at Edgetech UK, the driving force for energy efficient glazing.
“Super Spacer Premium Plus has led the way in light commercial IG units, so it’s a proven system for IGU manufacturers who are making more oversized units for residential wide-span bi-folding and sliding doors.
“Systems companies differentiate themselves from the competition by talking about the extra frame height or width they can squeeze out of a leaf. Even with these big sizes, they are still hitting U-Values that are lower than the Building Regulation requirement of 1.8 W/m2K.
“It’s the glass units that play a big part in delivering this thermal efficiency.”
Triple glazing increases energy performance but the additional 6mm pane of glass in a 1.8m x 2.1m door could add up to eight and a half stone, making fabrication and installation tricky. A lighter solution is to use ‘clever doubles’ with Super Spacer Premium Plus warm edge technology.
“It’s not just a case of making standard IGUs bigger – oversized insulated glass units can’t be treated in the same way,” continues Chris. “Larger units increase the potential for issues with deflection and cavity expansion & contraction.
“With a history in commercial glazing, Super Spacer has been successfully used in IGUs of up to 15 metres in length without issues of movement or deflection and comes with an industry best 40-year guarantee.”
Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Krick, head of the Component Certification working group at the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt, presented the Passive House official component seal to Edgetech Europe GmbH for the flexible, foam-based Super Spacer® spacer systems at the BAU 2017 exhibition in Munich.
Edgetech Europe Managing Director Joachim Stoss personally expressed his gratitude for the award. “As an independent authority, the Passive House Institute provides architects and planners with guidance on all questions relating to energy-efficient and sustainable construction. Therefore, we are very pleased to receive the component seal award following the successful Passive House certification of our Super Spacer warm edge spacers last January.”
The Passive House Institute tests and certifies products in terms of their suitability for use in passive houses. At the moment more than 870 certified products are contained in the component database. In this process the Passive House Institute also makes the verified thermal characteristics visible, thus making it possible to predict the future energy performance of a building. All three certified Super Spacer® products exceed the required minimum levels of specific edge resistance for arctic climates and every climate zone lower. Super Spacer® Premium was classified in the highest efficiency class of phA+.
“Components have to fulfil high requirements in terms of their energy efficiency before they may bear the Passive House certificate. Through this successful certification, the building client then can also rest assured that these products will significantly contribute towards energy savings, improved levels of comfort and, last but not least, climate protection,” said Krick.
Edgetech has focused on energy efficiency for the past 28 years. Edgetech ranks among the pioneers in the warm edge technology field, and also for sustainable products in architecture. “When we were the first manufacturer in the world to launch flexible, foam-based spacer systems onto the market in 1989, the topic of energy efficiency was at best a marginal issue,” added Johannes von Wenserski, authorised signatory at Edgetech Europe GmbH in Heinsberg. “Now the company supplies approx. 300 million metres annually throughout the world to more than 90 countries, with different climatic zones ranging from Arctic to tropical climates.”
Chris Alderson is Managing Director here at Edgetech UK. His role is to oversee the performance of the company as a whole and here we ask about his priorities at Edgetech and why he’s proud to be a part of the Quanex family.
I joined Edgetech as Managing Director in 2016 and my primary function is to ensure that the business operates to the highest possible standards in all areas, but especially in terms of safety, customer satisfaction and business performance.
Safety at Edgetech
The safety of our associates is of paramount importance to myself personally and to Edgetech as a business. We implemented a new safety programme this year called TruSafety. All employees are encouraged to make Edgetech a safer place to work by submitting observations and ideas for improvement. We offer incentives to stress that safety is rewarding for all involved and year to date we are above our safety observation targets which is a great achievement.
How Does Edgetech Differentiate Itself From its Competitors?
By understanding market drivers and listening to what customers want, Edgetech has created a comprehensive product offering for IGU manufacturers.
There is a fantastic team at Edgetech too. We have a bunch of talented people with excellent technical and commercial expertise that help to support our customers and their businesses. All of this is backed up by the superb customer service team, making us a quality and reliable supplier that our customers trust.
Customer Support at Edgetech
Our customers are at the centre of everything we do. We conduct regular Voice of the Customer surveys so we can keep on top of their needs and requirements and continue to give them proper support for their businesses.
