Flexiform has had a reputation for high quality, functional business furniture and storage for many years. We pride ourselves on the finish, quality, practicality and aesthetics of our furniture. All of Flexiform’s products are designed and manufactured in West Yorkshire, and for the last 17 years, everything has gone through our existing paint plant.
Recently Flexiform has taken the decision to upgrade the existing paint plant to a new, sophisticated ‘Gema’ plant. Gema being the Swiss company who have designed, built and installed our new state-of-the-art system.
The previous paint plant has served the business for the many years, and although the two-man operated machine has produced a high-quality finish on thousands of Flexiform products, there are many benefits that can be achieved from upgrading our paint plant to a new more refined version.
We took a tour, with some of the Flexiform manufacturing team on hand to help.
What does the new paint plant mean for Flexiform?
“The project has been a significant Financial Investment and in return, it will deliver a step change in Flexiform’s Paint line, Health and Safety, Efficiency and Powder Paint Usage and will deliver huge benefits to the both the company and our customer base” – Nick Saunders – Sales and Marketing Director.
So, it’s pretty good, but why invest so much to replace a paint plant that is already producing a top quality product?
The new plant is quicker and more efficient than our current paint plant. The new plant recycles more powder than the old plant, so less powder is wasted. This makes our paint operation much more efficient and much greener, so better for the environment – The new plant will reduce paint powder wastage by around 20%. As a business we are ISO 14001 accredited for (environmental policies), so we are always looking at ways of reducing the businesses total environmental impact.
That’s the benefit of the new paint plant – it is full of new technology with more efficient motors and processes, therefore not only using less powder (paint) also using less power (electricity) and the booth has far more efficient extraction systems again – helping to reduce our impact on the local environment” Bob Jolley – Qualitative Representative.
So, the new paint uses less paint will you get the same quality?
“The plant will reduce powder use (paint) due to the consistency of spraying, with the new plant we will be able to double or triple hang products – in effect we can paint more items at once which will reduce the amount of track travel required. The control of applied powder is extremely variable and can be controlled down to 1% with the use of the new dense phase technology powder application pumps the old system used Venturi valves – these would soon wear and become unreliable applying more powder than required” Bob Jolley – Quality Representative.
Will we see a quicker turnaround of products?
Yes, Automation is the key. We can program separate products where the program can be loaded at the touch of a button which allows us to paint different products in a continual line.
The clean down times are quicker than the old system, therefore shortening run times.
By double or triple hanging we should reduce the product turnaround, we previously had the process bottleneck before the paint track but only after two weeks of operation we now seem to have cleared the bottle neck, which is great news for our customers and our despatch department”.
This is the start of a 3 stage process, we are early days of running this equipment and until the process fully settles down we will not be able to fully calculate all the beneficial saving that will be achieved”
So, in short, the new plant is more efficient, quicker and better for the environment, so better for us and the customer.