Editorials and Press Releases

Here at SFS intec UK we want to keep you up to date with all our latest news and developments.

Our Latest Editorials and Press Releases

SFS intec's Dynamic 2D-C hinge brings success to a business duo, March 2017

Introduction

In response to a huge demand, market leader SFS intec have expanded its Dynamic 2D hinge range to provide the ideal hinge for composite doors for the commercial, new build and residential sectors. Since its launch a year ago, SFS intec's new Dynamic 2D-C hinge has been widely accepted by the market as an innovative and effective design solution.

Partnership with Safeware

During the development of the Dynamic 2D-C, SFS intec worked closely with Safeware, (part of the Epwin Group), to ensure the hinge perfectly suited the Epwin composite door Profile. Paul Hinds, Sales Manager at Safeware, explains why his company chose SFS intec's hinge for their composite doors. "We have worked closely with SFS over the last 10 years. We have been impressed by the company's design and production capabilities and technical support, which we find to be of the highest standard. Following extensive testing of the Dynamic 2D-C we knew that this hinge was of an extremely high quality and performed exceptionally well with our composite door profile. We believe that the performance, aesthetic and installation benefits of the Dynamic 2D-C has supported growth of composite doors".

Key Features of Dynamic 2D-C

Rod Johnson, SFS intec's Technical Sales Advisor, explains the key features of the product: "The new Dynamic 2D-C hinge has all of the same benefits of the original Dynamic range for PVC-U doors. This slimline hinge has the aesthetics, adjustability, security and durable performance, meeting PAS024 requirements and with the addition of a fire resistance assessment. It's CE certified and easily complies with current door testing so it forms part of our accreditations which is a strong benefit to our commercial customers. 6 standard colours answer the growing trend for coloured profiles. As with the rest of the Dynamic 2D range, this new hinge has a unique patented lateral adjustment of +/- 3M™m, with double pin design that gives +/- 4mm up and down. Its high load carrying capacity (40kg) means the door will not drop or sag. These "fit and forget" features have helped SFS establish it as the ideal hinge solution for composite doors".

Success for Select Windows

Select Windows, an award-winning family-run business in Walsall, West Midlands, have also enjoyed success with composite door sales and were the first Safeware customer to take on the Dynamic 2D-C. They now use this hinge on all their composite doors.

Nigel Court, Operations Manager at Select Windows, comments, "As a company, we have always championed quality and performance. We chose this hinge to enhance the technical performance and styling of our doors. But it's also a more secure fix and the adjustment process is simple and makes our installers' lives easier. Its high performance makes it an ideal hinge for our commercial and domestic customers and so we now supply all our composite doors with Dynamic 2D-C hinges. Our business is doing well and that's mostly down to choosing high-performance compatible hardware products for integrated systems, an extensive range in a variety of styles and finishes and, last but not least, an excellent customer service."

Rod Johnson concludes, "SFS are committed to producing exceptional products, the Dynamic 2D-C hinge is a positive development in composite door hinge design and is a great example of how good relationships help define and promote high-quality products in the industry. We're very proud of our products and hope to see composite doors with SFS hinges continue to grow in popularity".

To find out about SFS intec's Dynamic 2D-C, visit the Epwin Group stand at the Fit Show.

Fasteners and hinges are important for the sustainability and longevity of a building, March 2017

SFS intec Limited explains why fasteners and hinges are crucial to the structure and aesthetics of a building

Introduction

Over the last 20 years or so, a combination of technological developments and design advancements have led to progressively more sophisticated building design. These new designs have led to technical challenges both onsite and at the design stage, so even small components like the fastener, often forgotten but which plays a vital structural role as well as forming a highly visible part of the building envelope, have had to evolve.

Quality and Innovation

SFS intec has been well placed to keep pace with these industry developments. Recognised as the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of carbon and stainless steel fastening systems for roofing, cladding and façade systems, it has continually been at the forefront of designing and developing fasteners that 'push the envelope'.

