New Powder Coating System Improves Response Time
Doughty Engineering is the world leader in the design and manufacture of rigging, suspension and lifting equipment for the film, TV and theatre industry. Prior to installing a new powder coating system, the company outsourced all their powder coating to two subcontractors. Whilst they were generally happy with service that was offered; typical turnaround time was anything from 2 days to a week. However, it became clear to Doughty Engineering that over the last 5 years, customers were becoming more demanding. They were holding less stock and so expected suppliers to hold large stocks and offer short lead times. Maintaining large stocks was not the answer, especially when there are 100’s of products. However, the converse was not an option either. If a customer called for a part and it was not in stock, they would simply phone up another supplier. This created the risk of losing hard won business to competitors.
So the ability to become much more flexible and responsive became important. The answer was to bring 95% of their powder coating “in-house”. Working with systems house Junair (Spraybooths) Ltd, Gema UK and Caldan conveyors, the optimum system was designed and implemented. For the oven, Heraeus Vulcan Gas Catalytic IR technology was chosen due to its superior energy efficiency, small footprint, and improved finish quality over conventional convection technology.
What Happened Next?
The system has now been running faultlessly since February 2014. Key improvements are:
- 10% operating cost saving
- Increased throughput
- Considerably reduced lead times
- Three hours not unusual
- Rush jobs in custom colours carried out “While You Wait”
- Improved quality
- Increased capacity
- Customer retention maintained
- Production easier to manage
Stephen Wright a Director of Doughty Engineering Ltd. said:
“Apart from the reduction in operating costs and the improvement in quality; the intangible benefits such as improved customer service and the ability to be more responsive will help us maintain existing and gain new customers. The new powder coating system has surpassed our expectations and made an immediate difference to our business”