Published On: Thu, Apr 16th, 2020

Nigel Headford reflects on the impact COVID-19 on the industry

Nigel Headford, Business Development Director, Deceuninck Aluminium, reflects on the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry.

At face value, this appears to make the timing of Deceuninck’s launch of its new aluminium system, at the start of this year appear ‘inopportune’. Nigel Headford, Business Development Director, Deceuninck Aluminium, is however, accepting of the new circumstances he and the rest of the industry found himself in, at the end of March.

“We were told we needed to stop, and we had to stop. There’s no question about it”, he says. “Having spoken extensively to customers and prospects, it was clear that enquiries were dropping off a cliff edge and there was a lot of concern and our customers did the responsible thing and shut down. 

“I believe that the response from central government has helped enormously keeping jobs open and a control on some of the overheads. The industry has struggled with skills, so it’s vital that we don’t lose them now through redundancies.

“The other side of that is that there is a clear desire to get back as soon as we get to the other side of this and a drive to build their businesses back up again. We can do that because we’ve retained people – that’s going to be vital.”

Deceuninck Aluminium launched Decalu at the beginning of this year. The new system includes a series of casement options including Decalu 88 Steel and New Steel, designed to replicate steel commercial windows; plus a hidden sash and retro option. There’s also a turn-and-tilt option and the ultra-energy efficient, Decalu101 Scand and a complete range of panel doors with dedicated frame.

It has, however, chosen to focus its attention during this launch phase on Decalu88 its new bi-fold and accompanying lift-and-slide option, Decalu163.

The Decalu88 Bi-folding Door is supplied in a marine grade and dual colour finish – as standard. This is combined with U-values of as low as 0.68W/m2K and 200kg individual sash weight, through a single standard system. 

This also features pre-inserted thermal insulation and most importantly, pre-inserted, co-extruded gasket, we can also cut manufacturing times by 30 to 40% over other premium systems. 

Decalu163 draws on the same design principles in a lift-and-slide product. Sashes individually accommodate up to 400kg in weight, offering a low threshold and slim interlocking option – plus the same manufacturing efficiencies and through-life performance.

Nigel said that as a business Deceuninck Aluminium was now focussed on how it could support its customers through recovery. 

“We are going to get to the other side of this, we simply don’t know when. What we do know is that we will be here to support our customers in any way in which we can, and to make sure that they are ready to maximise the opportunities, manufacturing efficiencies and increased margin, that through Decalu, we can bring to them.”