An Emergency Service

When Duraflex, the PVC-U profile supplier, went out of business, the fallout affected many fabricators. Jade Engineering became an emergency service in the desperate mission to re-equip them.

Duraflex was a popular brand. As the end became nigh, continuity was the name of the game with fabricators rushing to tool up for the systems chosen as replacements.

Jade Engineering is a tool maker and specialist frame machinery builder. It is now at the end of one of the most frantic periods in its history – and able to reflect on the anatomy of a systems house closure.



“It has been the most manic period for years,” says Sean Mackey, who, with partner Adam Jones, owns Jade, which provides machine tools for every PVC-U system in the UK and most of those presented in aluminium.

“Essentially we work for the systems houses who traditionally come to us to equip new fabricators with the tooling needed to fabricate windows and doors, using their system,” continues Mackey. “So, the companies to which the soon-to-be ex-Duraflex fabricators rushed when news broke that their profile supplier would soon be no more, then turned to us with a rush of orders, for machine tools but also specialist machinery such as millers. And of course, every fabricator taken on, wanted their factories equipped the day before yesterday.”

Mackey says he is now able to smile again after an intensive three months involving 14-hour days and seven-day weeks.


What was done?

The statistics for the quarter ending September provide entertaining reading in themselves. Jade manufactured, supplied and installed no less than 70 of its Jade end and bead millers, with a further 40 of its customers’ own machines being retooled. Thee are the figures that Jade would expect in a normal 12 months.

425 sets of cutting heads were milled in Jade’s advanced CNC-equipped machines, using three tonnes of steel, whilst 2,000 pairs of contour blocks were manufactured to high tolerances, using two tonnes of aluminium.

Additional miscellaneous machinery and tools were also produced and delivered in this period as many fabricators took the opportunity to review their systems and processes for the first time in years in some cases, taking advantage of the tree shaking that forced them to review.


Stepping up

“We could not have done it without our people, who stepped up to the plate – literally – and put in the hours to apply their skills to processes that simply cannot be hurried,” says Mackey. “The manufacture of tooling and machinery of this type requires high precision and great engineering skills and experience. Our people have done us proud. They  clocked more than 32,500-man hours  during this period, and swigged 10,000 cups of tea and coffee between them.”


New Year opening

Whilst Sean Mackey and Adam Jones are proud of their achievement, the operation has not been without a price to the partners. Makley says:: “We purchased a 30,000sq.ft building last year that was intended to become Jade Engineering’s new headquarters this autumn, with all except one of our various operations being housed under the same roof.

“That has been on hold and we now need to kickstart that process again. We hope to open in the New Year.

“Let’s hope and pray that another big name doesn’t bite the dust, at least for a few months.”


Picture: Jade standalone single task machines can be found in hundreds of fabricators nationwide.

Article written by John Roper
04th November 2023


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