When it comes to new product development, three of the premier gas and electric fire brands – Robinson Willey, Valor and Faber – now have access to unrivalled research and development facilities thanks to a new £2million laboratory that has been unveiled by parent company, Glen Dimplex.
Located in Dunleer, Ireland, the new state-of-the-art facility that is described as a ‘living laboratory’ comprises a suite of laboratories capable of undertaking all of the Group’s electric and gas fire testing. This includes two climate chambers and all the equipment and rigs necessary to undertake Supervised Manufacturing Testing, BEAB approval, as well as the innovative new product development for which these brands are renowned.
With increasing emphasis on developing energy efficiency fires that combine maximum heat output with low running costs, the three brands are firmly committed to developing a portfolio of products that present affordable heating solutions, without compromising aesthetic appeal.
Valor’s Gas Technology Director, Will Byrnes explains: “As market conditions remain challenging, it is critical that each of our brands is able to differentiate itself and turn customers’ heads. These new facilities will enable our innovative new products programme to truly take flight.”
Will adds: “The facilities are the best in the industry and we are all keen to make the most of this great opportunity. The impact of the renewed interest in gas as the energy powerhouse of the future will feed down to a renewed interest in gas fires and fireplaces. We all know that it’s the cleanest fuel and by far the cheapest of the viable fuel options, so with over 11 million homes in the UK with a chimney and gas point, it makes sense to fit gas.”
As well as providing an R&D programme for the Robinson Willey, Valor and Faber brands, the new facility that is home to 70 engineers and on the same site as the Group’s HQ, also conducts new product development and testing for other major brands in the Group’s portfolio. Equipped with the latest in renewable technology, including heat recovery and solar applications, the facility also services Asian, Australasian and American markets.
New product development is already evident across the Gas Fire Division. Whilst Valor is set to unveil a significant range of gas fires for the retail sector, both Valor and Robinson Willey are set to launch a new portfolio of electric fires and suites for the social housing sector.