Picture above: Mark Frain

Glass News’ Editor Chris Champion questions Warmcore’s Mark Frain about the product, its future and how it fits in profine’s product line up.

Q. Mark, you have a wide experience in our industry, from hardware in various companies and also with developers of aluminium products. Can you tell us a bit more about your background?

Like many people in our fantastic industry, I arrived without a conscious effort or plan to make my career in fenestration. I left school with the basic qualifications and worked in an engineering factory making car components. My interests at the time where all around playing rugby on a Saturday and having fun with friends.

After a year or so I realised I had made a mistake and wanted more. I spent a year in college after work topping up the qualifications I needed and on completion was accepted for a Business Degree at Nottingham Trent University. I made some life long friends during that period and after graduation I was offered a job at Brunel Hardware, part of the Heywood Williams group as quality manager, the rest they say is history.

Q. What is the motivation in joining profine UK?

profine and Kömmerling have always had a strong brand identity in the U.K and identified by many for delivering top quality products. Having visited Fensterbau many times over the years, I understood their global reach. However, working with over 200 Kömmerling staff on the recent Fensterbau stand made this very real.

From my German colleagues who helped with translation to meeting the team from Kömmerling Australia, who have a fabricator customer in Perth who I went to school with it’s been a wonderful start! Finally, when profine acquired the essential assets of Aperture they also retained key staff from the Synseal era. I am proud and excited to return and work with these great people again.

Q. WarmCore is now part of profine and Kömmerling and the product is very much in your remit. Is the melding of aluminium and PVCu an exciting product for you to promote?

Absolutely, I have so many strong features and benefits to promote to customers and it offers a point of difference and a differentiation advantage for fabricators and installers.

Q. WarmCore was launched some time ago. Under the profine flag, is this a relaunch of the product or is it a continuation of support for WarmCore fabricators.

Sadly, the WarmCore brand was tarnished by some of the choices and commercial performance of Synseal as a business. We will always support our WarmCore fabricators, but this is also an introduction to new customers who are unaware of the unique hybrid product range.

Q. People may not realise that WarmCore is a complete suite of products. Can you tell us about those products within the suite and whether any will be added in the future?

A good point as many see WarmCore as merely a bi-fold and the customers I am visiting are surprised that WarmCore is a family of products, incorporating a window system with standard open out casement, a tilt an turn window and a flush casement. As far as the future is concerned, this is very much a start of new journey, I have a host of ideas as do my product development colleagues, which we will hopefully share with you soon

Q. One of the main attractions of WarmCore is thermal properties within an aluminium profile. Can you tell us about the thermal advantages and whether WarmCore can also boast sound insulation properties?

We are justifiably proud of the thermal performance of WarmCore products with it being a 70mm aluminium hybrid system. WarmCore products typically achieve a U value of 1.3 with double glazing and 0.9 triple glazed and the patio can achieve 1.4 with double and 1.0 on triple too.

These values are also honestly achieved with adherence to the sample size and style which are determined in BS EN 14351-1 standard. For sound insulation we have also carried out acoustic testing to BS EN ISO 717-1 with the best result achieving a 45dB using acoustic rated triple glazing.

We also carried out the same testing with consideration to a standard double glazed option (4/20/4) where we achieved a 34dB and with inclusion of P1A laminate for security and this improved performance up to 37dB.

Q. Is WarmCore a contemporary style product or is it aimed at renovation work?

In my opinion think WarmCore can be used in both situations, although I may be somewhat biased!

Q. Do you consider WarmCore to have slim sightlines in comparison to other profiles? Do you compare those sightlines against aluminium or PVCu profiles?

In fairness I do not consider WarmCore to have slim sightlines although it does compare with some other aluminium and PVCu systems on the market well. End users and some systems companies are in a race for the slimmest sightlines, regardless of the effects that this inevitably has on air, wind and water, along with security and U value performance.

Q. Being a hybrid system what is WarmCore competing with, is it aluminium systems or PVCu systems?

It was designed to compete with aluminium systems and to be a product people would use when replacing PVC.

Q. Why have you now included foiled finishes? Is it to match with existing foiled PVCu systems so, for instance, original foiled PVCu windows will match with, say, a foiled WarmCore bifold?

Absolutely, we were recently able to help a customer complete a project where they installed Irish Oak PVCu windows and doors throughout the property but needed a bi-fold for the rear and WarmCore was able to match seamlessly.

Q. WarmCore is very different from profine and Kömmerling PVCu systems. Does it sit comfortably within the portfolio? Indeed, does it enhance the offering?

One hundered percent it does, as we recently launched WarmCore 76 (a 76mm system for the European market) at Fensterbau and we are also looking to sell WarmCore globally through Kömmerling operations around the world. We have a number of international enquires already from Europe, South America and beyond.

Q. Can we talk about dual colouring? Historically, aluminium systems have shied away from dual colouring even though homeowners like the option. Is this an option for WarmCore?

Indeed it is and we are able to offer a range of dual colours on a two week lead time. Should demand increase we will work to reduce this lead time further in the future.

Q. How do you position WarmCore….as a replacement product for homeowners, as a new build product albeit for high end builds, or as a commercial offering?

WarmCore is relevant in all of those sectors. Foiled woodgrain finishes for homeowners and excellent U values and security for both new build and commercial.

Q. What are architects and specifiers reactions to a hybrid product like WarmCore?

We’re at the early stages at this point, but we do have a large customer selling WarmCore into this sector with considerable success, thanks to the U-values and sound reduction properties.

Q. Where do you see WarmCore going in the future? Is it a forerunner of other hybrid systems that will compete with you? Will it become a mainstream system that sits alongside PVCu, aluminium and timber?

Without question WarmCore will be a success and we’re investing considerably in the marketing and in a research and development programme at group level. With Building Regulations set to get ever tighter in the years to come, WarmCore will prove to be the perfect solution across all market sectors.

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