The client

Reynaers, a door to the future

Reynaers Aluminium is one of the world’s leading specialists in the development and marketing of innovative, sustainable aluminum profiles for windows, doors and façades. It focuses on creating energy-efficient, responsibly-made products. Reynaers even committed to reducing their CO2 emissions in half by 2030 under the Reynaers ACT.

Reynaers has been a client of Verhaert Digital Innovation years. They came to us for a platform where all parties, from manufacturer to homeowner, can access and share information. This would greatly optimize the manufacturing and installation process and provide valuable insights into the market.

The challenge

The Black Box

The whole ecosystem, from the Reynaers’ manufacturers to installers or builders, was still a black box creating numerous challenges.

Because Reynaers lacked a direct connection with installers, it was difficult to ensure quality control of the final result. An additional challenge was that neither Reynaers nor a number of manufacturers had a clear overview of the delivery state of their projects; how many frames were delivered, where installation issues arose or damages were reported, where colleagues were working, etc.

Homeowners from their end, didn’t have access to product information either. If a window was malfunctioning or incorrectly installed, who could they turn to? The European Union is in that respect rightfully demanding more detailed product information.

Towards a more circular building industry

Registering detailed product information also fits with Reynaers’ long-term sustainability objectives. If all materials can be identified, they can be recovered at end-of-life, for example when a building is torn down. All those valuable materials can get a new life avoiding further extraction and depletion of precious raw materials.

Creating a window into the market

What’s more, connecting all stakeholders and centralizing all this information would offer Reynaers valuable insights into the whole market. Which products are being used where? What is the average favorite window height in Flanders? How popular is double or triple glazing? What materials have been used? How much will the lead time be delayed if we introduce a new part?

The challenge was getting all this data from the offline CPQ tool (Configure, Price, Quote software) the manufacturers were using, ReynaPro, to an online platform. Adding to that, we had to provide all parties involved access, get them on board and create different interfaces per type of user. After all, not everyone needed access to all the information.

The solution

DigiTrace, the Black Box Revelation

Digital twin using a QR code

Reynaers already toyed with the idea of using a QR code on its aluminum frames containing a digital passport. Think of a digital twin that records all the information during the product’s entire lifetime: the fabricator’s details, the installers’ names, the type of system, the dimensions and color codes, and the maintenance instructions. We further investigated using a QR code, mapped all the user journeys (there were many) of all the stakeholders and set up the information architecture and workflow.

How it works

When Reynaers ships its aluminum profiles to the manufacturer who turns it into windows and doors, the latter attaches a QR code to it. Manufacturers first make an export of the project in the CPQ tool, ReynaPro. Then import it again in DigiTrace. DigiTrace is an online platform containing all information on the client and the project. They subsequently scan the QR code. Finally, they send the information of the scanned profile to the DigiTrace platform using the element linking app.

The benefits in a nutshell

Thanks to DigiTrace, homeowners can now retrieve information on who manufactured and installed their windows and doors. Fabricators can act fast because they can easily access that same information and share important documents with customers or other stakeholders. And installers can scan the code to be guided through the installation process. For Reynaers, the added value is the insights that help improve their products and services. In a later phase, production leaders will also be able to check the delivery state of their profiles.

The results

A worldwide project

Reynaers’ solution has already been positively welcomed by a large number of their clients. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Reynaers has 3000 clients in 72 countries and will start the roll-out in 2023. The project is strategically very important. It is the foundation for their approach to information sharing with their partners and the rest of the world.

Any questions?
Tell me all about them.

Laurent Schauvliege
Digital Innovation Acceleration Coordinator


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