Part of the construction division of the £1bn SFS Group which manufactures mechanical fastening systems and precision formed components for the construction, automotive, medical, electronic and industrial markets, SFS intec has a long history of precision engineering. In addition to fasteners, SFS intec produces high quality hinges and window installation systems. GESIPA® rivets, Nvelope rainscreen rails and brackets and the Soter Fall Arrest System for flat roofs also form part of SFS intec's offer to the UK construction market.

Not surprisingly since the Group's headquarters are in Switzerland, several teutonic traits impregnate the company's brand, values, products and services. SFS products are known for their quality, performance and reliability. With investment in equipment, skills and know-how, the group embodies the all-round Vorsprung durch Technik concept.

Collaboration with Architects, Contractors and OEMs

While fasteners and hinges are small components of a build, they are vitally important to the sustainability, durability and longevity of the building. With SFS intec's commitment to working with designers and construction professionals to design and manufacture bespoke products and provide first rate customer and technical support, expensive and time-consuming mistakes in product specification and installation can be eliminated. We work with all players in the design and construction chain to ensure the right products are selected and can perform to demanding standards.

The SFS intec Specifications Team support architects and design teams with RIBA-accredited CPD seminars on various themes and help to write NBS Plus clauses to support the entire specification process. SFS intec's team can advise designers and contractors on specifying the right fastener for the application, support system warranties of up to 40 years and provide structured data for BIM Level 2.

Future Focus

David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of SFS intec UK, concludes "Our focus is on our core competencies to service both current and future industry requirements. BIM and sustainability are key to achieving our goals. As a responsible manufacturer, we've invested in our own sustainability credentials, installing new energy-efficient lighting with plans to further reduce our energy and waste. The future for the UK construction industry holds many challenges, but we're confident that SFS intec has the best products in the market and a great future ahead."

Change for Better Principles - Manufacturing in Europe Today, March 2017

Introduction

SFS intec is part of The SFS Group construction division, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of carbon and stainless steel fastening systems for metal and flat roofing, cladding and facade systems.

History of Manufacturing in Leeds

The US originated company began trading in 1891 from a Liverpool warehouse under the name of The British Screw Company Limited. It wasn’t long before the company relocated to a larger manufacturing site on Kirkstall Road in Leeds, where it still stands. At the time, the US was in a severe recession, so all the machinery from one mill was dismantled and shipped to Leeds, where it was set up and a local workforce trained. The company survived various economic challenges, a fire, various restructuring and was eventually sold to SFS Stadler, a Swiss company, in 1984. “It proved to be an excellent fit as SFS Stadler had established a reputation as the leading problem solver for roofing and cladding fastenings, offering comprehensive services backed by the most advanced research and development facilities available for fastener manufacturing,” said operations manager at SFS intec, Darren Gunga.

SFS intec's Secret to Success

The success of SFS intec is due to its ability to detect emerging markets and identify new opportunities. Today SFS intec UK supplies the widest range of innovative high performance roofing, cladding self-drilling fastener systems, hinges and window installation systems in the UK and the Middle East. “The range includes self-drilling fasteners, blind rivets, accessories and installation tools for single and twin-skin cladding systems, standing seams, composite panels and metal and non-metal rain screen panels. For single ply membrane flat roofs, not only do we supply the fastening systems to cover every application, but installation tools to ensure correct fixing and increase productivity,” said Darren.

Powder-Coating

“Our Leeds factory focuses on the finishing processes of the product. The main body of the fixing is supplied in bulk from a SFS Group factory and then finished here in Leeds, in particular powder-coating,” added Darren. The process is the modern and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wet painting, producing a more aesthetically pleasing product with a better warranty on colour stability. Powder coating helps prevent galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals and rust and is resistant to lubricants, fuels, hydraulic fluids and most commercial solvents. It’s durable and complies with major OEM specifications. The finish can be applied to a wide range of metals and components and is suitable for both internal and external applications and it is this diversity that is causing a rapid growth in the demand for powder coatings, combined with the development of new materials, formulations, equipment, and applications advancements.

