But while these processes, and the order in which they were carried out, resulted in a perfect component part, the size and shape of the completed product meant that shipping it back and forth was costing a fortune.
We needed to make the bending process the last process, which meant finding a powder coating that would withstand machining with no flaking, crazing or discolouring.
We developed a bespoke aluminium powder coating that could undergo the bending process with no ill effects. The pre-coated items can be shipped just once, saving our client a significant sum on shipping.
We fabricate and powder coat profiles for this customer, while they bend the profiles on specialist rigs at their premises.
Powder coating is a finishing process, and it usually happens last for obvious reasons: to prevent the coating being damaged by other work. In this case, that meant shipping the components back and forth between us and our customer three times:
- We sent the extruded, fabricated profiles to our customer for bending
- They sent the bent components back to us for powder coating
- We sent the bent, powder coated products back to the customer
Two of these three shipments involved bent components, which meant transporting awkwardly shaped products in huge - largely empty - containers. The result? Exorbitant shipping costs.
Our objective was to find a way to make bending the last process to eliminate these costly logistical issues. We set about working with various powder manufacturers to develop a bespoke powder coating with more elasticity, allowing us to bend the component after powder coating.
After significant trial and error, we developed a coating that wouldn’t flake, craze, or discolour during bending. And to ensure long-lasting, quality results, we sent a coated and bent profile away for rigorous additional testing, which it withstood perfectly.
Extensive trials led us to develop a powder coating mixture with added nylon, resulting in a more elastic mixture that can be bent without damage to integrity or appearance.
We now extrude, fabricate and powder coat profiles, before shipping them to our customer for bending. Only one round of transport is needed, and the shipped profiles are not yet bent, which means far more efficient packing, with less wasted space.
Our customer’s logistics issues are now resolved, and they continue to work with us today.