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Every business needs to operate with some level of certainty if it is to thrive, but it can be easy to forget this when the focus is short term on balancing costs with sales. It's tempting to trim a few pounds off the supply of seemingly inconsequential products and fasteners all too often get lumped into this group.

The recent news that some fire doors are being replaced because of uncertainties about their performance capabilities should be a wake-up call for the industry to pay far greater attention to the testing, standards and quality of finished products and the components that go into them.

The outstanding range of profile systems, hardware options and machinery available today should make it easy to create high quality, technically superior windows and doors which customers will love. But what stands in the way of getting the maximum return from these constituent parts?

Andy Holland, technical marketing manager at Rapierstar, explains how product innovation, combined with valuable customer service lessons from the PVC-U sector, have been at the heart of aluminium’s transformation from a material that looked unlikely to cope with the demands of the modern world, to one that’s at the pinnacle of the market.

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