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Maintaining a Competitive Edge in the Fabrication of Conservatory Windows & Roofs

Improving the efficiency in the process for manufacturing conservatories in the current competitive environment is vital for good profit growth. However, most experience the continuing difficulty in recruiting good reliable staff. They recognize the need to retain existing highly trained people and motivate by equipping them with the essential tools to maximize their time. Providing staff with the best tools for the job is, without doubt, a great motivator.

There are some very valuable, inexpensive time saving products appearing on the market all the time. Particularly in regard the use of computer technology. We have all noticed the fall in price over recent years of this technology making it highly cost effective and accessible to more. For example electronic double mitre saws which obtain their cutting list directly from the office computer. This can greatly reduce the risk of error by setting the lengths to be cut and the required angles automatically. The list can be organized to minimize wastage by maximising the number of pieces of profile you can cut from a bar. Improving the yield in other words. There’s the additional benefit of deskilling these tasks and the result is an improvement of efficiency. These saws are particularly useful to conservatory roof manufacturers if they are fitted with 550mm diameter saw blades so they have the cutting capacity to cope easily with larger aluminum extruded ring beam and ridge profiles. Rafters should also be accommodated by way of the cutting angle setting adjustable beyond the normal 45 degrees, preferably to at least 22 degrees.

Conservatory sides are often designed using several combinations of fixed and opening windows. As a result they have several crucifix joints (otherwise referred to as cruciform, cross or ‘X’ joint) in their windows and, since they are invariably being constructed with internally glazed beading of the glass, reverse butt welding is the norm on every crucifix joint. It has been estimated that welding a complete crucifix in one operation could save up to 20 minutes of fabrication time per joint when compared to using the normal multiple cutting, welding and cleaning method of crucifix production. The conventional way to create such a joint would be several cutting, welding and cleaning operations, which besides consuming much time, introduces extra tolerances that can result in a visibly poor looking frame. The introduction of a crucifix welder brings the benefits of saving time and enhancing quality in one go. Avoiding the legwork moving back and forth between saw, welder and cleaner saves operator time and operator fatigue.

Cleaning a crucifix in one go completely eliminates the mis-match in the centre of the groove where they meet. This can often be seen on window frames where cruciforms are produced in two halves. Sometimes window frames are butted together rather than one whole frame. This necessitates the outside edge of a reversed butt joint to be cleaned level or perhaps require relief before add-ons can be fitted. A six axis cnc cleaner enables the entire joint to be cleaned in one operating cycle. This type of machine is very fast, probably one of the fastest cleaners available so far. The six axis allows for all sides of any joint to be worked at the same time. Decorative profiles are also cleaned more effectively on this kind of machine as well as the removing of the weld sprue from behind the gasket seals when the gaskets are included before welding.

Conservatory window frames tend to be quite large. Larger frames are best suited to being cleaned on machines where they are inserted square to the machine rather than at an angle or orientated to the apex of each corner. This provides far greater support for the frames and reduces the handling associated with constantly rotating the frame.

For further information on any Kombimatec products contact David Parsons – 01582 562218 or

Kombimatec DGS530S absorbs the optimised cutting list directly from the office computer including setting the cutting angles beyond 45 degrees.

The HDX Crucifix welder built in the UK by Kombimatec is estimated to save up to 20 minutes of fabrication time for each cruciform/cross joint created.

The EV475 Kombimatec 6 axis cleaner is the fastest and most efficient cleaner produced by them at their Luton factory.

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