This comes in a number of ways. Karl Jones, our Technical Services Manager helps customers on site, with advice and support with fully automated machines and technical trouble-shooting. Our sales team regularly visit customers to ensure we maintain a close relationship and become a key partner in their business. And our marketing team, headed up by Charlotte Davies, delivers literature and personalised campaigns to enable our customers to sell more.
Innovation at Edgetech
Innovation is very important for us at Edgetech, it’s what the business was founded on. Warm edge technology completely changed the glazing industry and each year more than 300 million metres of Super Spacer, the original flexible foam warm edge spacer, are sold worldwide.
But it’s not just spacer bars here at Edgetech. We look at the whole installation to give homeowners the best-performing windows, which is where TruFit® comes in. It has been proven to retain more heat than traditional ‘wet’ sealant methods and it has taken the industry by storm.
What Makes You Proud to Work at Edgetech & Quanex?
Edgetech has strong relationships with customers and we take their satisfaction in our products and our services very seriously. I’m surrounded by some great people who all understand the importance of teamwork. And to top it all off, there’s the respect, both for each other and for the environment.
As Works Manager at Edgetech, John looks after production, quality control, logistics, maintenance and health & safety. Here he talks about his role at Edgetech and how there’s never a typical day at the factory…
I’ve been working at Edgetech since 2012.
My role as Works Manager is to look after the processes in our Super Spacer® bar manufacturing and distribution to make sure that everything is running smoothly and we deliver orders to customers on time and in-full.
Health and Safety at Edgetech
Safety is the number one focus for our parent company Quanex. Edgetech UK’s top priority is to make sure that all of our employees leave site exactly how they arrived. We have a safety team on site, safety champions and every meeting we attend has health and safety at the top of the agenda.
This year we launched a special safety initiative, called TruSafety. It’s a process for observing safety hazards on site and taking the right action to prevent them from causing an issue. Year to date we are above our target, a great achievement for the whole team.
I’m the health and safety point of contact for all of our employees, taking care of monthly updates and new awareness campaigns and making sure that everyone at Edgetech makes safety their number one priority.
Logistics is a really important part of maintaining great service for our customers. Edgetech has its own fleet to deliver products nationwide, including four HGVs and two vans.
I work closely with the logistics manager on a daily basis to make sure that Super Spacer orders are prepared and ready to get on the road so that we can deliver on time for customers. We understand the importance of right first time to customers.
We offer our customers lots of flexibility. If they need products urgently we can deliver them next day, or even the same day sometimes – that’s the main benefit of holding lots of stock.
Customers have to know they can rely on getting stocks from us fast. Manufacturing locally means that if they have a big order of an unusual size, we can handle it. And because we also manufacture in Germany and the USA, we have back-up to ensure even if we have downtime in manufacturing here we can still provide product for customers consistently. We call this security of supply and it gives us, as well as our customers, complete peace of mind.
We have three main production lines at the Edgetech manufacturing facility. An important part of ensuring that Super Spacer is top-quality is maintaining our manufacturing machines and planning maintenance well so that it causes minimal disruption to our productivity.
By keeping our manufacturing machines maintained we can keep them running in the most efficient way. Regular maintenance checks also help us to prevent break-downs which prevents problems for our customers.
Super Spacer Bar Quality Control
Quality control is a hugely important aspect of my role. At Edgetech we have over 26 years of product and manufacturing knowledge so we have the resource to make sure that the quality of our warm edge spacer barsis second to none.
The majority of quality control checks on Super Spacer products are carried out by the manufacturing team. They look at everything from density to tolerance using laser micrometres and take charge of inputting the data from our comprehensive twelve checks, tests and measurements throughout the manufacturing process.
It’s a great system to work to, because it means that our Super Spacer manufacturing team takes real ownership of the quality of product they are producing on a day-to-day basis. They get to follow the whole process from start to finish. This all-round team effort helps us to deliver the best products to our customers so that they can guarantee top-quality insulated glass units for their customers, every time.
