2014 has been the year for big and small machinery sales at Stuga but most importantly fabricators are investing as window and door sales boom. Low interest rates and government incentives are helping the savvy fabricator to bring forward machinery purchase decisions before it gets tougher and more expensive. The current capital allowances of £500,000 are due to expire in 2015 and it is hard to see whichever government is in power keeping this up. They don’t really understand it well enough to avoid their natural urge to raise more money. Help to buy has helped some fabricators as finance companies are able to tap cheaper funds and for many customers purchasing an automated line for the first time The Regional Growth Fund is throwing up very generous grants. After this little golden era you can be sure that interest rates and capital allowances will return to the historical norms.
Stuga are finding the bigger window and door fabricators are currently prepared to invest in the flagship ZX4 sawing & machining center for uPVC production with sales being shared equally between both new and established customers. In fact Stuga has sold more of the ZX4 model in the last year than ever before. This machine is able to produce between 800 and 1000 windows per week with all normal styles in the mix. One particular point made by many fabricators is that the ‘U’ shape configuration of the ZX4 means that two operators are not permanently employed with one loading and the other unloading as with the many machines that are twenty three to twenty five meters long. This makes a considerable cost difference. One fabricator that purchased a very expensive German machine to work alongside his Stuga machines soon realized that the Stuga’s actually proved more economical in terms of operators as they don’t need two people to run each of them continually. They were also told that sophisticated profile measuring would make notching more accurate but subsequently discovered that profile accuracy and welder set-up are the main issues and in fact proved no better than previously.
Stuga also found it significant that the number of smaller fabricators willing to take advantage of the current environment has increased and this has led to high sales of the AutoFlow-2 sawing & machining center. The AutoFlow-2 has a small footprint of 13.5m x 2.3m and can produce 400 window per week. Every function available on the bigger machines is available on the AutoFlow-2 with the addition of some optional features particularly suited to vertical sliders such as frame to sill angle and mechanical preps in sills. There ia also a variable angle feature for angles between 45/90/45.
Although Stuga are sure that the competition is also enjoying the benefits of the current market it is pleased to have the advantage of being both the manufacturer and being based here in this country. Unlike other companies Stuga doesn’t have to contact anyone in another country for advice regarding any functions of the machine or its software. Parts are also readily available from multiple sources as well as Stuga. One fabricator Stuga talked to recently has a large and expensive machine from a competitor that hasn’t worked at all for over four weeks because a part is awaited that is not available from any alternative source.
Finally Stuga believe that back-up is the absolute key to who an automatic line is purchased from because it drives the rest of the factory and is a major problem when it goes wrong. Getting a sawing & machining center back into production quickly is where Stuga excels with a team of trained technicians geographically based to get anywhere in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland quickly and easily. In addition Stuga technicians are always at hand at the Norfolk call center to talk to customers by phone or investigate through the internet. Stuga sawing & machining centers are equipped with a number of full colour, high quality cameras that also have sound, so technicians can view and listen to the machines from afar. The cameras can also record events for those difficult intermittent faults that are so hard to find.
Stuga machines have been built in Norfolk since 1984 and nearly every machine built from the start is still in the market and working. There is little reason why any Stuga machine would be scrapped because the company never stops finding ways to overcome obsolescence of any type. The first Stuga sawing & machining center was built in 1999 and this machine is still running daily in the south west of the Irish Republic. The ZX4 currently being built will be the third Stuga for Stevenswood in Scotland and tops the 160 mark for installations of Stuga sawing & machining centers. The previous 159 machines are all fully functional throughout the market with no reason for that to change.
Stuga offers a range of three sawing & machining centers to suit the output and pocket of most fabricators and enjoys a wealth of knowledge about the industry and its needs. With some staff having thirty years’ experience of supplying machines to the industry sound advice is always available. A wide ranging package of back-up is available including a comprehensive service contract and these are available in all regions of the UK and Ireland.
For further information please call 01493 742348 and ask for ‘machinery sales’ or fill in the enquiry form at www.stuga.co.uk