Published On: Mon, Aug 1st, 2016

Dutemänn and Winkhaus working in partnership

Hardware expert Winkhaus and aluminium door specialist Dutemänn have developed a long-standing partnership, built on quality

Joined by similar business objectives, and a passion for quality, hardware specialist Winkhaus and high-end aluminium door manufacturer, Dutemänn, have been working together for nearly a decade. When Winkhaus announced the launch of a new generation of autoLocks in the UK, the fabricator saw it as an opportunity to add further value to its product portfolio, and offer more choice for its trade customers.  “We are looking to introduce the new AV3 autoLock within our Haus range over the next couple of months,” says Dutemänn MD, Martin James. The decision comes after a resounding FIT Show success back in April, when the fabricator paired up its flagship aluminium entrance doors with the new automatic multipoint lock, with great feedback from the visitors. I believe the homeowner will really embrace the increased functionality of the AV3, and our trade customers will benefit from it. End-users will want the practicality of the day latch function, which allows them quick and easy access into the property for day-to-day situations, while still enjoying superior locking force and security,” added Martin.

Perfect synergy

Talking about the long-standing partnership between the two companies, Winkhaus MD, Justin Harris, said: “Dutemänn have a business model that is very similar to ours. They offer high-quality products that are truly ‘fit-and-forget’, and are constantly seeking to innovate and deliver added-value for their customers. This is why we approached them for the launch of our new autoLock within the aluminium sector. We knew the features introduced by AV3 will be very well received at the top-end of the market, where Dutemänn operates,” added Justin.

PR185 - AV3 ImageBut the AV3 is only the latest example of a mutually beneficial collaboration which has seen many of the Winkhaus locks featured within Dutemänn’s range of products, such as the well-established AV2 Family for residential entrance doors, the Cobra™ two-hook lock for bi-folds, and a series of Key Turn Activated locking systems. “When we set up Dutemänn, we were looking for strategic partnerships with companies that were equally focused on quality, in order to enhance our products the best we could,” said Martin. “Obviously, there are many lock suppliers out there, like there are many fabricators of aluminium doors. We chose performance against price to make sure we had the right product for us and the target market we had in mind, and that is what we continue to do through our partnership with Winkhaus.”

About the aluminium market…

The public’s perception of aluminium when it comes to windows and doors has changed dramatically over the years, and it looks like the only way is upwards for this market. “Since the introduction of the thermal break, the popularity of the material in this industry has boomed. Its inherent strength has allowed and indeed, encouraged the demand to evolve towards frames that are slimmer and slimmer, and openings that are increasingly larger, and our hardware offer has anticipated and responded to these trends,” said Justin. This evolution is also supported by Martin, who backed the statement with his own experience at Dutemänn: “This market will continue to grow and, especially at the high-end, requirements are becoming bigger and bolder. End-users are no longer happy with an 850mm width by 2100mm height entrance door. They’re looking for the ‘wow factor’ and thanks to our sound, premium aluminium product, we can deliver that.”

Another significant trend for new-builds is the use of modern front doors with an opening side panel, as Justin explains: “Our Grand Entrance suite of multipoint locks, specifically designed to provide a high security solution for double doors, is growing significantly. This is not only due to its use on classic French doors, but also because it is being specified more and more on contemporary aluminium, timber or composite double entrance doors.” “The top-end aluminium sector is a bit like the high-end car market in the sense that there will always be demand for these products,” says Martin. “So I don’t see our niche shrinking in any way – if anything, over the last few years it certainly gained momentum. This is why, as of mid-June, we’ve increased our capacity with an extra 10,000 ft2. of production space, bringing our existing factory to 28,000 ft2.”

Is aluminium an actual threat for PVC-U?

With aluminium going from strength to strength, more PVC-U fabricators are looking to take the leap and enter this market, setting up manufacturing operations and investing in more production space. Are PVC-U fabricators preparing for an imminent change? “I don’t think so – by their very nature, each of these materials serve very different requirements,” said Justin. “What we are seeing is many fabricators moving or expanding into high-end, timber-effect PVC-U and composites. This also means that they are using higher-quality components, including hardware, which has also reflected very positively in our own volumes,” added Justin. Martin also commented: “Judging by our own experience, I think companies still tend to specialise in order to streamline production, increase efficiency and stay competitive within the marketplace. As a specialist top-end aluminium door manufacturer, we sell not only to trade customers involved in retail operations, but also to PVC-U and aluminium fabricators who do not want to disrupt their mainstream production.”

Bi-folds vs. sliding patio doors

As for the “battle” between bi-folds and sliding patio doors that seems to be taking place in the aluminium market, Martin said: “Many think that our sales of the Glide S sliding door are affecting our output of bi-folds, but that is simply not the case, as they both address different areas of the market. It’s actually very straight forward – if the homeowner has a lovely view, they will most certainly go for a sliding door, as they always have done. The difference today is that we can supply doors as big as 6.7m width by 3.2m height in just two panels. So all they lose from their glass area is a total of 47mm of aluminium frame in the middle. “On the other hand, if the homeowner is not lucky enough to benefit from a nice view, but still wants to make the most of their garden, then they’ll opt for bi-folds. Some people in the industry argue that a bi-fold offers full opening, whereas a sliding door cannot. But in my experience, homeowners don’t care how much they can open their door as long as they have very little interference with their view,” added Martin.

The future together

Martin’s ties with Winkhaus go further back than the near decade-long collaboration through Dutemänn. Prior to setting up his own company, he was part of the Winkhaus team for almost 10 years, and still maintains personal friendships with many former colleagues, including the Winkhaus MD. “Martin knows very well how we operate and what our core values are, which is why he has placed his trust in the Winkhaus brand to help Dutemänn achieve the high quality products they are known for in the industry,” said Justin. Martin concluded: “Our long-running partnership with Winkhaus proves, once again, our commitment to performance and reliability, and ensures we are able to supply the premium products we have built our brand and reputation on. “Winkhaus have pioneered the autoLock concept in the UK, a product range they have perfected and extended over the past 11 years. We look forward to offer the new AV3 to our customers, which undoubtedly will further strengthen their competitive advantage.” •

For Winkhaus call 01536 316091, or visit

For Dutemänn call 01322 771213, or email