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Awning trends and consumer desires from R+T Stuttgart

April 1st, 2014 / By: / Uncategorized

FabricArchitectureMag.com | April 2014

New sector solutions for roller shutters, doors/gates, and sun protection systems are presented every three years at R+T in Stuttgart, Germany. The trade-fair presents industry information, providing a preview of awning trends expected within the next year. Based on business developments, the awning industry shows trending toward weather-proof systems.

Manufacturers are employing terraces as additional living space, including all possible comforts. Following the needs of consumers and the trend toward weather-proof systems, awning companies are developing solutions to include sun as well as rain protection.

One of the greatest challenges for weather-proof systems is the exposure to strong winds. Jürgen Schulz, managing director of Leiner GmbH in Augsburg, Germany, confirms: “The trend is toward awnings that can be used in almost all kinds of weather. For very windy places, stable folding terrace roofs are in great demand. Water-proof PVC fabrics as awning material are required here.”

With regard to the systems’ durability, the manner in which the materials are joined together also plays an important role. Martin Troyer, managing director of Hella Sonnen-und Wetterschutztechnik GmbH, explains: “Water-permeable materials that are glued and not sewn together improve the function of the awning as rain protection. Greater wind-resistance is ensured by the innovation of creating pergola-type shades.”

When considering the residential comfort desired by customers, he mentions the importance of appropriate light fittings. Thanks to the integration of LEDs into the sections, the awning makes it possible to use and enjoy the terrace at any time of the day.

Users want excellent service and simple solutions

Each year, the service concept tops the trend list. Consumers attach importance to varying aspects of service, says Troyer: “Consumers expect a technically mature product and perfect installation. Only a real expert is able to mount an awning on a wall with full heat insulation.”

The salesperson must find the best solution for each prospective customer and provide applicable advice for the given problem or concern. The various awning types and extras should make it possible to provide the customer with a solution tailored to his specific requirements.

The service concept is also reflected in the improvement of awning systems. Awnings are used more intensively now than just a few years ago, which means that awning fabric needs to be replaced more often during the product’s life.

“Systems designed for fabric replacement help to minimize costs and allow the replacement of the fabric without impairing the quality,” says Jürgen Schulz. “It is equally important to guarantee the availability of spare parts for several years after purchase. The end users are ultimately prepared to invest a lot of money in awning systems if they meet their requirements and are guaranteed a long service life.”

R+T Stuttgart will take place Feb. 24–28, 2015.

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