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Jason Industries, Inc. Widens its Finishing Portfolio with Acquisition of DRONCO GmbH

DRONCO joins Osborn as members of the Jason Finishing Group;

Deal broadens Jason Finishing Group’s position as the complete manufacturer of surface treatment solutions and finishing tools

Burgwald, Germany and Richmond, Indiana, June 1, 2015 – Jason Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: JASN, JASNW), parent company to a global family of manufacturing leaders in the finishing, seating, automotive acoustics and components markets, today announces that it has completed a transaction to acquire DRONCO GmbH, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of abrasives. DRONCO becomes an integral part of Jason Finishing Group, a Jason business unit and the leading global producer of technical and maintenance brushes, polishing tools and compounds. The Jason Finishing Group portfolio includes well-recognized brands, such as Osborn – the only truly global player in the industrial brush and polishing market, JacksonLea, Lippert-Unipol and Sealeze. The deal allows Jason Finishing Group to enter a targeted and faster growing $6 billion abrasives market segment and solidifies the company’s position as the complete surface treatment and finishing solutions provider.

DRONCO’s full range, which includes cutting, grinding and abrasive discs, diamond tools, ceramic abrasives, sandpapers and technical brushes, is the ideal complement to Jason Finishing Group’s product catalog. The acquisition opens Jason Finishing Group products to customers and distribution channels where it currently has a limited presence, while allowing the company to become a “one-stop shop” within the Finishing industry.

Under its new ownership, DRONCO will be positioned for continued growth. Immediately, DRONCO products will be embedded into Jason Finishing Group’s well-established, global sales and logistics network, thereby making the DRONCO line available to a much broader market. Geographically, DRONCO’s strong product portfolio will be distributed to global markets, with a focus on further expansion in Europe and North America. To support North American sales growth, logistics and distribution of DRONCO products will be added at Jason Finishing Group’s Richmond, Indiana facility by the end of 2015. In 2016, DRONCO will be expanded into emerging markets to meet increased demand for abrasives in developing and growing economies.

“DRONCO is an outstanding strategic fit for our organization and we are excited to welcome the company and its employees into the Jason family,” said David Westgate, chief executive officer at Jason. “With DRONCO in our portfolio, we reinforce Jason Finishing Group’s status as the leader in finishing. Our customers will benefit from access to DRONCO’s line of quality products, while those of DRONCO will benefit from the availability of Jason Finishing Group’s extensive line of brushes and polishing tools from brands they recognize and may already trust for their surface treatment and finishing needs.”

”By leveraging the numerous inherent synergies between DRONCO and Jason Finishing Group brands, like Osborn, we expect to achieve considerable long-term growth that will benefit each company in our portfolio,” said Dr. Florestan von Boxberg, President of Jason Finishing Group. “DRONCO has earned a privileged reputation as an innovative, well-run company that produces high-quality products. We are proud to add this organization to our portfolio and excited about the value this acquisition brings to our joint customers.”

Jason intends to maintain DRONCO’s Wunsiedel, Germany site as the primary manufacturing and R&D center for bonded products. In addition to its Wunsiedel site, DRONCO has three subsidiaries in UK, Sweden and France. Thus, Jason Finishing Group acquires a global abrasives company that is recognized for quality and product innovation. In fact, DRONCO recently introduced a next-generation line of cutting and grinding discs with a lifespan that is three times that of its counterparts. Through the acquisition of DRONCO, Jason Finishing Group expects there to be a sharing of technologies that will lead to the development of innovative new products for Osborn and other brands within the Jason Finishing Group portfolio.

About Dronco GmbH:

DRONCO is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of abrasives and sells its products in approximately 100 countries. The company’s range of products, including cutting, grinding and abrasive discs, diamond cutting tools and ceramic abrasives, is recognized for outstanding quality among professional tradespeople and discerning DIY users alike. DRONCO was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Wunsiedel, Germany, with subsidiaries in France, UK and Sweden.

