The technical quality and performance capabilities of the products and systems used today in the manufacture and installation of windows and doors is easy to take for granted when we’re busy and focused on meeting customer deadlines. But let’s not forget that the fenestration sector is hugely innovative, with new concepts made possible through continuous investment by those at the forefront of the industry using state of the art technical resources.
This dedication to investing in innovation ensures new products are constantly being brought to the market which push the performance boundaries in respect of security, thermal insulation and safety, while at the same time creating new aesthetic options and improving sustainability.
Today, many of the industry’s innovators are not only investing in new product development (NPD), but also in ensuring that the potential of these new products is maximised. After all, what’s the point in developing amazing new products if we don’t know how to use them properly?
This has led to the creation of new learning and development facilities for fabricators and installers to use – spaces where they can explore new products, develop their understanding of how to use them and test proposed window and door products if necessary.
Facilities of this kind are so important because they help ensure the promised performance is actually achieved in finished and installed windows and doors. The industry has always been hindered by a ‘performance gap’, which, of course, applies to numerous other types of building products too, and anything that can be done to reduce this is to be welcomed.
Learning and development facilities – or technical centres – are places where manufacturers, suppliers and customers can collaborate to focus on the technical aspects of products. That includes establishing best practice for window and door assembly with the opportunity to look closely at the fasteners and test different types until the optimum result is achieved.
And it is here where the Rapierstar team has been able to share its fastener knowledge and experience to support systems companies, fabricators and installers. In the last three years, we have worked with leading PVC-U profile manufacturers including VEKA, profine UK and Liniar as they have developed their facilities to provide a full suite of StarPVCU fasteners for use in their technical centres, along with all the guidance they need to achieve the desired performance from their systems.
This vision of companies like VEKA, profine UK and Liniar is completely aligned with ours. Rapierstar works continuously to help everyone in the industry – fabricators, installers, profile makers and hardware manufacturers – develop their understanding of fasteners.
A small component with a big role to play
Despite being the smallest components used in windowmaking, fasteners actually play one of the most important roles. They are fundamental to the window or door’s structural integrity, its strength and ability to resist attacks plus its operational smoothness and long term reliability.
But when the wrong fasteners are used in any area of fabrication, a weakness is introduced, and this could undermine everything. One tiny component with a unit cost of less than a penny could be the reason why a premium door costing thousands to the homeowner is a let-down, and requires costly remedial work to get it right.
The risk with any new product comes with unfamiliarity. A new process or method for assembly could require specific training or a different type of fastener may be needed versus similar products already on the market. The temptation may be to use the screw you think most appropriate based on what you’ve done previously, but that usually ends badly.
This is why Rapierstar is delighted to work with systems companies in their technical centres to establish best practice. It supplements the work we do continuously on our Recommended Fixings Manuals (RFMs), the free to download and print detailed guides we produce showing which screws to use with all the most widely used profiles.
How Rapierstar’s new technical centre is now supporting the industry
The latest exciting development in Rapierstar’s support is the opening of our expanded technical centre at our Cheshire HQ. This gives us the tools to test window and door fasteners in numerous applications, both physically and in a virtual environment using our state of the art 3D computer modelling software.
Our technical centre mirrors the new generation of learning and development centres that systems companies and fabricators are creating because we understand the importance of consistency when it comes to technical excellence. It is our way of helping the industry eliminate potential weaknesses in windows and doors so they can comfortably meet ever higher performance standards, particularly in respect of security and thermal insulation.
The newly completed technical centre at Rapierstar has doubled the size of our previous facility. And much like the similar facilities developed by our customers, it offers a space for collaboration and the resources to support the drive to help the industry reach ever higher technical standards.
To discuss how Rapierstar can support your technical facility or to arrange a visit to our technical centre, please contact us.