It was a chance meeting at the Northern Woodworking Show in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, which led Alex Hutt to take the decision to invest in the Trend Modular Window System.
Alex has worked as a cabinet-maker since leaving study in 1994. He set up his own workshop, in Ulverston, Cumbria, in 1999 and Alex Hutt Furniture expanded into new premises in 2010.The business concentrated on producing quality, bespoke, cabinet making and furniture design using traditional techniques in combination with the latest tool technology. Only the best raw materials are used, sourced from an extensive range of local and national suppliers.
Customers had often asked Alex to produce windows and doors, which, previously, he had passed on to other local joinery companies. During the tougher economic climate, Alex decided that he could no longer afford to give work away and started looking for an affordable solution for making timber windows and doors.Alex had heard about the Trend Modular Window System, but had been told by a local woodworking machinery dealer that it was too complicated. Alex had used many of Trend's standard router cutters and accessories since starting his furniture making business and had always been impressed with Trend's innovation and quality. Whilst visiting the Northern Woodworking show at Harrogate in November 2012, Alex visited the Trend Machinery stand where he met Colin Peacock and Ian Small from the Industrial Tooling division. They showed him finished sample windows that had been produced by customers using the Modular Window System and explained to him how the system worked.
The main advantages of the system, from Alex's point of view, were that the system only required one machine, a spindle moulder, with a flush mounted sliding table. Once the machine has been set, very quickly with a simple setting gauge, it isn't altered to produce all of the slots, tenons and profiles on the window outer frame and sash, considerably reducing the time it takes to manufacture a complete window. The other advantage for Alex, at that time, with his limited experience of window manufacturing, was that all of the tooling and spacers are numbered and Trend supply a wall chart with each of the window systems, showing all of the steps required for complete window manufacture. There are currently eight different styles of window available. The final factor that won the business for Trend was that all of the tooling and machine were available from stock in the UK.
Immediately after the show, Alex placed the order for tooling and machine with Grovewood Machines Ltd, Hampshire. Nick Groves at Grovewood installed and commissioned the machine and tooling in December 2012. At the end of the first quarter of 2013, Alex had achieved more sales making windows and doors that he'd managed in a whole year with his furniture business.The joinery side has become so successful that it has led Alex to set up a separate company, Evergreen Joiners Ltd, and one year after purchasing the system, Alex took delivery of a brand new four sided moulder from Grovewood Machines, to keep pace with his ever increasing order book for windows and doors. A spray booth, overhead tracking and spray equipment have been very recent additions to Alex's manufacturing capability and he now employs 4 full time staff, a part time administrator, and expects to be looking for another joiner very soon.
There are nearly 250 companies enjoying the benefits of the Trend Modular Window system throughout the UK and in-house demonstrations will continue to be run through our network of eight dedicated MWS dealers in 2014. Trend will also have a large presence at W14 at the NEC in October.