Mechanically jointed top and bottom rails on traditional window styles are continuing to grow in popularity and this demand raises key issues with production, as mechanical jointing is labour intensive and can create production bottlenecks.
Coventry-based window fabrication tooling specialist Jade Engineering has listened to comments from its fabricator customers and turned its expertise to providing a fast and effective production solution. The result is the facility to produce PVC-U window frames with the external appearance of mechanical-style timber joints but with the strength and integrity of a welded finish, particularly with highly popular flush-sash and box-sash styles.
Jade’s solution allows window fabricators the opportunity to produce welded external ‘mechanical’ joints, without paying licence fees for such a process. Throughput is up to 12 frames per hour, with the further bonus that all machines may be quickly re-set for traditional applications, says Jade. Packages are available from under £40,000.
By using a combination of four milling machines – two for sash and two for frame joints – and a two head welder, all engineered by Jade Group companies, together with tooling specially developed for the process, fabricators may now produce frames with the appearance of external mechanical timber joints without time consuming fixing and gluing operations, or the expense of fixing and jointing consumables.
Now one of the UK’s largest supplier of fabrication tooling and small specialist machinery to the window and door industry, Jade Engineering says the solution has been thoroughly tested by fabricators in real-world conditions: “The project has been over 12 months in development before release to customers and we have extensively production-tested two installations, at Shepley Windows in Manchester and FrameFast in Derby. Both companies have reported excellent throughput and quality,” said Adam Jones, who heads up engineering research and development for Jade.
Fellow Jade director Sean Mackey says the launch of the Jade MechWeld Joint solution heralds an important new phase in the development of the company: “Jade has long enjoyed the status of being the UK’s leading producer of tooling for frame fabrication, with the vast majority of British fabricators using our products. Now we have combined our knowledge and experience of developing machinery to provide fabricators with practical, affordable answers to specialist production requirements. All of this is driven by conversations with our customers.”