About Jason Industries, Inc.:

Jason Industries, Inc. is the parent company to a global family of manufacturing leaders in the seating, finishing, components and automotive acoustics markets, including Assembled Products (Buffalo Grove, Illinois), Janesville Acoustics (Southfield, Michigan), Metalex (Libertyville, Illinois), Milsco (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Osborn (Burgwald, Germany and Richmond, Indiana) and Sealeze (Richmond, Virginia). All Jason companies utilize the Jason Business System, a collaborative manufacturing strategy applicable to a diverse group of companies that includes business principles and processes to ensure best-in-class results and collective strength. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jason employs more than 4,400 individuals in 14 countries. Shares in the company’s stock are traded on NASDAQ, ticker symbol: JASN.

ABUS ‘Shop-in-Shop’ Merchandising Gives Distributors Presence, Margin & Stock Turn

The ABUS ‘Shop in Store’ (SiS) merchandising unit system was first launched in the UK in 2011 and has been a spectacular success. The modern look, accentuated by the ABUS brand colours effectively puts the spotlight on the system and products on display.

Many ABUS partners have already implemented the SiS system with great success and take advantage of this modern sales solution to reap the benefits in their day-to-day business.

Cleverly packed on portable pallets, the innovative and handsome merchandising units can be quickly and efficiently set up in-store. The displays enhance and showcase the world-class market leading ABUS padlock and security ranges making eye-catching and brand enhancing merchandising.

In addition these innovative SiS units come with a complete set of colour barcode product labels for the suggested ranges. The labels are applied to backing cards specifically designed to complement the ABUS product hooks provided to make re-ordering and barcode pricing simple.

The original ABUS 1m SiS unit now has some 250m of UK exposure and includes a full range of padlocks, ‘KeyGarages’, ‘VanLocks’, wall anchors, chains and cables. This SiS im unit is an impressive 225cm high x106cm wide x 60cm deep.

Alongside the original padlock selections, ABUS SiS units can be exploited for displaying and demonstrating the increasingly popular ABUS 2 wheel, cylinder, and CCTV ranges.

For more information on the ABUS ‘Shop-in-Shop’ system, please contact ABUS UK, on 0117 204 7000 or [email protected]

Modular off-site building could be the solution to the UK’s housing crisis

The UK House Building: Manufacturing Affordable Quality Homes report is calling on Government to provide more incentives for the off-site construction of homes. Dr Tim Fox, Lead Author of the report and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:

“The UK is in the middle of an acute housing crisis. Current annual construction levels are typically less than half of the estimated 250,000 new homes this country needs built every year through to at least the 2030s"

Off-site construction technologies have advanced greatly in recent years and can offer shorter build times, better quality, better energy efficiency, less waste, and lower costs for buyers.

The report calls for the Government to introduce a comprehensive housing market reform programme aimed at growing the self-build sector, supported by UK-based off-site manufacturers, to supply at least 50% of market demand (125,000 homes a year in England) by 2030.

The key recommendations in the report are:

1.Government should support investment in the UK supply chain for off-site construction technologies.

2.Government must reverse policies that are working against improvements in quality and standards.

3.Government should work much harder to diversify the UK housing supply market, by opening up much greater opportunities for self-builders, local authorities and housing associations.

Selco Give Tradespeople Perfect Platform

Two Birmingham tradesmen have been able to spread the word about their business to an audience of tens of thousands after winning a competition to win free advertisements.

Stephen Maher’s business SCJ Building & Carpentry and Hammond & Sons, run by Daniel Hammond, have won the competition promoted by leading builders’ merchants Selco Builders Warehouse.

Selco ran the competition with Free Radio on which the two businesses received free advertising for two weeks to an audience of over 230,000 listeners.

Helen Gemmell, marketing director at Selco, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist both SCJ Building & Carpentry and Hammond & Sons with the advertising on Free Radio.

