Tom Meeuwissen
Tom Meeuwissen

BUVA develops ahead of market demands

BUVA started out as a wholesaler in hardware and tools in 1946 and has since evolved into a developer and manufacturer of a wide range of hinges and locks, ventilation and heating products, toughened glass windows, aluminium profiles and glass fibre-reinforced thresholds. Both for residential and commercial constructions, as well as new construction and renovation projects. “We have grown increasingly closer to our customers during recent years”, according to Tom Meeuwissen, Head of Product Development at BUVA. “This has allowed us to innovate in a proactive and market-focussed manner. It’s our ambition to respond to the market’s needs as efficiently and completely as possible. We are always looking for the optimum in health, comfort, sustainability, ease of installation and a long service life, in accordance with both the Building Decree and current and future standards.”

BUVA has acquired more of an entrepreneurial character since 2004 under the leadership of Director Rien Wisse. “We are no longer just looking for the best suitable (existing) solution for every possible demand, we also like to develop ahead of any demands”, according to Meeuwissen. “Our customers have become our partners and ambassadors, who are regularly visited by our account managers. This ensures they stay fully up-to-date on all the market trends and challenges at carpentry factories, with installation engineers and maintenance parties, as well as the ultimate end users. Consider, for example, poorly closing exterior doors due to (building) moisture and temperature fluctuations, but also all the challenges where realising an optimal indoor climate is concerned. We make sure our products are aligned with any such needs. Developing and producing the products ourselves allows us to differentiate the company in the market even more effectively. Both where the properties are concerned, as well as the quality and service we provide.”

Total package
“BUVA develops for the market”, Meeuwissen emphasises. “We can also make customer-specific adjustments when required, which can even be introduced to the market as an independent product, providing there is sufficient demand. Our product development department is constantly looking for new product applications and possibilities. We are also improving existing products based on new insights and practical experiences.” BUVA’s product development department boasts various mechanical engineers and engineers who have optimal knowledge of resp. mechanics, the mechanics of materials, frame details, building decisions and laws and regulations. But product managers from the various different product groups also form a standard part of this team. “We have also set up an Internet of Things team (IoT team) over the past year, with programmers and circuit board builders who have given BUVA a new image. After all, we can now also build our own electronics, link products intelligently and provide (remote) services, without being dependent on third parties(‘ protocols). And even more importantly: we can provide customers with an even faster and more complete service by offering a total in-house package. We do our own wind and water tightness and maximum pressure testing in our test centre in Barendrecht, which guarantees quality. The test centre offers opportunities for new developments too.
Innovation within the homecare systems
“We want to offer our customers added value with our service provision and our extensive product range”, says Meeuwissen. “We managed to align our products in such a way a few years ago, that an optimal collaboration was created. The products were bundled in the BUVA homecare systems, which provides residents with guaranteed sustainably produced heat, healthy indoor air and securely closed windows and doors. Two products within the homecare systems, which were developed based on market demands, are our BUVA EcoStream WTW unit and the BUVA Q-Stream evolution home ventilator. Both products were developed for the ventilation market and function purely autonomously and sensor-driven. No user intervention is required. Humidity and CO₂ emissions in the home are monitored 24/7 and in line with current standards. Moisture, (propellant) gases and cooking and toilet odours are quickly detected, after which the ventilation products automatically adjust their capacity. Connecting to the home’s Wi-Fi network will allow for easy management via the smartphone. Users can, for example, temporarily adjust capacities and set ventilation times using a smartphone app, but they can see when filters need replacing too. They can also easily carry out software updates themselves and read any possible error codes, without the need for an engineer to intervene. Optimal indoor air quality and comfort are the direct result.”

A second example of a proactive development is the BUVA Atlas Inside hinge, which resulted in a revolution in the hinges and locks market a few years ago. “An anti-burglary pin has provided us with securely closed windows and doors for decades”, says Meeuwissen. “However, we learned from product management and our account managers that the renovation market in particular was desperate for an alternative solution. Drilling pin holes takes a great deal of time. In addition, the drill holes need to be separately and manually finished to avoid weakening and rotting of the frame. We have looked into the possibilities of overcoming these inconveniences. This has resulted in a hinge with two interlocking lips, which together represent the anti-burglary element and replace the anti-burglary pin. This won’t just result in significant time savings, but will also improve the frame’s durability. Plus the play-free operation of the Atlas Inside safety hinges will also provide greater control of the hanging and closing seams and a load capacity of up to 150 kg. Atlas Inside has therefore now also become a new market standard.”

Internet of Things
BUVA’s product development department is currently working on the continued development of the homecare systems. “We can realise optimal synergy between our products with the development of a gateway, platform and improved app”, according to Meeuwissen. “It also allows for extensive monitoring and service, which means we can offer a suitable solution for future demands in construction, management and maintenance.”

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