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Glazerite grows again with dedicated 'Specials' factory

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The Glazerite UK Group has completed the latest phase of its ambitious expansion programme with a major step-up to a 30,000 sq ft Special Products plant, with plans already underway for the next phase.

The company's aclaimed Vertical Sliders, Residence Collection products and the VEKA Imagine bi-fold, patio and flush doors will all be made in the purpose-equipped factory by a specially-trained fabrication team with its own dedicated management and Quality Control systems. 

The new unit, close to Glazerite's Wellingborough HQ, is more than twice the size off its original Specials factory opened in 2014 and gives further capacity for the group's ever-growing range of niche, premium and specialist windows and doors. 

"These are all specialist products," said Group Director Jason Thompson, "So they deserve specialist attention, both in the technology of the manufacturing processes and in the skills of the people involved at all levels. The fact that we have outgrown the original Specials factory in less than three years shows how not only the range but also the volume of demand for these products has grown in that short time. By adding this very spacious new factory, we are not only showing our commitment to the future growth of these products but also adding ample capacity to give the same attention to whatever future trensds have yet to emerge."

The launch of the new unit also gives Glazerite a fourth specific production centre, along with Halo fabrication at Glazerite East, the former City Beads factory in Peterborough acquired by the Group last year, and its mainsteam VEKA production at Wellingborough and Bolton.

Jason explained the philosophy behind the move: 

"We offer one of the most comprehensive product ranges available anywhere but our customers deserve more than just a Jack-of-all-trades. On the other hand, some specialist fabricators have a very limited product offering. Now, with the three seperate centres, each with its own dedicated skills and production lines, we can offer three distinct centres of expertise all from a single buying point."

The second phase of development at the Wellingborough site, which will include a showroom and training facility as well as a trade counter to serve its local customer base, is due to be completed early in 2018.

The Glazerite UK Group is VEKA's largest trade fabricator in the UK and a long-standing Network VEKA member. It offers a fully nationwide service based on manufacturing units in Northants, Peterborough and Greater Manchester as well as its South West distribution hub in Bristol serving South Wales and The West of England.

