Stuga Strengthens

Steve Haines retired in December 2022 after a lifetime of service in the window industry with machinery manufacturer Stuga.

The firm has been bought by Stürtz Maschinenbau of Germany. Haines has guided the appointment of a commercial and sales director to take over from him.

But here, we focus on Haines’s influence, especially in the adoption of automated machinery for the fenestration industry in the UK. To say it is massive would be a huge understatement.

Haines started his career as an apprentice for aerospace giant Rolls Royce (engine division) in the 1960s. A role in general management at a large multi-national followed before he moved into sales in the 1970s. In 1982 Haines started the machinery agency, Wegoma UK. The agency grew to be one of the biggest agencies in the UK and sold Sturtz cleaning equipment and eventually welding machines.

Haines was with Wegoma until 1992 when he moved to Actual UK. For the next seven years he sold its welding and cleaning machines and in 1999 he joined Stuga as a consultant. It proved to be a career-defining move.


On the map

“Steve’s efforts single handedly put Stuga on the map and built our brand over the years that followed,” says Gareth Green, Stuga’s technical director and son of the founder. “Steve made the name Stuga synonymous with automation in the industry – customers didn’t buy a machining centre, they bought a Stuga.”


Pioneering vision

At a time when many fabricators were using aged semi-automatic machines in very labour-intensive processes, Haines introduced the first entry level and cost-effective automated machining solutions.

Becoming a shareholder in Stuga in 2009, he has steered the company to greater and greater successes, culminating in the firm being the focus of attention from German-giant Stürtz.


A new face at Stuga

The new face at Stuga is Ed Williams. Williams brings over 20 years’ experience in senior sales, project and product management roles. Having been responsible for the strategic direction, enhancement and financial performance of a range of products and services in the packaging industry, Williams’s experience will provide a sound base on which to meet the growth demands set out by the Stürtz Group.

“The chance to join the team at Stuga and lead the growth of the business – in particular the re-introduction to the UK and Republic of Ireland markets of Stürtz machines – was too great an opportunity to miss,” says Williams.


Match made in heaven

The technical fit of Stuga and Stürtz machine portfolios makes for an exciting prospect and will place Stuga in the  position to offer a one-stop-shop approach to fabricators throughout the industry, from small start-ups to large corporations. “The bringing together of Stuga’s sawing and machine capability alongside the range of automated systems from Stürtz is a match made in heaven – there is no other company in the fenestration-fabrication industry which offers turnkey solutions of this magnitude and scope. And it is the right time, as the industry seeks to overcome labour-market challenges and invest more in automated solutions, energy efficiency and predictive maintenance.”


Making headway

Stuga and Stürtz jointly have ambitious growth targets and Williams says: “Stürtz Group has a very simple approach – we have products and services that the industry trusts, coupled with a reputation and service structure on which to support that growth.

“Acquisitions like this can often create doubt in the minds of customers who have come to know the Stuga brand over years of working together, yet UK customers can be assured by the fact that Gareth Green has invested his future in the business by becoming a Stürtz shareholder -  and by my appointment to ensure local commercial activity is focussed in the right areas of customer satisfaction and reliability.”


Picture: Stuga machines have led the way for the window fabrication business for years.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
09th January 2023


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