“Selco is keen to support tradespeople wherever possible and we are delighted this campaign has reached such a big audience for our successful businesses.”

Selco’s 36 branches in England and Wales include five in and around Birmingham, at Tyburn, Stirchley, Perry Barr, Tyseley and Dudley, while the central support centre is based in Wythall.

Each branch supplies a massive range of building materials including doors, windows, insulation, roofing, heating, plumbing supplies, lighting, electrical products, kitchens, bathrooms and timber.

Branches also offer an in-branch café, trade counter services, direct-to-site delivery options and van size parking spaces, all designed to make it easier for tradespeople to get onto the job as soon as possible.

Tool and plant hire is also available across 23 branches in London and Nottingham.

Metabo Launches LiHD - A Cordless Gamechanger

A small boatyard in Kappeln an der Schiel in Northern Germany might seem like an unlikely place to start a revolution, but the assembled press were rightly impressed as Metabo launched its new range of LiHD battery packs. These high-density lithium packs took a lot of development and input, but will deliver up to 67% more power and 87% longer running times. However, the new packs, available in a 3.1, 5.5 or 6.2Ah, are not much bigger than their standard equivalents and are completely compatible across the range of over 50 Metabo 18v cordless tools.

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On the face of it some might say that “revolution” is overstating the case – but after seeing the products and trying them out myself, the target of a cordless only workshop and worksite envisioned by Metabo is definitely attainable and probably sooner than we think. Herein lies the revolution!

Perhaps a bit of background to the new battery technology is now required. As the name HD or High Density implies, the new cells in the battery packs are flatter and more densely packed with electrolytes than in previous Li Ion technology thus having potentially more power to deliver to the tools used. However, this being electronics, it is not the entire answer. As we all know, cordless motors (and corded for that matter) heat up as we use them. This is caused by operating friction and by the heat of the batteries themselves as they deliver the power to the motor. At some point the heat and power graphs coincide and, if you are lucky enough to have a proper electronically managed tool, the motor will shut off to avoid burning the tool out. This can happen with any Ah of cordless battery pack, so simply having a high Ah does not guarantee flawless performance.

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Metabo’s R and D team has managed to ensure that the new LiHD battery packs remain as cool as possible so that they can deliver their full power at a manageable temperature for as long as possible. One of the obvious ways to do this was to beef up the electrical conductivity by using high copper content alloys and thicker contacts for the battery packs. These allow the current to flow more easily to the motor and reduce heat-creating resistance between tool and battery pack. With less heat being generated, the new packs were able to be made to within a smidgeon of the size of the “old” battery packs because the cooling airspaces needed in the “old” packs were not needed in LiHD.

The other advantages that flow from an average 87% longer run time include a much longer service life and fewer charges per battery to achieve the same amount of work. This durability means that Metabo supplies the new LiHD packs with a Three Year Warranty knowing that, in the words of Dr. Volker Siegle, Director of Product Development and Quality, “a LiHD pack has double the durability compared to a standard Lithium-Ion battery pack”.

What Metabo has also done to optimise the performance of battery packs is to continue to develop the range of brushless motors used in many of the tools in the range. Generally speaking, these motors are more efficient, can run at faster speeds and are sealed, so they do not ingest the abrasive dust that can often kill off brushed motors very quickly.

Metabo’s key developments for tools in the LiHD and brushless range are in angle grinders – Metabo’s strongest suit in world sales. I am told that in the US they don’t ask for an angle grinder, they ask for “a metabo”, much as we talk about “hoovers” for vacuum cleaners.

Being launched in June is the new cordless equivalent of a 1,000w corded 125mm diameter angle grinder. During the demo of this machine, the press watched as the cordless grinder outpaced the corded version cutting through steel plate in a timed test. Having got my hands on it a bit later and used it to cut through square steel tube, I was pleased to have donned the appropriate PPE, because the cutting performance was fierce and the spray of sparks was testament to that. Seriously, there was no question that the performance was inferior in any way to a corded machine.