Site Investment

As market requirements for powder coating increased SFS intec redeveloped the UK plant as part of a £6 million investment programme. The new production and logistics facility included the latest high-speed curing technology for the process and inventory optimisation using a computerised Warehouse Management System (WMS). Darren was keen to discuss the success of a particular aspect of the WMS, the automated retrieval system regarding customer service staff: “We now have paperless workflows, barcode scanning utilisation, extremely quick put away times of received goods and the ability to pick goods quickly and accurately with short reaction times. The modern, automated packaging facilities with bespoke labelling appliances use all recyclable and reusable packaging material. We also provide EDI links to parcel carriers with collections by specialising parcel and pallet carriers for customers to track their orders.”

The Floods of 2015

More recently in 2015 new compressors were installed in the factory, but in December that year the River Aire flooded its banks and the warehouses along Kirkstall Road were damaged. “We coped amazingly well with the flood due mostly to staff commitment. Many team members turned up at the premises on Boxing Day to initiate flood defence procedures,” said Darren. Due to flooding the clean up operation couldn’t begin until 28th December. A major refurbishment ensued and the warehouse reopened its doors on January 4th 2016, the scheduled return to work day prior to the flood, following the Christmas holidays. Darren adds: “We were 70 per cent operational, but within the week we were back up to full capacity.” It may have been a bad start for 2016, but it proved to be a record year in terms of production and turnover for SFS intec UK, a shining example of the resilience of the company and its workers. Over the last three years annual output of powder coated fasteners in Leeds has increased by approximately 124 per cent and is continuing to grow. It looks like an exciting year a head for SFS intec as it heads into 2017.

Sustainability & Environmental Responsibilities

In January 2017, new energy efficient lighting has been installed in the factory and initial savings are forecasted to be five per cent with a reduction in the company’s carbon footprint of 65 tons per annum. The next steps are to install a more efficient heating system and reduce landfill to 0%. New products will be launched later in the year.

Quality and Know-How

The SFS Group is also investing heavily to increase capacity and productivity at major sites in Switzerland. The group continues to show its commitment to European manufacturing from supply right through to its local operations such as the Leeds site. This strategy ensures quality for products and systems, keeps expertise and know-how in house and ensures lead times and customer expectations are met and exceeded.

Future Site Plans

Darren concludes: “Our plans for 2017 are to review the production processes and reorganise our working methods to further develop our capacity and meet fluctuating market demand. As part of our commitment to the Kaizen ‘change for better’ principles of continuous improvement and to remain extremely responsive and flexible to customer demand, we are investing in training to ensure flexibility within the team. We are also working on and agreeing specific KPIs to monitor supply chain performance and eliminate any waste within the process.”

SFS intec and Safeware celebrate 10 years of partnership, January 2017

Introduction

SFS intec and Safeware began their partnership ten years ago by bringing SFS's new Dynamic-2D hinge range to the UK market. Since then, the partnership has flourished due to both companies' commitment to understand and meet customer needs and to constantly innovate their processes and products.

Background to the Partnership

Paul Hinds, National Sales Manager for Safeware, explains, "Ten years ago, the market for doors and hinges began to change rapidly as customers started to demand a wider range of products than ordinary white or chrome hinges. In addition to these new customer requirements, security became a key issue within the industry. We were approached by SFS intec to develop a bespoke range of hinges for all of our profile systems. Together we developed a tailor-made range of quality, high-security hinges in a wide range of colours to match our profile foils whilst enhancing overall performance. SFS intec adapted their sash plates to perfectly suit the whole range of Safeware products. We've been really successful with the Dynamic hinge range and enjoyed a win-win relationship with SFS intec over the past 10 years".

A Perfect Match

Rod Johnson, Technical Sales Advisor at SFS intec, adds, "With the launch of the Dynamic-2D hinge range, Safeware provided a stable and long-lasting door-set as well as a greater range of colour options compared to other offerings on the market. Not only that, but our hinge products were (and still are) manufactured in Europe. They are CE certified and are all compliant with the requirements laid out by PAS-024. Our range was a perfect fit for Safeware's extensive product range for all markets, including their commercial, new build and domestic replacement sectors.

