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Poland creates trends in construction joinery

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Construction joinery with "Made in Poland" mark is a long-standing quality product. At the fair we have been observing the high class of Polish brands operating in this industry for many years. - Now, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, we have a chance not only to maintain the leading position, but also to take advantage of completely new opportunities - says Mateusz Szymczak, director of the WinDoor-tech fair.

The WinDoor-tech fair is back after a four-year break. The world has significantly changed. How will this translate into the exhibitors' offer?

The pandemic and the war had a significant impact on the construction industry. The trend of accelerated automation is particularly visible.  Now as never before, investments in modern technologies are crucial for competing in an increasingly demanding market. The joinery industry, as one of the most modern branches in construction, has quickly adapted to the changes. The factories began intensively equipping their production plants with machines and robots. Equipment suppliers offer entire technological and production lines, so they can almost "sew" such an automated stand "made to measure", approaching customers very individually. Automation significantly accelerates the production process, improves efficiency, predictability and reduces costs. The current market situation is very dynamic and unpredictable. Regardless of the current fluctuations, the robotic stations ensure the continuity of production, which is the key to timely fulfil contract obligations while reducing the number of employees. With automation and digitization, many difficult production processes that require hard manual work of employees are replaced by robots and machines. This is a kind of challenge, because industry 4.0 requires the multifunctionality of employees. These trends are perfectly visible at our exhibitors. Therefore, this year's edition of the WinDoor-tech fair will be a kaleidoscope of new technologies used in the production of components and tools for the construction of windows and doors of the future. This will be ensured by industry leaders who have already announced their participation in the fair. Most exhibitors already have a specific plan for their activities during WinDoor-tech 2023. They design well-arranged spaces, prepare shows, unique attractions and meetings at the stands. Now, a few months before the fair, it is the best time for companies to add the important finishing touch to their work. In turn, our task is to provide exhibitors with the best conditions so that they can implement their ambitious plans. Together, we take care of it in advance. Maybe that is why many companies have already booked adequate space in the pavilions in the next edition.

Is the dynamic expansion of the industry into digitization enough for Poland to retain its leading position in the export of door and window joinery?

This is certainly one of the necessary factors. Whoever does not invest in new technologies today is going backwards. Now what matters most is automation, robotization and innovative energy management in the building. The Polish joinery production sector is one of the most dynamically developing in Europe. Annually, about 16 million windows are produced in our country, of which over 60% is sold for export, mainly to the European Union market. For a decade, the average annual increase in window production in Poland has been around 5-7% per year. Despite the pandemic and troubled times, the beginning of 2022 has brought further record results for joinery exports. According to data from the Central Statistical Office, its value in Q1 amounted to approx. EUR 867 million, which is 34% more than in the corresponding period of 2021. Of course, part of this increase is due to a significant change in prices, but these are still surprisingly good results.

Sometimes it is said that window joinery is quite a conservative industry and the changes are not as quick and spectacular as, for example, in the furniture or automotive industry ...

It's hard to compare, but the fact that a new car model is lunched every few years, it forces the use of new technological solutions. In window joinery, production changes take much longer, but this is clearly changing. Production flexibility evolves first. The companies' goal is to shorten the time of product delivery to the market. Therefore, they strive to increase competitiveness by investing in new technologies and digitization of production processes.

Today, producers have to respond very quickly to market needs, not within a few months, but even within a few weeks. Hence the trend of modernizing machine parks and robotization.

Long delivery times or shortages on the raw materials market may be a challenge not only this year, but also in 2023. The situation on the components market is also negatively affected by the unusual behaviour of companies that make large inventories.

However, today it is Poland that sets the trends and the whole world is watching us. The WinDoor-tech fair certainly makes it easier, enabling the presentation of the offer at one time and place.

While enjoying the successes and the position of Polish construction joinery industry, we must remember that the competition is not sleeping and is also developing strongly, for example in the Balkans. Therefore, it is an important moment for us. It cannot be missed.

The record-breaking inflation is also adding to the uncertainty, although experts from the American trade magazine Door and Window Market Magazine have noticed a certain phenomenon that the more demand grows, inflation and delivery times lengthen, the more encouraging it is for customers…

- Obviously, high inflation, shortages of raw materials and semi-finished products, as well as problems with the supply chain are problems not only in our industry. Because you need to be able to satisfy the increased demand caused by the boom in the construction sector and the huge number of completed investments. The pandemic and broken supply chains have shown that brand strength is especially important in these times. Large companies will find it much easier to buy raw materials or components for production.

Maintaining employment and competitiveness is certainly a challenge as well. Driven by the idea of the European Green Deal, ecological, ultra-modern, soundproof and energy-saving solutions are entering the market. And here the offer of Polish carpentry is unmatched

This year WinDoor-tech is also turning to the glass industry. What are the plans?

 In line with the expectations of the exhibitors and visitors to the Glass fair, we have decided to enrich this year's WinDoor-tech and Budma exhibition. We are on the eve of a glass revolution. It is not without reason that 2023 has been declared the International Year of Glass. Glass is light, architecture and facades. Without it, there are no modern cities, offices and houses. We will present a wide range of modern solutions of the glass industry, which can be successfully used in the production of components and tools used in joinery and construction industry. Completely new markets are opening up for glass and there are new players in Poland who have already decided to participate in the fair. After the visit of our team at the Nuremberg fair we also know that many companies prefer to present new products in Poland. This year's edition of WinDoor-tech is the first such opportunity for the joinery industry after many months without any industry event. These conditions, together with the increasing longing for "face to face" meetings, are very promising. We count on a high attendance of producers, distributors and service technicians. We are also planning a special live shows zone. Soon we will reveal more details. I can just say that we are preparing a project with a mission and I am very happy that we will implement it here in Poznań.

The WinDoor-tech and Budma will be held from 31 January to 3 February 2023 on the premises of MTP Poznań Expo.