Creating a sustainable future
Dealer Day and expansion of production at Blecher – Winkhaus innovations in focus
The influx at this year’s Dealer Day held by window manufacturer Otto Blecher shows that personal contact is worth a lot. After the pandemic break, around two hundred guests entered the tent and found out about current developments at the workshop stations. The whole event at the factory premises in Bad Laasphe was about climate change.
Weather expert Frank Böttcher started by explaining the irrevocable developments that await us in light of climate change. With his presentation “Heat, drought, heavy rain – what are we doing to our weather kitchen?” he impressively demonstrated the dangers and consequences. The speakers from VEKA AG, VEKA-Umwelttechnik and Digital Building Solutions GmbH, as well as Winkhaus Sales Manager Jens Drescher, then also focussed on the topic of climate change and sustainability. He presented the solutions implemented by Winkhaus to help counteract the dangers and invited participants to the workshops for detailed questions.
Blecher invited the guests to visit the new production hall. In addition to Winkhaus, VEKA, dpi Türdesign, Energy Glas, Roll-tec, (Lift-sliding doors) Schmidt and Digital Building Solutions also presented their new products.
Technology for trendy entrance doors
What forces act on window fittings during the shear tear-out test and why is the new generation of autoLock AV4D automatic locking systems particularly well-suited for modern energy efficient doors? Winkhaus employees Jens Drescher, Daniel Raue and Michael Priegent answered these and many other questions.
The discussions focused on solutions for windows and doors that defy the consequences of warmer summers with increased solar radiation and also help to mitigate climate change. The focus was on the new autoLock AV4D locking system. It provides door professionals with the right tools for trendy entrance doors. For the low-maintenance technology is particularly well-suited for external doors in a dark design. Door sashes sometimes expand when exposed to sunlight, which can adversely affect the door’s closing performance. This may lead to complaints. autoLock AV4D prevents critical situations like these. Different variants offer the perfect solution for almost every task. This easy-to-use security door locking system can achieve burglary protection classes of up to RC2.
The new locking system is based on the tried-and-tested Winkhaus duo hook concept. The solid hooks extend automatically without the need to turn the key and engage deep behind the keep rail. This means that the door is locked securely even when pulled shut. Combined with the additional sealing elements, the door sash is kept in position more securely and protects against the effects of draught and heat loss. With these features, the locking system has proven itself in energy-efficient doors. Winkhaus has further optimised this solution for autoLock AV4D: Thanks to a new and unique geometry, the shape of hooks counteracts the warping of the door sash even more effectively.
Since the autoLock AV4D locking systems can be combined with various additional functions, doors can be individually configured for the end customer – for example in consultation with the building owner.
The practical daytime latch is often desired, among other things. This option is available for all versions of the autoLock AV4D system. The popular TaFa daytime latch with one-handed operation for everyday use provides assistance when the door needs to remain open, for instance when carrying in the shopping. It can be easily mechanically activated with a single action and holds the door open for a brief time, much like a conventional electric door strike.
And if requirements change later, the automatic locking system can be upgraded: It can be retrofitted with a motor (EAV). Fingerprint or hands-free solutions, as well as a pinpad can be integrated as an electrical door opener, for example.
Sturdy solution for energy-efficient windows
The window professionals at Blecher also showed great interest in the new strong hinge side from Winkhaus, which can hold a sash weight of up to 150 kg as standard. This enables energy-efficient windows with triple glazing to be produced in large formats, among other things.
The technology proved its high load-bearing capacity in the shear tear-out test workshop. To demonstrate the difference, Michael Priegent clamped sample sections with shear hinges into the test device. The previous activPilot hinge side only deformed beyond the permitted level when a force of around 3600 N or more than 130 kg was applied. The significantly stronger new hinge side retained its shape even with 4500 N or more than 150 kg and hardly changed at all.
This is achieved with clever technical details: The new hinge parts are made of solid steel. There are large contact surfaces to distribute the load from the increased weights more effectively and to improve the support on the frame. The corner hinge at the lower end is also longer, optimising the load transfer for heavy sashes. The highly resilient steel hinges are also ideal for narrow frames. The inconspicuous screw heads are another attractive detail of the activPilot Concept fitting system, as they are concealed by the shear hinge and sash hinge.
The high-performance Winkhaus hinge side is tested according to the testing criteria of the new DIN EN 18126-8:2017 H3 standard. With just three screw connections of the shear hinge in the reinforcement, 20,000 opening and closing cycles with sash weights of up to 130 kg were easily achieved in the test, thus meeting the guidelines of Gütegemeinschaft Schlösser und Beschläge for screwing load-bearing fitting components in turn-tilt windows (TBDK). A fourth screw connection of the shear hinge enables a load capacity of up to 150 kg under the same conditions. The fitting system is also highly resistant to break-in attempts. Windows up to class RC3 can be built with it.
Intelligent window technology
In addition to mechanical security, the smart security features of the window were also a topic of discussion in Bad Laasphe. One exhibit presented the Winkhaus activPilot Control system, which is used for intelligent window monitoring. It is VdS certified (VdS class B or VdS class C) and operates inconspicuously yet effectively. activPilot Control enables different ways of electronically monitoring windows. The various closing contacts are specifically matched to their respective application area – climate control, exhaust air control or alarm monitoring. They can be easily integrated into activPilot fittings and are invisible from the outside when the window is closed.
The guests also had the opportunity to take a tour of the plant in the afternoon. Managing Director Christof Blecher explained the various production stations during the tour. He is the third generation to manage the family business with more than 200 employees. The constantly and solidly growing plant was recently expanded by 2,800 square metres of production space. Over five million euros were invested in a third welding cleaning line, a new glazing bead cutting centre, a fully automatic glass sorting system and a new logistics centre. Thanks to this investment in the future, the company is now very well positioned to face the increasing demand.