Seven decades of excellencePosted on: June 29, 2021
They say age is just a number, but when it comes to the glazing industry, there is a lot more to it than that. Nick Cowley, Managing Director of Euramax Solutions, charts the company’s history, from humble beginnings through to a lucrative future…
Not many of today’s manufacturers can say they were around in the 1950s, but Euramax Solutions has spent the last seven decades serving the industry with high-quality products and services, building a steadfast reputation amongst its ever-growing customer base that has carried the business far into the 21st century.
If you were to visit the Barnsley-based company today, you’d be met with a 205,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility producing an expansive range of uPVC windows and doors using cutting-edge lean manufacturing techniques.
You would meet over 210 employees, capable of producing over 4,000 frames per week and completing a finished window or door in just two and a half minutes.
It is a very different picture to the company’s early days – after all, a lot has changed in 71 years.
So where did it all begin?
Originally called Ellbee, the company first started out in 1950 as a family-run business in Leeds, manufacturing windscreens for tanks, cars, and farm vehicles.
By the 1960s, there was a growing demand in the UK for leisure boats, and so Ellbee followed the trend and began manufacturing aluminum windows for this market.
The next decade saw a boom in demand for leisure and travel, and by the 1970s, the company had expanded its aluminum range to include windows for caravans.
Then came the uPVC revolution of the 1980s – this new fashionable material was taking the market by storm, and by the middle of the decade, uPVC accounted for 75% of the 12 million windows sold each year to British homeowners.
As a result, Ellbee soon entered the booming scene, quickly becoming the first UK Company to supply uPVC windows to the static caravan market and the first to develop an internal clamping system for efficient window installation – something that is still used in the industry today.
During this time, the company also developed a DIY division to supply the building market.
The 21st century
By now, Ellbee had built a strong reputation for itself as a leader in the industry, and as a result, in 1993, American company Omnimax purchased the business in order to spearhead the European windows offering – and was rebranded to Euramax Solutions.
At the turn of the century, the company was at the forefront of product development, and in the years that followed, it secured lucrative agreements with builders merchants Wickes, Travis Perkins, and Selco, forging a new route into the building market.
In 2013, Euramax Solutions relocated to its new headquarters in Barnsley, and in 2019, Nick Cowley joined the company as the new Managing Director.
“Joining a company with seven decades of experience behind it was an absolute privilege, and one of my first roles was to come up with a strategy to take the business even further,” Nick comments.
“Soon after joining, Euramax Solutions entered the off-site construction industry, bringing a quality-focused, automotive approach to the sector.”
The road to success
Earlier this year, it was acquired by Modular Group Investments (MGI), allowing it to expand and develop its product portfolio and better understand its customers’ needs.
Today, Euramax Solutions is an industry leader, supplying high quality uPVC products to the off-site and modular construction, DIY and merchant, holiday home and leisure markets.
And with its lean, automotive approach to manufacturing, the company has been able to significantly reduce processing times, delivering quality products at a faster rate and providing excellent customer service.
Nick comments: “Turning 71 is an incredible milestone for Euramax Solutions – there aren’t many manufacturers out there who can say they’ve survived seven decades.
“The company has seen the evolution of the glazing industry, from the leisure market surge of the 50s and 60s and the uPVC boom of the 80s, through to the modern products we see today. It has also seen the evolution of production processes over the years, constantly adapting to meet market trends and demand.
“Amidst all the changes, however, it’s the team here at Euramax Solutions that really is the backbone of the company. Some employees have been here for over 40 years, a true testament to the value we place on our staff.”
When a company has been leading the way for over 70 years, it’s proof of a consistent level of service, an ability and willingness to change with the times, and to develop and evolve its products and services.
Age may be just a number to some, but you cannot put a price on seven decades of experience. In that time, Euramax Solutions has grown from humble beginnings as a small, local supplier, to a trusted national manufacturer of innovative products with a strong reputation for reliability, consistency, and trust – and a bright future ahead.
For more information, call Euramax on 0330 1340290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to news/resources