Partner on equal footing

Switching to Winkhaus expedites growth of LARU windows

There are many things to consider when choosing the right window. This is why LARU attaches great importance to individual consultation. In discussions with customers, it often turns out that an ‘off the shelf’ window is not the ideal solution. This means flexibility and innovation are also in demand in this business. The family-owned company from Kirchhasel/Rudolstadt has now found a partner that fits its corporate philosophy: Winkhaus. First, the company converted its house door production to Winkhaus technologies, followed by window production thereafter. Production and sales are supported by Winkhaus AV-WIN software.
Markus Langhammer and Heiko Arndt, both owners and managing directors of LARU Langhammer GmbH, are pleased to have taken this step. They see themselves as being on the same wavelength as Winkhaus. Both companies are owner-managed, innovative and flexible and opt for personal contact. Markus Langhammer relieved his father, Hanns-Peter Langhammer, as managing director nine years ago at the age of 29. He then founded LARU in Rudolstadt in 1990. Its production and administration site has been in Kirchhasel since 1994. 

LARU manufactures and sells windows, entrance doors and lift-slide elements made of PVC-U as well as aluminium-clad elements with its 21 employees. 8,000 window units leave the factory every year. Sun protection and window accessories round out the range. The company is one of the few manufacturers that does its own painting. ‘That's why we can offer components in any RAL colour,’ Langhammer emphasises. 

At LARU, tailor-made solutions are a matter of course. Its services, such as air demand calculations and noise measurements on site with customers, also set the company apart from the competition. That's why it needs experienced partners at its side who support it effectively. 

Impressive products and additional services
The switch to Winkhaus went smoothly and offers many possibilities for reacting to customers and addressing their requests. The customer base includes private builders and joiners in the region of central Thuringia. The share of the nationwide building project business is growing continuously and now accounts for around 75 percent of sales. The high-quality components are installed by experienced employees, above all in residential buildings, commercial buildings, retirement homes and nursing homes. LARU is now at the forefront of the market, especially when it comes to residential security and convenience. 

‘I was absolutely impressed by the Winkhaus autoLock AV3 automatic security door locking system and the simple operation of the daytime latch, as well as the RC2 test certificate,’ Langhammer recalls, ‘this is how our cooperation began.’ It soon became apparent how well the partnership works. ‘At Winkhaus, I always am always met with open ears when I have an issue. Product development is innovative and the plants work very flexibly, so that I receive prompt solutions for a wide range of tasks.’ After a successful year together, window production in Kirchhasel also switched to Winkhaus in 2016. This coincided with an invitation to tender for a project in which ‘opelose’ fittings were required. LARU now has a unique selling point (see info box) with these innovative ventilation fittings. 

Optimally coordinated processes – less stress
‘It was important to us to take the employees with us during the changeover,’ recalls the managing director. An initial scepticism among the workforce quickly dissipated with the realisation that everybody stands to benefit from innovative products. 

‘The mounting actually hasn’t changed very much,’ says Sabine Rosemeyer, who has been with the company for thirty years. She and her colleagues benefit from many new advantages: there are significantly fewer components and identical parts for windows up to security class RC2. The mushroom-head octagonal locking bolts can be adjusted very easily and with great control thanks to markings at 0.2 mm increments, and they have a large air gap tolerance. In addition, significantly lower operating forces are now required, which is easily noticeable on the window handle in security classes up to RC3 and in the large sashes. Additional components such as the sash lifter, the dual and triple-function element with fail-safe device ensure that the surrounding air gap is maintained and reduce subsequent adjustment work on the elements.

Ideal set-up with Winkhaus software
Integrating the master data into the system seemed to be a more difficult matter. However, Winkhaus prepared the data and delivered them tailored individually to the software which was already in use. ‘The support was first-class, and many special solutions were factored in better than they had been before,’ summarises Langhammer.

When a new rod machining moved into the LARU workshop a year ago, Winkhaus sales representative Matthias Schneider advised to make the switch to the Winkhaus AV-WIN software. ‘The processes are now optimally coordinated to one another,’ Langhammer describes the improvements. ‘This relieves the workload and stress for important employees and frees them up for other activities – such as assembling special fittings, material orders or consultation and customer service.’ Thanks to them and support from Winkhaus, LARU has achieved significant sales growth. ‘We have doubled our turnover over the last eight years with the same number of employees,’ he notes and emphasises that the quality and, above all, the user-friendliness of the windows have become even better. ‘That's why I am proud of our team and thank our colleagues for their fantastic commitment,’ the boss praises. 

Subheading Zero millimetre threshold
The latest project that LARU and Winkhaus have tackled together is balcony doors with a zero millimetre threshold in a retirement home. The innovative flap locking system from Winkhaus enables a floor-level design which can also offer RC2 burglary resistance upon request. The fitting is perfect for turn-tilt balcony doors, which can also be executed as double-sash elements. The smooth-running hinged flap lock in the middle of the lower sash ensures easy operation and the high security class (up to RC2). Thanks to Winkhaus’ user-friendly double-sash fitting technology, the slave sash can also be opened and relocked in just a few easy steps. 

This well-designed system also saves valuable time during production: For instance, no mills are needed on the sash profile, which rationalises fitting work. Stock maintenance too requires minimal effort as components are used in combination with remaining components from the standard activPilot system. 

Opelosing: Secure ventilation for a good indoor climate
Windows can be closed and opened. With Winkhaus activPilot Comfort, they can also be ‘opelosed’. This offsets the window sash parallel to the frame with a gap of about 6mm around the perimeter for ventilation. This window position offers impressive advantages: The window lets in fresh outside air while remaining closed enough to protect against uninvited guests. In this manner, rooms are securely and efficiently ventilated even when users are absent. The innovative parallel position combines natural, draught-free ventilation with effective burglary resistance up to RC2. This allows a healthy indoor climate to be maintained day and night, thus preventing structural damage due to fungal infestation. Well-ventilated yet draught-free spaces are important for the health, especially during the corona pandemic and seasonal flu waves. 

Windows made of PVC-U, wood and aluminium can be equipped with the activPilot Comfort fitting system. Barrier-free solutions – such as a low-set window handle – are also possible. A motorised window equipped with the activPilot Comfort PADM fitting system offers an especially high convenience level for opelosing. If desired, it can also open to parallel position by itself and close again automatically. It can therefore be used as an alternative for ventilation systems as per DIN 1946-6. The technology can also be integrated into the building control system via potential-free contacts and can be integrated into many smart home concepts via the enOcean interface integrated into the motor.

Hot sellers in the entrance door business: Daytime latch with one-handed operation 
The autoLock AV3 and blueMatic EAV3 security door locking systems from Winkhaus fulfil many demands at once – from keyless emergency locking systems to conveniently operated daytime latches. The daytime latch can be easily mechanically activated with a single action and holds the door open for a brief time, much like an electric release. It is also easily retrofittable at a later time if the customer misses the function after ordering the door. Moreover, the blueMatic EAV3 can be controlled via all potential-free contacts – such as fingerprint, wireless or other systems. When a door is opened with a remote control, a motor retracts both hook bolts and the latch at the push of a button. The triple automatic multi-point locking systems are VdS Class B certified. Their block-up locking bolts with claw action give external doors high resistance to burglary. The standard version can meet RC2 standards in suitable sturdy door elements.