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Edgetech, a Quanex company, continues to report an increasing number of sealed unit manufacturers switching to its Super Spacer Warm Edge spacer technology from other Warm Edge suppliers. It’s a sign of how far the market has moved, says Edgetech’s European Managing Director, Andy Jones. As one of the first proponents of WET in the UK, traditionally most of our new business came from companies who weren’t getting the energy performance they needed from their aluminium spacer bars. But times have changed fast. Increasingly, manufacturers are switching to Super Spacer having tried other Warm Edge Technologies for two reasons – further improvements to the energy performance of their units, and perhaps more importantly, the need to manufacture high-performance units cost effectively. When you are only making a small number of WET units as a proportion of your overall volume, other Warm Edge Technologies can serve a purpose. But when the proportion of Warm Edge Technology units increases – as it is, driven by legislation and consumer demand – suddenly the numbers no longer stack up.
Edgetech’s customers can benefit from having the right product and the right machinery working together, thus eliminating certain manufacturing processes. Process elimination and automation is the only way to remove cost without compromising on quality. Some alternative Warm Edge products – interestingly the same ones that claim investing isn’t the best way forward – do completely the opposite and force sealed unit manufacturers to go back to the cut and key process, a general manufacturing practice in the 1980’s before the advent of bar benders and now the next step in the evolution of spacer being a continuous, thermally efficient flexible spacer. Generally adding process creates a factory bottle neck by slowing down the whole process not to mention creating four potential weak spots at the corner of the unit and increasing labour costs. Hourglass, The Smashing Glass Company, Quickslide and Doncaster Glass and Glazing are just some of the companies that have recently switched from a rigid Warm Edge Technology to Super Spacer for exactly these reasons. Edgetech is well placed to cater for this increase in demand because not only are we a UK based manufacturer serving the UK market, we also have a policy of never allowing our facilities to reach 100% capacity. As soon as we reach 80% capacity, we add another production line to stay ahead of future growth. We can support our customers to future proof their businesses with a stable supply of the very best products that meet market demands now and for the forseeable future in the most cost-effective way.
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