Due later in the year is the first cordless 36v 230mm two-handed angle grinder on the market. Dr. Volker Siegler demonstrated this by cutting through a 6mm thick steel motorway barrier. He achieved this in a little over a minute, despite the barrier having built-in cutting difficulty because it has several strengthening bends in it that entail the disc having to cut in two places at once.

Once the press conference was over we were able to roam freely through the large demo area and talk to individual product managers and try out many of Metabo’s range of 18v tools for ourselves. I focused on a couple of the tools that I know very well, having tested them in the “old” 5.2Ah guises. The only difference being that they sported the new packs that are distinguished by having a red base and the letters “LiHD” inscribed.

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Using a standard Metabo LTX drill driver loaded with a 3.1 Ah LiHD18v battery pack I drilled several 30 mm diameter holes through a laminated wooden beam where my wrists were more in danger of being twisted than the drill was of being stopped in the cut. It was clear that the extra power and run time in LiHD means that some users who value compactness can choose these smaller battery packs without sacrificing performance.

Since both the currently used chargers and all the current 18v tools are compatible with the new LiHD battery packs, if you want to upgrade your kit, all you need to do is to buy a new LiHD battery pack or two. Many of the product managers were keen to point out that in fact the “old” technology is perfectly sound and will not be confined to the bin in the short term because there are still many applications where the extra advantages of LiHD are not needed. Of course LiHD will come at an extra cost, but I am assured that the difference will not be so great as to be a big issue of affordability.

With woodwork being my main interest I had a long test of the KGS 18 LTX mitre saw. Even with the “old” 5.2 Ah battery pack I have now more or less ditched my corded mitre saw. But, loaded with the new HD battery pack, the power and run time of the KGS was simply amazing, with the result that I have already pre-ordered a LiHD battery pack for my workshop. It really is that good.

Some of the other commonly used tools in the Metabo range, including mains powered tools, had been converted by the Metabo tech guys into cordless versions for the press and dealers to try out. While these are not “official” yet, all I can say is be prepared to be surprised.

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In the last few years, despite some still lingering signs of recession in some markets, Metabo has shown impressive growth in its sales of power tools, both in European and World terms, so we have to take the company’s target of a cordless worksite very seriously. The research that Metabo has undertaken has led to the development of several impressively advanced tools that are leading the market in terms of innovation and efficiency, and we can clearly look forward to more of the same. All of this research and innovation can only be good for the tool trade in general, and Metabo users in particular – and I predict a growing number of those on the evidence of what I saw at that boatyard in Germany!

RGB helping charity teach youngsters carpentry skills

The Bideford branch of RGB Building Supplies is donating £1,000 worth of building materials and tools to Bideford charity, Wings South West, to help them enhance the carpentry area at their business and training centre.

Wings South West works to give young people a future and hope. The charity supports a number of disadvantaged young people by not only running leisure activities to help build confidence, but by also helping them learn a skill, such as carpentry.

James Lewis, NEET Programme Manager at Wings South West, commented: “At Wings we work hard to develop positive relationships with young people to help them feel accepted for who they are and develop their confidence and self-esteem. This enables them to take the appropriate next steps, whether that be applying for a job, going to college, or learning new skills to make them more employable. We want to expand our woodwork area with additional tools and materials so that more young people can begin to learn a trade, and the £1,000 to spend at RGB enables us to do this. A big thank you to RGB for choosing to help us, it is greatly appreciated."

More information about Wings South West can be found by visiting www.wingscharity.com.

Assessing the ‘Future-Proof Home’

A leading building control service for England and Wales recently inspected the eco-credentials of what is dubbed the ‘Future-Proof Home’. Quadrant Building Control inspected an exclusive development of five Trivselhus houses in the rural village of Meopham in the heart of Kent. Trivselhus doors and windows are triple-glazed, argon-filled units that are pre-fitted in the factory and arrive on site within the completed wall panel.

