Hardware Horizons: Predictions for the year ahead from hardware distributor, Carl F Groupco
An article written for Windows Active, January 2017.
In this report, predictions for 2017 for the hardware sector are given to Windows Active by Carl F Groupco. The established supplier of window and door fittings works hard to keep its fingers on the pulse of industry trends and, as a result, the company is well placed to advise regarding impending advancements.
The technology trend
Commenting on an increasing appetite for advanced technology, Carl F Groupco’s Marketing Manager Clare Crockett says:
“We have seen an increase in awareness of smart locking technology from both fabricators and end users. Launching SmartSecure during 2016 at the FIT Show, and also exhibiting at a permanent display at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC), has given us direct market feedback that confirms the massive future potential of the smart locking and access control solutions market.
“While this area of the market will take time to gather pace in the mainstream, we are confident of it ultimately having widespread take up. Regarding the year ahead, we positively predict continued movement towards electronic locking. With significant interest already being expressed in SmartSecure, due to the convenience that domestic friendly access control offers for the home, we are secure in the fact that early adopters at the forefront of the smart revolution will see significant success during 2017.
“Adoption of other technology in the home is accelerating the trend towards smart technology within the fenestration industry. At Carl F Groupco, we have seen record sales of the FUHR multitronic 881 under the SmartSecure brand and we anticipate that this will increase as fabricators look to differentiate their offer and end users become increasingly aware of their options.
“Specialist sectors, such as housing associations, buildings for the elderly and schools, have shown interest where there is a specific need for this type of technology and there are clear signs that these will be sectors that will be at the forefront of its adoption during the next year.”
Carl F Groupco is at pains to point out that smart technology isn’t set to totally overshadow advancements in mainstream hardware in the year ahead. Commenting on the manufacturers investing in R&D, Clare Crockett says:
“Trojan, for example, has shown a lot of innovation over the past year and their advancements are set to continue to influence the market. One particularly exciting initiative has been the launch of Trojan’s PAS 24 compatible Athena Euro Hinge. Key benefits are the fitting time - it is supplied pre-assembled and can go from the box onto the profile with very little preparation. Aesthetics continue to be advanced and the hinge, which benefits from an unobtrusive appearance, can be matched to any RAL colour to improve the overall appearance of the door. Trojan’s Elite range of pull handles and central knob are also new products to be included in our new catalogue for 2017 that will be launched in January.”
Aside from technology and product developments, Clare Crockett explains that some evolving standards are set to impact the hardware industry.
“Security is the main trend that will roll into 2017 following Document Q, moving on to TS 008 for letterplate security. All items on the door are now being scrutinised… at Carl F Groupco we see this is a positive trend to ensure innovation and product improvement for the future of the market.
“TS 008 relates to enhanced security for letterplates to prevent key fishing and manipulation; to achieve PAS 24 compliance and meet the requirements for Document Q, doorsets featuring letterplates must now pass
The Brexit effect
And, of course, no viewpoint regarding the year ahead can avoid the tricky topic of Brexit. Commenting on the challenges, Clare Crockett says:
“We sincerely hope that the mist will clear and that in 2017 some of the uncertainties will be clarified. Theresa May has admitted that she has lost sleep over Brexit and she is not alone… as most hardware is produced in Europe or the Far East, it is highly likely that the UK’s hardware sector will continue to be challenged by currency fluctuations. All we can do is to continue to remain honest with customers, focus on quality products, provide high level service and offer rapid response delivery during the year ahead… and to prepare ourselves for the Brexit effect.”