Recent News

Investment and integration transforms Glazerite East
Having recently accounced plans for a £1m investment boost, the Glazerite UK Group has completed the second phase of its programme, this time at its Glazerite East plant.  As part of of plans to strengthen its performance for installers, the VEKA fabricator has welcomed new equipment at the Peterborough-based plant, which fabricates products from the Halo profile systems range. Following the investment, which has included the installation of a brand new Haffner SMR 5 head inline welding machine, the site's capacity is set to significantly increase, with the ability to fabricate 800 frames per week by the end of this year. Glazerite acquired the site in February 2016 and has completely transformed its technical capabilities, aligning it with its other facilities in Bolton and Wellingborough. The results have been huge, with Glazerite East hugely increasing its output, and shortening its lead-time from three weeks to just five days.  Glazerite East has also recently installed a £100k Stuga cutting and machining centre, which was relocated from the group's Northwest division, as well as four new vertical tables, four door line tables, and a corner cleaner. With the addition of the new machinery, the plant has been completely reconfigured to optimise efficiencies and improve performance across all areas.  Matthew Thomas, Managing Director of Glazerite East, explains: "New equipment is part of a major overhaul of the site's capabilities, which has also seen improvements to the flow of the plant and freed up space for frame storage. The 5 head Haffner can weld two frames simultaneously, something we weren't able to do before, and it has made set up time and cycle times quicker and much more efficient.  "Since Glazerite took over the site three years ago, our team has been working hard to improve our lead times and output. We've already upped production from 350 to 600 frames per week, and cut lead times of standard products to just five days, in alignment with the rest of Glazerite." Matthew adds: "The team here has undergone some major changes to work processes, and they've truly embraced the adoption of technology, moving from manual processes to automation on the shop floor. It's been a big but important culture change, and with additional training and support, we're seeing a real difference in how our team approach their work." Next on the agenda for the 45-strong Glazerite East workforce is the soon-to-be-launched mechnical jointed version of the Halo Flush Sash, following an increase in demand from consumers looking for more authentic-looking windows. Matthew adds: "Glazerite East has a bright future, and with the recent investment we're looking forward to increased production and enhancing our relationships with installers."
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Glazerite joins Glass and Glazing Federation
Leading VEKA fabricator, the Glazerite UK Group Ltd, has joined the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF).  Membership to the GGF opens up easy access to a number of benefits, including technical support, regulatory advice, networking and alignment with some of the most powerful industry brands. Jason Thompson, Group Managing Director of Glazerite, says of the move: “The GGF is committed to driving standards in the glass and glazing sector, as well as promoting best practice at all times.  That’s what we aspire to as a fabricator; for our customers and the homeowner. With their restructure and expansion plans announced at the start of this year, it’s clear the GGF and its associated companies have already become a lot more proactive, particularly on the consumer-facing side.” He adds: “Membership to the GGF will give us access to their conciliation scheme, regional meetings and the opportunity to network with like-minded organisations, which helps us all. We’ll also be kept up to date with the latest industry guidance, which we can pass onto our installer partners, including upcoming legislation changes and technical support.  The GGF brand is well recognised in the industry and TrustMark in particular is heavily recognised by members of the public, architects and specifiers,  which will really help across our customer base.” Kevin Buckley, GGF Chief Executive, comments: “It’s great to welcome a forward thinking, national trade fabricator such as Glazerite into our membership. We look forward to further developing our strong working relationship for mutual benefit.”   Anda Gregory, Managing Director of GGF commercial company FENSA, adds: “It’s good to hear Glazerite has joined the GGF. There’s no doubt that installers using suppliers with GGF membership gives reassurance down the supply chain and through to homeowners, when installations are carried out. It provides homeowners with the confidence that they are investing in professional workmanship as well as products and services of the very highest standard.”
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Glazerite golf day raises over £10,000 for mental health charity
Now in its 14th year, the sun shone once again for the Glazerite UK Group’s annual Pro-Am Golf Day. Held on Friday 5th July in the tranquil surroundings of Wellingborough Golf Club, the event was attended by a number of the VEKA fabricator’s customers, suppliers and employees, who travelled from across the UK to take part. In total, over £10,000 was raised for the charity We Mind & Kelly Matters, which was set up by Glazerite Chairman John Hewitt in memory of his late daughter. The day teed off just after 9am with the golfers playing right through to late afternoon. 29 Glazerite teams took part in the event - of which seven placed in the top 10 - and D & M Windows & Doors’ Chris Hoolickin won the coveted ‘Nearest the Pin’ at the 18th hole. Tucker Glass & Glazing took second place alongside golf professional, Mark Sparrow. Danny Tucker says: “This is the second golf day we’ve attended and it’s a very special event. It gives us the chance to catch up with the team from Glazerite, as well as raise money for a fantastic cause and have fun at the same time.” Following the golf, the players’ partners and colleagues joined in for the evening event, during which John Hewitt gave a presentation about We Mind & Kelly Matters, and thanked all those who attended for their support and generosity. Pete Mew of Mews Windows led the auction, with lots including a motorbike experience at Donington Park, a round of golf for two at The Belfry and a two-week holiday home rental in Spain. Glazerite’s Group Managing Director, Jason Thompson, even bid £500 in exchange for one of Pete’s legendary suits. Glazerite’s Sales & Marketing Director, Jeff Dunn, says: “The Glazerite Golf Day is always a highlight of the industry’s social calendar. It was great to be a part of it on my first working day at Glazerite last year and this year was just as enjoyable. Thanks to all of those who joined us; the feedback has been fantastic. We’ve already had a number of people expressing their interest for the 15th Pro-Am trophy next year.” John Hewitt adds: “We owe a massive thank you to the PGA and Wellingborough Golf Club for their support and involvement in organising the day. You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the event, as the evening reception is as much a part of it as the golf, with an auction, great food, and live music. “The generosity from all who attended was amazing, especially when a heavy flow of people started to donate money to We Mind & Kelly Matters during the auction. Donations are still pouring in now. We’re truly grateful for the support of our customers and suppliers.”
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The Glazerite UK Group Ltd manufacture and supply uPVC Windows, Doors and Conservatories to trade customers from sites in the Midlands, Northwest, East and Southwest.

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