What does Winkhaus mean to you?
As the Winkhaus Group reaches its 160th anniversary Justin Harris, Commercial Director of Winkhaus UK, talks about Winkhaus’ history of innovation.
A lot has changed in the last 160 years, with advancements encompassing every aspect of day-to-day life. Ground-breaking innovations including the light bulb and auto vehicles, not to mention communications developments such as the telephone, radio, television and internet, have helped to shape the world as we know it today.
Leaps and bounds have also been made in the fenestration industry and one company that has been at the forefront of innovation and change in this market is Winkhaus.
Established in 1854 in Halver, Germany, Winkhaus originally manufactured padlocks before expanding into structural fittings, hinges, and, eventually, locking systems for windows and doors. The first employees hand-crafted each mechanism; but Justin says although production methods have changed, the mind set of uncompromising quality lives on.
He comments: “The company was founded on the attitude of precision, and this has been a building block of the business as we expanded through the years. We’re proud to have a reputation for high quality products in the industry, and as a trusted partner to work with.”
Today Winkhaus has established itself as one of the leading providers in the industry and is a symbol now more than ever of intelligent systems, outstanding quality and unrivalled service. Winkhaus is still a family owned company, together with over 2,000 employees in five German locations and international subsidiaries in eight countries.
One growth area that Winkhaus is focusing on is the composite door retail market and its advanced locking systems are used by manufacturers all across the UK looking to add value to their doors and create something special for the end user.
Justin comments: “With our “ Grand Entrance” range of locks we can help suppliers entering this market to stand out from the crowd by being able to offer real added value to the end user.”
Innovation means new product being launched regularly and most recently Winkhaus has rolled out additions to the AV2 range of Auto locks, which are the ideal solution for applications such as top-end entrance doors and composite doors.
AV2 Heritage, AV2, blueMatic AV2E, AV2-B are all developed to accommodate changing consumer tastes and work in conjunction with contemporary style door hardware.
Justin comments: “Our original Autolock AV2 and blueMatic AV2E lock have been used extensively in the Social Housing market for years, especially for Fire Doors and communal doors, but we’ve now further developed these systems to dovetail for other parts of the industry, helping fabricators and installers target lucrative new business in the domestic, commercial and new build markets.”
Looking forward, Winkhaus is ambitious and gearing up for new markets. One of these is keyless locking, a market that the AV2 range accommodates. AV2-B is battery operated and key fob activated, no different from the way a modern car operates.
It is products such as these that demonstrate Winkhaus’ forward thinking approach and commitment to innovation.
So what of the next 160 years?
Justin concludes: “Our aim is to not only help fabricators stand out in their respective markets but to also provide opportunities for them to enter new ones. What the future will bring is always a difficult question but Winkhaus will still be here – forming partnerships with fabricators and launching products for present and future growth markets.”