Paul Knight, Director at Quadrant Building Control, said: “These features are aimed at minimising construction time while ensuring that the occupants don’t experience draughts and energy loss. The whole house has mechanical ventilation with heat recovery for good air quality and no wasted warmth.

“In the Meopham houses, heating and hot water come from a high-efficiency gas condensing boiler with a hot water storage cylinder and radiators. This creates homes that are very thermally efficient, require low heating loads and provide a clean, fresh and comfortable internal environment insulated from external noise."

But what makes the Trivselhus (roughly translated as ‘house of wellbeing’) so ‘future-proof’ is the thermal insulation, according to Joe Campion, Director at Quadrant Building Control.

“There is 240mm of mineral wool insulation built into the closed panels of the house at factory stage, which provides a highly insulated layer,” said Joe.

“It is very difficult to put more thermal insulation into the fabric of a standard house. Future-proofing means maximising the building’s thermal insulation so that future improvements become easy.”

New website for Specialised Wiring Accessories

NEW Website at: www.swaonline.co.uk

SWA has launched a fantastic new website that enables users to check all the latest products and company information.

At the click of a button users can:

  • View the full range of SWA products
  • Download the SWA product catalogue in full or by single page
  • See the latest product launches
  • View the latest SWA videos
  • Download SWA product data sheets
  • Quickly find products using the Keyword search engine
  • Follow the latest SWA news on Facebook or YouTube

Coming soon – In addition, stockists will shortly be able to place orders on-line and check the status of previous orders – all at the click of a mouse.

SWA – making all the right connections

McLaren Technology Group renews partnership with Lucas

McLaren Technology Group has renewed its contract with Lucas as Official Partner of the McLaren Technology Centre, following on-going fit out and finishing packages at the technology group’s iconic Woking base.

Ron Dennis CBE, Chief Executive and Chairman of McLaren Technology Group said: “At McLaren we do not compromise. We strive for complete perfection and that principle is encapsulated in the McLaren Technology Centre, which is more than just a building, it is an iconic beacon of innovation. Lucas has been one such partner that has made a significant contribution to the creation of this inspiring space and to the impeccable condition it remains in today. I am therefore very pleased that our successful partnership will continue into the future.

Danny Lucas, Executive Chairman and Managing Director added: “In addition to our surface treatments and fit out projects, we benefit from a wealth of knowledge and experience shared with McLaren: in adopting and applying techniques that are relevant to our industry, we can ensure that we are at the forefront of what we do. This couldn’t be more evident than with the recent launch of our new Lucas ProTools range, and our plans to lead the way with off-site manufacturing within our sector of construction.

“Our own journey with McLaren has been one that has broadened our horizons as a company, enabling us to adopt new methods and techniques that have enhanced our own innovation.”

Construction of New English Homes at 8-Year High

New homes are being built at an increased rate across Britain as the nation recovers from the impact of the 2008 economic crash which caused the loss of 250,000 construction jobs. Conveyancing Marketing Services responded to the news.

According to the government, housebuilding has been a key part of their economic plan over the past five years. They say that work began on 140,500 homes in the year to March – a 5 per cent rise from the previous year. More than 40,000 homes were started between January and March in 2015, equating to a 31 per cent increase to the last quarter of 2014. This is 136 per cent higher than six years ago, meaning that housing starts are at their peak since 2007.

However, these figures do not tell the whole story according to Sharon Buthlay, a director at Conveyancing Marketing Services: “Whilst the housebuilding surge is good news to those waiting to buy a property it isn't the entire answer to the problems the property industry and home buyers are facing.

“The real problem is that second, third and fourth time buyers are trapped in homes that they can't sell because they can't afford to get onto the next rung of the property ladder. To buy a property, even with a hefty deposit, means borrowing thousands or hundreds of thousands in some cases and people's earnings just aren't enough to afford the astronomical monthly payments this entails.”

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