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Mar 16

Interview with Warema

Introduction: Warema

Warema is the leading sunlight manager, offering 60 years of experience and a vast range of knowledge. As a family-owned company with a rich tradition we develop, manufacture and sell individual technical sun shading solutions that are capable of far more than simply protecting against heat and glare. In addition to a complete lineup of internal and external sun shading systems and control systems, Warema also has a successful market presence in the fields of plastics engineering and mechanical engineering.

The Warema Group currently employs more than 3,400 people and generated a turnover of nearly 445.7 million euros in fiscal year 2016.

Sunlight management:
Sunlight management is the intelligent combination of technical sun shading systems and control systems. By providing consulting and service, we create individual solutions for ideal indoor conditions. The result is an important contribution by Warema to improving quality of life, energy efficiency and real estate values.
Interviewer: R+T Asia    Interviewee: Michael Schneider - General Manager of Warema Shanghai
Question 1: What is your target group for this R+T Show? Do you have a special product portfolio this year? Once again, we would like to experience the future of sun shading technology with WAREMA.
Michael Schneider: At the R+T, the world's leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems in Stuttgart, we meet nearly all our long-term customers and partners from all over the world. And of course we make new contacts –many new business relationships are starting here. WAREMA presents 34 new product highlights, trends and scientific findings that will shape everyday life in the future. We have defined three core areas for our business activities. With "Outdoor Living", the garden becomes a "feel-good room". Modern sun shading creates additional outdoor spaces that people are able to use for living. Innovations in this range include the Lamaxa slat end roof and the weatherproof Perea pergola awnings. The second area "Home Comfort" doesn't just mean retreating entirely into one's own four walls in the sense of cocooning, but above all also refers to the optimum utilisation and enjoyment of daylight from outside, on the inside. The balance between visual privacy, glare control and a view out that this requires can be achieved with external venetian blinds such as ProVisio, where the angle of the slats is aligned to the human viewpoint. The third area is the "Smart Home", which enables digital control and networking of the sun shading system, even by voice control. 
Question 2: The Chinese consumer market is quickly growing, especially for urban middle-class customers. Are their purchasing capacity and their interest in quality products also growing? Is China now a good market to introduce new products?
Michael Schneider: The purchasing capacity and interest in quality products has increased in China in the last years. We can see that from various aspects in life, e.g. automotive sector, travelling and shopping oversees, new technological gadgets, home furnishing of higher standard, dining out. Chinese have money and they are ready to spend it. 

China is always a good market to introduce new products, but the products must fit the Chinese “taste” or requirement and sometimes the application in China is different than in our western view. Last year e.g. we sold many patio awnings. They were however not all used at home for the patio but for stores and shops. A successful product in Europe/USA is not necessarily a successful product in China. 
Question 3: Warema has been in China for several years now. How did the market change within those years?
Michael Schneider: 10 years ago energy saving and sun light management was not a topic for investors of commercial buildings. At that time technical sun shading was mainly installed in governmental prestige buildings e.g. the National Development Bank Beijing and CNPC Beijing. Also European manufacturers e.g. Bosch, that were familiar with the concept from their home countries, purchased our products for their Chinese subsidiaries.
Since a few years energy saving is a topic due to the high pollution and therefore pushed by the government. General contractors, architects and façade companies are more aware of available technologies – not only limited to sun shading management. 

This development has now spread to the private sector as well, where we can observe movement in passive house technology and zero energy houses. The government subsidies real estate developments built in passive house standard for more sustainable building quality.
Question 4: How is the work process for the residential business?
Michael Schneider: We see constant improvement in the building quality. More and more customers e.g. are requesting high quality double glazing windows. The next step is the usage of roller shutters or venetian blinds to manage the sun light. Chinese are not yet familiar with this concept. Therefore we also do marketing at government level and support with information, exhibitions and we meet with interior designers, architects and window manufacturers to introduce our technology and application. 
Question 5: Warema is very innovative company. What is the biggest contribution by Warema to improve quality of life, energy efficiency and real estate values?
Michael Schneider: All our considerations focus on what people need. We address specific questions with regard to the home of the future, to the coming living and working worlds, and to the options for helping to shape them with professional sun shading products. Light and heat management are important factors in our well-being and also in our performance. And this is an area where Warema plays an important role as a company by working permanently on future-oriented solutions. 
WAREMA focuses on three findings in particular:
• People feel better when the boundaries between indoors and outdoors blend and they are close to nature. 
• Modern rooms will provide even more flexible and more user-friendly options for using them for the most diverse activities. 
• Digitalization supports the optimum energy efficiency with the smart and networked control of household appliances and energy supply.
With innovative and networked technologies, Warema optimises the performance of its high-quality products and actively helps to shape people's living environments. 
The result: depending on the building, its age and the number of windows, the right combination of windows and automated sun shading can reduce heating energy by up to 30 percent. Depending on the type of automated sun shading systems, the costs for cooling may be reduced by more than 50 percent.
For more details about Warema, please go to the website.