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Working with Villiers Brothers

Alongside our established sheet metal fabrication work, here at DaRo we are growing another side of the business relating to high spec, high quality architectural metal work.

It is a side to our output that not only demonstrates our ability to work with various metals of all types and finishes, but also illustrates our approach of working closely with customers on product design and visualisation.

A good example of this are the recent projects we have been involved in with luxury furniture makers Villiers Brothers. As the name suggests, this interesting company is run by three brothers who over 26 years have established a global reputation for the design and quality of their tables, chairs, mirrors and sculptures. Based in a rural location south of Cambridge, they produce exceptional pieces for an international market of interior designers, hotel designers and super yacht owners.

One of the brothers, Tim, contacted us earlier this year explaining he was looking to outsource some work if he could find the right partners to work with. After initial discussions we sent through drawings and worked with Villiers to ensure we offered a quote and a lead time that was acceptable.

It has led to a fruitful relationship that so far has seen us produce a number of items including a custom-size Brooklyn-style console table with a gilt finish and a sculpted ‘Revolution’ dining table with a polished nickel finish.

But don’t just take our word for it. We thought the best approach for this bulletin was to ask Tim, a director at Villiers Brother, what it is like working with DaRo. We have to say we are delighted and flattered by his response.

Tim said: “DaRo is one of only a couple of manufacturers Villiers Brothers has outsourced work to. From the outset I was impressed with their professionalism – they were prompt in getting back and I felt at home with them from very early on.

“They took time to understand our requirements and came back with a reasonable price and lead times.

“What clinched it was the powder coating service that DaRo offers. It means they can offer a fabrication and finishing service all in-house, a one stop shop.

“I am very pleased with the end results – they have nailed it. And they have been no problem to work with, on time and hassle-free – totally what we were after when we made the decision to outsource.”

Needless to say it has also been a pleasure working with Villiers and we are now looking at some longer term initiatives including producing a special bronze powder coating for some of their pieces.

If you would like to know more about our specialist architectural metal or powder coating service please do not hesitate to call us now on 01787 881191 or email us for an informal conversation.

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The benefits of sheet metal fabrication

At DaRo we have years of expertise in the sheet metal fabrication process with a highly skilled team able to turn around projects quickly and effectively. But just what are the benefits of sheet metal fabrication? Here’s five advantages to using the process.

Efficiency and accuracy

Through the use of the latest CAD/CAM and CNC technology and manufacturing equipment our sheet metal fabrication process is guaranteed to be efficient as well as accurate.

We employ a CNC punch press, which can be programmed to move and position metal sheets quickly and punch holes within a 0.05mm tolerance. CNC hydraulic and electric presses are also used to consistently form metal sheets into pre-programmed shapes and designs – a process that is ideal for repeat batch work.

Durability and malleability

Sheet metals are strong enough to withstand high pressures yet they are malleable. They can be formed into almost any shape, which means they are an ideal material for innovative architects and designers to work.

The final stage of the sheet metal fabrication process involves finishing the metal in some way to create a durable surface, whether that is sand blasting, priming and painting, or powder-coating. This process helps make sheet metal resistant to corrosion, sun, and moisture making sheet metal fabrication ideal for use in products that will be exposed to various weathers and climates.

Different types and thickness of metal

A DaRo we work with a variety of different metals, such as stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium. Typically our metal sheets range from 0.5mm thin gauge through to 4mm thick plate while we also cater for larger, one-off, heavy duty pieces of up to 3m in size. Generally sheet metal is of a low weight and thin gauge making transport and delivery of the product straightforward and cost –effective.

Easily repairable

Once in use, items made from sheet metal can be easily inspected and any damage that has been sustained can be detected without difficulty. Repairs can be carried out in a simple and straightforward way by removing an individual metal sheet from a structure and replacing it without having to dismantle an entire construction.

Low cost

For all the reasons above – efficiency, durability, ease of transport and design – sheet metal fabrication offers customers a high quality yet inexpensive route to obtaining a product they can work with.

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Helping companies move towards lean manufacturing

In our previous blog we talked about some of the steps we have taken to bring efficiencies into our operations and to reduce energy usage and waste.

We are one of many companies in our sector who are working towards developing a lean manufacturing approach to what we do. This can be seen in a lot of the projects we get involved in with our clients, as increasingly we are being asked to develop and prototype low energy, low impact products on their behalf.

