4 million – that’s the number of IG-units the LiSEC sealing robot VFL-1D at System 3 Ltd has already sealed. The robot operates in two shifts and was installed in 1999.
Now, after 19 years, the owners are thinking of replacing it for a brand-new line – again from LiSEC, of course. Back in 1984 they produced basic double glass units, mainly for domestic windows, on an area of 600m².
Today they employ 257 people, have an area of 13,000m² and produce double glazed units, structural toggle units, toughened laminated glass and much more.
And System 3 has big plans for the future. “There are no detailed plans yet but we are planning to double the size of our factory”, reveals Allan Brown, owner of System 3 and responsible for production and technology.
Asked about their first LiSEC machine, Allan smiles contently, “We bought our automatic saw from LiSEC in 1988. We were the first company using an automatic saw in our area. Everyone else worked manually, so we were much faster. The saw was our center – all following machines were built around it. And believe it or not – we still have it in operation!”
1990 they invested in a pre-owned 2m x 3,5m LiSEC IG-line, two new lines were added later. “Our LiSEC IG lines just won’t stop running, so why should we replace them? We rely on them”, is Allan’s response to the question if he plans to replace the IG-line after 28 years. During the last two years they bought two KSR edge grinding machines, one of them replaced a KSL which had been in operation since 1995.
And they already have plans for new investments: “As I said before, we have big future plans and LiSEC will play an essential role in them – they offer every kind of solution needed in the glass industry. We want to invest in production lines and processing machines, either to expand our machinery park with new machines, or to replace less satisfying machines from other suppliers. That is our key to success: Reinvestment – always keep reinvesting!” states Allan Brown.
System 3's key values for supplier partnerships are: Communication, open-mindedness and first and foremost service.
“Service is king. If there is a breakdown we have to react immediately. Our customers don’t want to wait, and neither do we. LiSEC offers us the 24 hours non-stop service we need and we always have the support from the Austrian Headquarters. Moreover, LiSEC listens to our needs; we can discuss them frankly and in detail and they respond with suitable solutions,” says Brown about the cooperation between System 3 and LiSEC.
Colin Bickley, Managing Director at LiSEC UK, adds: “When it comes to our relationship with System 3, it was most important to invest in Service. We’ve improved our Service quality and responding time significantly in the last few years – this was an important factor to continue our cooperation with System 3.”
In the last few years System 3 restructured their business: In 2008 the allocation was 95 % domestic and 5 % commercial, now it is 60 % commercial and 40 % domestic.
Moreover the demand for laminated glass is increasing which is traced back to the new UK regulation that all glass units in buildings above the first floor have to be laminated. For safety glass and insulating glass units System 3 got the BSI Kitemark Certificate, which is one of the most recognized symbols of quality and safety in the UK.
- Year of foundation: 1984
- Cooperation started in: 1988
- Employees: 257
- Turnover 2016: 17 Mio. GBP
- Units per week: ~ 11,000
- Oldest LiSEC machine: Automatic saw
- Newest LiSEC machine: KSR
- Their key to success: ‘Always keep reinvesting’