While my role mostly involves looking inwardly at the organisation I am also responsible for looking to the future through product development and innovation. TruPlas, our thermoplastic rigid spacer bar was developed here in the UK. Super Spacer Alpha was also reverse engineered by the UK team and achieves our best performing thermal conductivity value at 0.13 W/mK.
I think it’s great that Edgetech invests year-on-year to make our products even better to help customers improve their offering also.
A Day in the Life of John
Although there’s never a typical day as a Works Manager, when I first get in I always start with a walk around the factory to talk to the team and see what’s going on.
There are 40 dedicated members in the team including five people that work closely with me to make sure the whole factory runs smoothly.
Then every morning at 9 we have a review meeting so we all know what’s going on, why it’s going on and how we can make it better. And after that the fun begins…!
Lumi, the award-winning window system from Apeer uses Super Spacer® from Edgetech UK to aid its impressive thermal efficiency.
Lumi offers frameless windows, bi-fold and slider, patio and residential doors with flush glazing and a highly polished ceramic colour border for an impressive, unbroken facade. The system was awarded the G15 Award for Best New Product and was praised by judges as ‘a product that truly reinvents the window’.
The minimalist design of Lumi puts the emphasis on build quality and each element of the product must come together to deliver the elegant finish. Super Spacer references the glass edge during application which ensures consistent sight lines within triple glazed units, enhancing Lumi’s seamless appearance.
As well as striking aesthetics, Lumi is thermally efficient with triple glazed units which are bonded to a GRP subframe.
The system uses Super Spacer for built-in energy saving, helping to lower U-values and boosting weather protection benefits.
Managing Director at Apeer, Asa McGillian said: “Super Spacer is used in all of our triple glazed units in the Lumi system. We’ve chosen Super Spacer in Apeer composite doors for over 10 years now so we know that it’s easy to use in manufacture and completely reliable. It helps to make our windows even more energy efficient and achieve very low U-values.”
As well as being used in the Lumi triple glazed window system, Super Spacer is used in Lumi composite doors and all accompanying sidelights.
Asa continues: “Market leading products require market leading components and Super Spacer is an important selling feature of Lumi windows. As a respected brand in the industry with proven durability in the field we know we can count on Super Spacer and Edgetech.”
Director of Sales and Marketing at Edgetech UK, Alan Fielder said: “Lumi stands out, it’s completely different to any other window system on the market, offering frameless glazing with security and energy efficiency benefits. I’m really pleased that Apeer has chosen to use Super Spacer for this innovative piece of engineering that proves triple glazing can look great as well as offer fantastic efficiency.”
Mike Wood MP for Dudley South recently visited Energy Saving Glass (ESG) to officially open the new Super Spacer® unit production line at its factory in Kingswinford.
The long-standing family business has enjoyed almost twenty years in business and has been using Super Spacer from Edgetech UK for its warm edge units since 2008.
Director at ESG, Alex Walker said: “The new Forel fully automated IGU line is the second automated Super Spacer production line we have as well as a manual Super Spacer line. We’ve invested in this new machine to keep ahead of demand from our growing customer base and local MP, Mike Wood, joined us to officially open it in May.”
Meeting with the Directors at ESG’s factory in Kingswinford, Mr Wood was shown the new line. It’s an impressive machine. The fully automated system offers time saving benefits for unit manufacturers and prevents the need for any human intervention, which in turn produces high quality, high specification sealed units.
As well as the automated line, ESG has invested in a specialist cutting table and a Forel fully automated vertical laminated cutting line.
Alex continued: “We use Super Spacer from Edgetech because we believe it is the best product for warm edge units. We also enjoy the benefits of our Dealership membership, with the full marketing support and literature which we can offer to our customers to support their businesses too. Edgetech continues to be one of our key supply partners and has been instrumental in our success.”
Alan Fielder, Director of Sales & Marketing at Edgetech comments: “When ESG first invested in high volume Super Spacer production line machinery they became innovators in the glazing industry and it’s clear that forward-thinking has paid dividends. It’s also fantastic that almost a decade later Super Spacer remains a crucial part of their success. With exciting plans for the business we look forward to playing our part and continuing our close relationship with Alex and his team.”
To find out more about Edgetech’s IGU solutions call 02476 639931 or visit www.edgetechig.co.uk.