Published On: Fri, Apr 3rd, 2020

Technal and Sapa now one brand in UK – Technal

Focusing firmly on the future of window, doors and curtain walling in the UK, two of the UK’s leading aluminium system brands, Technal and Sapa, have joined forces to become one, Technal.

Focusing firmly on the future of window, doors and curtain walling in the UK, two of the UK’s leading aluminium system brands, Technal and Sapa, have joined forces to become one, Technal. Here, UK Sales Director Allan Barr talks to Windows Active Editor John Cowie and explains why this happened and how the company’s ONE VISION strategy ensures benefits for its building partners.

What prompted the consolidation of these well-known brands in the UK?
Both brands were part of Hydro Buildings Systems UK, operating independently alongside each other. However, with many synergies across the two brands, there was a clear opportunity to unite and create one brand – Technal. The decision to take Technal forward, as opposed to Sapa, came about following dialogue with our fabricators, installers and the wider architectural community. Customer survey results also clearly positioned Technal as the more recognisable brand in the UK. This valuable insight definitely contributed to shaping our ONE VISION future. Developing a more customer-focused product range and service was the priority; one that simplified all aspects of our operations for our customers. This new approach is all about one team, one brand and one product offering. Our ONE VISION strategy set out a clear implementation pathway for both customers and our team, laying out what would change and what would remain the same.

Will any of the Sapa products still be available?
Yes, definitely. All existing products from both Sapa and Technal are retained and available for specification and fabrication. For ease, the legacy Sapa product names will remain. They are simply being prefixed Technal, for example, Technal Elegance 52.

What is the main benefit in terms of ‘product’ for fabricators and installers?
This united ‘one offer’ range of windows, doors and curtain walling as well as specialist solutions for blast and bullet resistance gives customers access to a complementary and expanded product offer, adapted to UK requirements and legislation.

Will customers see any service enhancements?
From design, specification and product testing to project support, training and delivery, customers will see benefits at every point of contact.The simplification of the stock management system, in line with the one product offering, speeds up order entry and acknowledgement. And the simplified stock groupings allow clearer communication of product lead times across the whole range. Customer service and distribution are now all based at the Tewkesbury site, managed by one team. Technical enquiries for all Technal and legacy Sapa products are handled by a dedicated Product Support team, backed up by our team of experienced field support engineers. Technical support operates across our Tewkesbury site and our new Wakefield Sales Office.

Will fabricators experience any benefits in terms of software?
There will be ‘one software solution’ providing a more innovative and integrated approach, in the form of TechDesign. Whilst Sapa customers will be familiar with SapaLogic, capability with TechDesign goes beyond simple CAD, or machine preps for fabrication. TechDesign’s latest version allows thermal performance calculations on all designs. Once finalised the optimised system requirements align directly with a new order entry system. It also integrates with our project visualisation software, Tech3D®. Allowing modelled components to be exported to many 3D or BIM applications including REVIT from Autodesk or ARCHICAD, it reduces the potential for errors in moving from design input to fabrication output as well as speeding up feedback. Another software innovation is TechAcoustic, which is capable of predicting the acoustic performance of a window based upon the design characteristics alone.

Can customers access training that supports the transition to Technal?
‘Classroom’ training on all products and customer software is provided at Tewkesbury, the new Wakefield Sales Office or at our London office on Store Street, following a schedule of training events. Practical fabrication training is delivered by the field support engineers, usually at our customers’ premises but subject to the conditions being suitable of course.

And, finally, what about the future?
Being at the forefront of sustainable building practice, Technal is introducing Hydro CIRCAL 75R in the UK. With the lowest carbon footprint per ton of any facade alloy, this is premium quality aluminium with a minimum of 75% post-consumer scrap. All remaining systems will be manufactured from low CO2 primary aluminium thanks to Hydro’s access to renewable energy sources such as hydro-electric power. There’ll be more to tell soon!