Published On: Fri, Apr 17th, 2020

Garner Aluminium Extrusions Ltd t/a Garnalex

Address: Garner House, 1 New Winnings Court, Ormonde Drive, Denby Hall Business Park, Denby, Derbyshire, DE5 8LE

Tel: 01332 883960 – Email: marketing@garnalex.comWebsite:

Aluminium – but not as you know it

Eurocell plc and Liniar founder, and now Garnalex (Garner Aluminium Extrusions) founder and CEO, Roger Hartshorn says, like a lot of the industry, he’s fallen in love with aluminium and its potential

I’ve spent my entire business life making profiles for the windows industry, initially thermal breaks for the leading aluminium systems of the 70s and 80s, then extrusions for the PVC-U systems companies of the 90s. We then developed our own range of products, initially Eurocell plc and then Liniar. Now, like a lot of the industry, I’ve fallen in love with aluminium and its potential. I’ve not fallen out of love with PVC-U; it is a superb sustainable material that can be recycled again and again without loss of performance, and the industry has some excellent closed loop recycling schemes. However, unlike aluminium, which has been successfully publicising its commitment and achievements in recycling for decades; PVC has not been consistent or effective at telling its story to the public. Now it’s on the backfoot, and plastic is under attack. This month the 93-year old iconic broadcaster and environmental campaigner, David Attenborough made a surprise appearance on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival to praise the festival’s ban on single-use plastic bottles of water, soft drinks and alcohol and to thank the crowds for doing their bit to save the planet. Whereas aluminium is one of the most recycled – and most recyclable – materials on the market today. Nearly 75 percent of all aluminium produced is still in use today.

However, aluminium has been a lot less effective when it comes to innovating and developing residential windows and doors. It’s a curious fact, that while timber windows were practically reinvented some 20 years ago to address dire performance problems, and PVC-U windows have been transformed in the last 15 years to improve how they look and perform, aluminium windows have been in a world of their own since the early 1980s. They look much the same, are made as you would have made them back then, and they install in the same old way. Apart from improving the thermal performance, little has changed. Service in aluminium has also lagged, compared to the big improvements fabricators and installers have become accustomed to in PVC-U.

So, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Garnalex team is including all the innovations and improvements that you would have expected to have seen over the last 30 years, in to the Garnalex systems and the way we are delivering them. In fact, Garnalex aims to reinvent the way aluminium windows and doors are fabricated, installed and sold; transforming the customer experience end-to-end. To do that we have invested £9m so far in a new, state-of-the-art aluminium extrusion factory and assembled a premier level technical and development brains, along with one of the best operational teams in the industry to fill this gap. Currently most of the aluminium systems companies buy in extrusions from external extruders, just like the original PVC-U systems houses did in the 80s and 90s.This bold step gives us full control of the supply chain and deliveries. Over the last year or so, our team of technical experts have examined every aspect of aluminium windows, from their performance and looks, to how they’re made and installed. They even looked at the level of service and support fabricators experience. And we’ve rebuilt the aluminium window and its delivery from the ground up.

Weighing over 170 tonnes, our aluminium press was manufactured in Germany and delivered by convoy with police escorts to the Garnalex Nether Heage factory in March. To give you an idea of how big that is, it’s about the same weight as a Blue Whale, the largest animal on earth, and nearly as much as three British Army Challenger 2 tanks! Once commissioned, the press, an SMS HYBREX delivering 35 MN of force using 9-inch aluminium billets, will produce up to 4 tonnes of extruded aluminium an hour.

We’re on a mission to transform fabricators’ and installers’ experience of buying aluminium systems, by making it easier and better to fabricate, install and sell aluminium, and we’re designing what we think will be very aesthetically pleasing systems, coupled with exceptional functionality. Those fabricators and installers who’ve seen it agree and are already sold on our business style. Garnalex aims to be supplying the trade extrusion market in October, and be launching two truly innovative, residential aluminium window and door systems at the end of Q1 2020. We’ve also built up a three-year pipeline of innovations to keep Garnalex fabricators and installers ahead of the market and growing. Fabricators and installers who’ve seen what we’re creating say Garnalex is aluminium – but not as you know it!