We have been working with one client to develop parts for industrial LED lighting that they will install into industrial units and warehouses. These will replace the fluorescent fittings that are being phased out because they use dangerous chemicals and are much less efficient that LEDs. The technology is moving so quickly in the lighting sector and our role in this instance was to help with the design, prototype and production of the product. So successful was the project that we have decided to install the LED lights we helped develop into our own workshop and warehouse, and, as stated in the previous blog, we have already installed a number of units replacing the old style 400w low bay lighting. Already we have achieved significant energy savings due to achieving a better quality of light using a quarter of the power. The new LED lights are also maintenance free with a lamp life of 20 years.

We also carry out a lot of work with a number of large UK manufacturing companies – the likes of Delphi, Bosch and Tyco – to develop efficient production systems.

Some of this work involves the design and building of bespoke trolleys, benches, racks and handling equipment designed around a specific production process to reduce handling time and utilise space and equipment.

Typically, a customer will come to us with an idea or a design and we will help them with the development of the product into a prototype.

We also produce material and component handling trays for a number of customers, which are designed to save time and help with reducing waste and the number of rejects in the manufacturing process. Produced through vacuum forming the trays can be either reusable or designed to be used as part of the packaging, and can be either lightweight or heavier and more robust. We make trays that are oil and chemical resistant, anti-static and stackable. They can also be designed to hold a specific number of a particular component which helps with stock control robust.

These are just some of the ways we are working with companies to help make their operations more efficient.

 

If you have a designs or an ideas that you want to make a reality please contact us on 01787 881191 or enquiries@daroproducts.co.uk and we will only be too happy to have an initial discussion.

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Advantages of powder coating

In a previous blog we talked about DaRo’s use of the powder coating process and how it differs from conventional liquid spray paint finishes.

But what are the main advantages of using powder coating? Here is a list of some of the key benefits.

Environmentally friendly

Liquid finishes contain solvents, which release pollutants, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can be harmful to the environment and to people working in the vicinity, so require costly pollution controls.

Powder coatings contain no solvents and release miniscule amounts of, if any, VOCs, and so are less risky and more environmentally-friendly.

Hard wearing

Powder coating is used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. It is resistant to scratches and chemical corrosion and is applied to thousands of products including tough industrial machinery and household items that are used day in, day out.

Efficient and lower costs

There are efficiencies that come with the powder coating process that result in lower operating costs that, ultimately, can be passed onto the customer. One key factor is how little waste there is in the powder coating process. Any unused powder that does not adhere to an item can be recovered and reused, meaning waste and therefore disposal costs are minimal. This chimes with our ambition to work in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.

Nicer, more even finish

With items that have been powder-coated there are generally fewer discrepancies in the appearance of horizontally-coated surfaces and vertically-coated surfaces compared with liquid coated items. Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without the finish running or drooping.

Huge range

There is a huge colour range of powder coatings and a vast array of finishes from matt, and satin to gloss, metallic and a variety textures. Functional properties can be anything from anti-graffiti to anti-bacterial.

Speed of application

Unlike conventional paint jobs that often require two coats, powder coating normally only requires one coat. A powder coating also takes less time to cool than liquid paints take to dry, so help speed up the production process.

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What is powder coating?

Here at DaRo we not only design and manufacture – we also finish parts to a high level. To achieve this we have an in-house state-of-the-art powder coating facility that complements our fabrication and manufacturing operations.

But what is powder coating?

Powder coating is an alternative to conventional wet paint and involves coating an item with dry powder that is later heated to produce a hard and durable yet attractive finish.

The key difference between a conventional wet paint and powder coating is that the powder coating process does not entail the use of a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. This has major environmental and cost advantages.

The powder coating can be either a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer – applied electrostatically using compressed air, which forces the powder through a nozzle and past an electrode giving the powder a positive charge. The item being coated is grounded so the positive powder particles are attracted to it. After the item has been covered thoroughly and evenly it is transferred by conveyor to a curing oven where it is heated.

Powder coating is mainly used for coating metals – anything from bikes frames and household appliances to wheel rims and metal casings. Also, because a powder coating is durable enough to withstand harsh environments, as well as being impervious to scratches and chemical corrosion, it is used on more heavy duty products such as industrial machinery.

At DaRo we have a fully-automated powder coat paint line which uses state-of-the-art Gema reciprocators, a 45m overhead conveyor system and high temperature oven. We coat one-off items and small batches through to large volume production runs, and offer a vast array of colours.

As with everything we do here, our powder coating process is subject to strict quality control procedures to ensure our clients are guaranteed, high-quality and consistent results.

 

If you would like to find out more about our powder coating process, please contact us by phone or e-mail and we will be happy to talk you through or to arrange a time when you can come and see the result for yourself.

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