WFM: Please brief on the importance of right hardware for windows?
Atul Anand (AA): A window is basically made up of glass, profiles, gaskets and hardware. In some countries there are safety standards that the windows should meet – for example in Germany they have the safety standards RC1, RC2, RC3 etc. Hardware is used to create multi point locking which makes the windows safe and to meet such standards. It is through the hardware that correct gasket compression is controlled. It ensures that the sash has the right pressure so that the window is sealed and yet compression WFM: s not so much that it affects the life of the gasket. In case the window is not sealed properly, there will be air, sound and water leakages.
WFM: What are the criteria for selection of architectural hardware for facades and fenestrations?
Atul Anand (AA): There are various types of openings possible e.g. sliding/slide and fold/ lift and slide / Tilt and slide/ Tilt and turn etc. The hardware components vary depending on the dimensions of the openings, the weight of the sash, type of profile material used (aluminium/uPVC/wood etc.) to make the windows & doors, wind load and water tightness desired, the kind of opening desired, etc. Companies like Roto, through their experience can help choosing right components done over permutation and combinations, in order to reach the correct solution. If we are involved in design stage itself, the clients can benefit immensely through knowledge sharing.
WFM: Please tell us about the latest technologies in hardware products?
Atul Anand (AA): The latest technologies can be summarised as follows:
- Locking cam versions – ‘E’ for gasket compression adjustment cam, ‘P’ Gasket compression adjustable security cam, ‘V’ Height and gasket compression adjustable security cam.
- NT security concept. Roto NT is equipped with basic security on the bottom horizontal sash plane. This offers AhS tested hardware combinations for higher security requirements, meeting the requirements in accordance with RAL – RG 607/3. Highest burglary inhibition results are achieved with simple combinations for security windows in accordance with the new DIN V ENV 1627-1630. This norm includes an overall test of all singular window components.
- NT striker concept. All strikers in this category have identical screwing axes. This concept renders pre-fitting the sash with security cams possible and a later frame retrofitting with security strikers.
- Surface finish. That is approved by EN ISO 9227 / EN 1670 Class 4.
WFM: Architects come up with various hardware requirements for their projects. How do you satisfy their needs?
Atul Anand (AA): Architects do put our technical capabilities to test; their out-of-the-box thinking makes us explore all the possible solutions to satisfy their demands. We have a huge basket of products – around 80,000 components, with more than 5000 patents. So we can offer various combinations in several colours and shapes/hardware components, e.g. concealed hardware. We do design and deliver tailor made hardware for projects. So we actually go back to the drawing board to make hardware which are project specific. Of course we need sufficient time to deliver such solutions.
WFM: Please give us a brief note on your latest hardware product?
Atul Anand (AA): Roto globally has a turnover of around Rs 5600 Crores and we operate through our 15 factories in Europe and USA. In this year’s Fenestrebau in Nuremberg, Germany we introduced our latest offering – Roto Inowa. This is a unique sliding system where in the sash moves as it would in a normal sliding window. But when it locks, the sash moves in a perpendicular direction. There are two sets of rollers – one that takes the sash in front (just like in regular sliding) and the other which makes the sash move at the side. (Vertical rollers set and horizontal roller set). The locking control is on the handle – by turning the handle, the sash locks on the interlock. Thus 100 percent sealing in sliding too is possible. This also means better security as locking points are on interlock too. We have packaged this with our brand Roto I and are offering it for Aluminium window projects in India.
WFM: What is the future of architecture hardware industry for facades and fenestrations? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?
Atul Anand (AA): With almost all leading global players present in India (directly or indirectly), it is a clear signal that there is an opportunity for all to tap. Also the industry is looking out for new proven options to treat an opening. Change is happening and everyone in the industry, especially the fabricators, are accelerating this. The demand for good hardware is limited due to lack of knowledge of what a good hardware can deliver in terms of cost Vs the benefits. Many of the project owners are under pressure to just complete the projects and this forces staff to purchase the cheapest solution and close the project.
Hardware in India is still just a piece of metal. It is not given the importance that it deserves. Due to lack of regulations, everyone is free to put in whatever hardware he thinks is correct. Façade and fenestration failures – sashes falling off, windows not operating or closing properly in very prestigious projects, etc. are sometimes the turning point for some clients to use good hardware. This will continue to be a tiny specific market which may change if the government decides to do something about the regulations.
WFM: Please point out few hurdles faced by your company and the industry?
Atul Anand (AA): When China was growing vertically at a very fast pace, the developments made companies in the building construction industry grow exponentially in China. Many European companies today have this as the background when they try and find information about the Indian market, many of whom had missed the China bus. However, the reality is different here. In India, growth will be consistent as our government till now does not have a very aggressive plan for building construction industry like China had.
India is a very price conscious market, and when it comes to large projects the compromise is maximum. We need to educate the players and clients of the benefits of good hardware even in large projects. If the architects, owners, fabricators and consultants walk the talk and do not succumb to pressure, then good products will definitely get acceptance in the industry.