Hartshorn set to ‘get back the buzz’ with fully-integrated ali system in 20,000-tonne Garnalex business
Roger Hartshorn has given more details of his venture into aluminium extrusion via his new company Garnalex as well as speaking of his personal goal of getting back the ‘buzz’ of making things again.
The former creator of the Eurocell and Liniar PVC-U systems aims to start extruding for trade from its 100,000sq ft factory later this year with plans to launch a completely new aluminium window system early next year. He recently revealed his plans for a system that will be fully integrated and would target the gap between the UK’s growing demand for the material and its current manufacturing output.
“The country consumes about 190,000 tonnes a year but only makes 110,000 tonnes so has to import the rest,” he said, “With several weeks’ lead time for European imports and possible complications from going further afield, as well as all the uncertainty over Brexit, the need for more UK product speaks for itself.
He underlined his comments last week that aluminium window systems have lagged behind PVC-U in development since the 80s and added:
“I think a lot of the current systems are dated and ready for a facelift, we have seen the new Epwin system launched and I predict more will follow. We now have the best design team in the industry and we are building a system that has all the innovation that systems should have had since that time.
“It will also be fully integrated. Only a couple of UK systems companies are integrated at the moment; the others don’t extrude. As well as designing our system, we will extrude it, coat it and also make the plastic elements like thermal breaks entirely ourselves.
“I had a spare 100,000sq ft building; I have bought the best German machine money can buy with a practical capacity of over 20,000 tonnes a year and I already know plenty of people who would like to buy from us.”
Behind all the practicalities, he spoke of a personal drive to get back into ‘making things’:
“I bought HL Plastics in 2005 when it had sales of £5million. When it was sold it in 2015 it had sales of £80million. When a company gets to that size, the creative exciting part of the job gets replaced with daily routine.
“I’m still relatively young and ambitious to get be the master of my own destiny again. I have assembled a proven team so hope to hit the ground running.