At the time, Safeware were also impressed with the innovative design of the Dynamic 2D which enables easy and quick door installation, particularly where the plaster reveal restricts the height for lifting on and off which can often slow down installation".

While initially security, reliability and performance of the hinge won over Safeware to the Dynamic 2D hinge, a major part of the success was its increasing range of colours. Other key success factors have been SFS intec's local manufacture and supply chain, combined with the Safeware's own supply chain strategy of providing a one-stop shop to their fabricator base through the Safeware brand.

Innovation as a Key Driver for both Businesses

Innovation for both companies has been a big driver in their expansion. The evolution of the range has continued with the development of brand new tailor-made sash plates for the Dynamic 2D hinge developed for Safeware's exciting new Optima profile systems. SFS intec has also continued to grow its hinge range with the introduction of the Dynamic 2D-F, to suit flush door applications, ideal for composite doors and the slimline Dynamic 2D-C product range, which share the same aesthetics, adjustability, security and durable performance.

Aethetics without Compromise

SFS intec and Safeware firmly believe in 'Aesthetics without compromise'. David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of SFS intec UK says, "Both SFS intec and Safeware have enjoyed 10 great years of working together and we value our relationship with them. With their support, we have been able to manufacture and develop a quality bespoke solution that meets superior aesthetic demands, but are also practical in their form and function so that fabricators and installers can use our products with ease. For us, it's all about the best possible design and engineering to meet the end user requirements for long lasting performance, while helping installers save time due to the ease of installation, and letting our specifiers and fabricators know that they are using the best products in the marketplace today. We very much look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship with Safeware over many more years to come."

Two Leading Brands Working in Partnership - Sharman and SFS intec, November 2016

Introduction

SFS intec, a global market leader for mechanical fastening systems and precision formed components, is pleased to announce a new partnership with HD Sharman, the specialist manufacturer of the market leading Plygene Gutterline system for gutter refurbishment in the industrial and commercial sectors. Our two industry leading brands have combined their substantial knowledge and expertise to further improve the customer and end user experience.

Sharmans Gutterline System

Following extensive customer insight, Sharmans has re-engineered its product range to provide a complete system of gutter refurbishment for contractors and specifiers. Its bespoke Plygene Gutterline system is designed to provide a seamless, non-bonded “gutter within a gutter” that will prevent leaks for good. It is the only complete gutter refurbishment system in the UK that is British Board of Agrement (BBA) approved and offers a 25 year warranty. Its design can match various gutter network profiles whatever the width, length or complexity, minimising building disruption and a perfect alternative to full gutter replacement.

The reasons why Sharmans chose to work with SFS intec

Mark de Rozarieux, Managing Director of Sharmans, explains their new partnership with SFS intec, "We decided to provide our high performance Plygene Gutterline as a total system solution for specifiers and contractors. With the development of our strategy, we had to find a fastening system supplier. We approached several distributors of fastening systems to provide fastener solutions for our system but we weren't able to find the right supplier to meet all our requirements. Then we approached SFS intec, and they were like a breath of fresh air. Their product knowledge, technical expertise and ability as a manufacturer to produce bespoke fasteners for Sharmans’ Plygene Gutterline system met our needs perfectly".

Jamie Lewis, Business Unit Manager for Roofing and Cladding of SFS intec, adds, "We're very much looking forward to working closely with Sharmans. Our strategies are aligned. We both provide quality, high-performance products combined with excellent customer service throughout the supply chain from specification to installation after-care”.

Synergies

From the onset, the synergies between the two companies is striking - they're both manufacturers of high-performance, engineered solutions and add value to all segments in the route to market with their technical expertise, technical documentation, site visits, training and general customer support.

“It’s all about peace of mind for specifiers and contractors”, says Mark de Rozarieux, “They are looking for a system that prevents leaks and our Plygene Gutterline system with a unique fastening system manufactured by SFS intec will do just that”.

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