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Claudio Marchini is the Product Manager responsible for the development and distribution in southern Europe of the stainless steel and polycarbonate Chromatech Ultra spacer bar made by Rolltech; a production line was recently inaugurated at Noale (Venice), headquarters of Alu-Pro.
Revolutionary in its combined stainless steel and polycarbonate structure, the Chromatech Ultra spacer is especially suited to residential construction. This is a rapidly growing market in Mediterranean countries, thanks to increased sensitivity to energy efficiency and recent legislation on the subject, called for and promoted by the European Community.
The goal for 2011 is an ambitious one: 50 million running meters of Chromatech Ultra sold. No small amount, even considering that manufacturing coverage is ensured by Rolltech facilities in Denmark and the Alu-Pro facility in Noale, near Venice. In fact, a new production line was launched here at the beginning of 2011, the fourth overall for Chromatech Ultra. Alu-Pro, already specialized in aluminum spacer bars, has become the first Italian company to manufacture warm-edge spacers.
“Recently there has been considerable, rapid development in warm-edge spacer bars and our Chromatech Ultra has been extremely successful – according to Claudio Marchini, Product Manager of Alu-Pro – The rise in demand and sales in the leading European markets prompted us to launch production of Chromatech Ultra in Italy as well, at the Noale plant, to support our Danish sister firm, Rolltech, where this product was designed and developed”.
Production from Noale is expected to meet the increased demand from southern Europe, a still-developing market, with a low relative impact, compared to the European average, but that is quickly on its way to reaching a projected market share of 30% of total sales, forecast over the next three years. At this time, the most receptive countries are Italy, France, and to a lesser degree, due to climate differences and its troubled economy, Spain.
Italy’s domestic market is gaining appreciation for warm-edge technology, thanks to the significant advantages it offers. Italian legislation in fact imposes maximum heat transfer values for windows (Uw) and IG units (Ug) based on climatic zone. Chromatech Ultra reduces total heat transfer of the window by about 10% compared to traditional aluminum spacers and makes it easier to meet the legal requirements. The payoff is savings on heating bills and fewer CO2 emissions into the environment, with a dramatic cut in the formation of condensation around the internal perimeter of the window.
In terms of marketing, this is probably the most compelling aspect: “The huge leap in sales of warm-edge spacers – continues Claudio Marchini – is due not so much to an increased general awareness of the need to save energy, which is on everyone’s radar by now, as much as it is to the toughening of the laws, which call for lower heat transfer values. The other key element is fiscal leverage which offers significant incentives for adaptation or restructuring. It should be noted that the European law only sets principles, leaving it to the individual countries to determine reference values. Obviously, the more restrictive the values, the greater the stimulus to demand and the market.”
Currently in Italy growth of the warm-edge market and, consequently, demand for Chromatech Ultra is on a six-month continuum. If, as it seems will occur, the other southern European countries follow this trend, it is not difficult to predict that shortly, and even perhaps by the end of the year, there will be a need for a second production line at Noale, for Chromatech Ultra --the revolutionary profile that owes its success to the perfect combination of stainless steel and polycarbonate.