New four head Welder in time for 30th Birthday
Monday, June 18th , 2018
In the beginning
In early 2005 in an informal conversation Alan Burgess Managing Director and Ray Rabett Technical Director decided that there was a real need to offer customers a welded window that looked as if it was mechanically jointed. This would then replicate the mortise and Tenon joints found in original timber box sash windows and would add even more authenticity to Masterframe sash windows.
Timber sash windows are always joined from rail to stile so butt joints should be vertical, not horizontal to be a traditional PVC-U alternative.
In the course of the discussion Ray, had a ‘light bulb moment’ and without too much consideration came up with the solution and says “The concept was a method of construction which balances the aesthetics of a timber mortise & Tenon corner with the technology of a welded construction. This ensures that the profiles are perfectly sealed with no open chambers. To our knowledge this method of construction had never been done before.”
The method of construction was patented in 2005 for the United Kingdom and Masterframe Windows started to produce the corners by hand although it was extremely labour intensive and thus costly.
In search of a more effective solution
The ideal solution would be to machine weld the corners; however Ray received a negative response from all the machine companies in the UK.
In 2016, Alan visited Fensterbau and Ray produced a series of 3D prints on how the fabrication would work and asked Alan to present these to Urban on their stand to ask if there was a way of welding these joints.
It was a real surprise for Alan to discover that Urban were in fact already doing this and distributing it on the continent.
Alan retuned to the UK and registered a Trade Mark for the name Timberweld® for the method of construction patented in 2005. Now, not only could Masterframe seize the opportunity to improve production efficiencies but Duchy Investments, owners of Masterframe could sell the licence in the UK to casement and door manufacturers who could also benefit by the technology. A logo, corporate ID, website and promotional items were developed for Timberweld® and launched at the FIT Show in 2017.
Masterframe Windows and any Timberweld® licensee using a machine for welding the corners would have a distinct advantage in terms of strength, speed, efficiency and overall consistency.
Onwards and upwards
The first two head welder was purchased in 2016to machine weld the joints on the outer frames. Once this method changed from handcrafting to welding, efficiencies and consistency improved dramatically.
The ultimate solution is here
To coincide with Masterframe’s 30th Birthday at the end of June, a new fully bespoke four head welder is due to make its debut in the factory at Witham. Complete with two Timberweld/mitre heads and 2 turret weld heads the new machine for sash production will make it possible to have Timberweld ® joints together with deep bottom rail, run through horns and even a super slim grp meeting rail with the addition of a PVC-U plug, all fully welded.
According to Ray Rabbett, Technical Director “This is the most complicated piece of equipment we have ever purchased. It will take Urban a week to commission and programme the software to run the welder, connect the machine to our existing SV 430 corner cleaner and train our operatives. This will be disruptive in the short term, but we look forward to running a really slick operation after that with a substantial increase in productivity, accuracy and again consistency.”
The future looks bright and there will be much cause for celebration when we turn 30 having achieved this really substantial investment in the future.”
Read more about the Timberweld ® story here along with the many advantages it offers your customers.