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Building a colourful future. (Special Feature--Powder Coating).

Sproymasters, Scotland's largest independent spray painter, is bucking the trend in the U.K. manufacturing sector. Increased sales growth of over i 8 per cent has led to the company relocating to a 37,500 sq. ft. custom designed facility. Further investment of around [pounds sterling]500K in additional, state of the art equipment will create a world-class product finishing facility in Glenrothes, Fife.

The investment, supported by a 20 per cent grant from Scottish Enterprise, will make Spraymasters a pre-eminent supplier in the British product finishing industry. It will also create 20 new jobs.

Based thirty minutes north of Edinburgh, Spraymasters Ltd has been operating since the late 1970's when it began life painting finishes on golf trolleys. The company currently operates from two 10,000 sq. ft. premises with a customer base drawn from a wide range of industrial sectors throughout the global market place.

Harry Wills, chief executive, acquired Spraymasters in 1999 from the Barclay family and has steered the company to rapid growth by expanding and diversifying the customer base. "It has been a 'Rags to Riches' growth pattern," said Harry Wills. "We had ideas and we had vision but as the company growth outstretched our cash resources, I was constantly putting money into the business. In early 2002 we changed our banking arrangements from HSBC to the Bank of Scotland, and this gave us the elbow room we needed. It has been a tremendous vindication of our marketing and financial strategy, lifting Spraymosters from the First Division into the Premier League.

Commenting on the business going forward, Harry Wills said: "Customers expect products to reflect their image and lifestyle both in the home and work place. This results in a requirement to customise colours to the end users' specific requirements. Spraymasters has the capability to supply more than 2000 different colours. We work very closely with all of Europe's leading paint and surface coating suppliers and this has given us a technical lead in our industry."

Some of the products Spraymasters paint also demand protective finishes, capable of withstanding the most inhospitable environments known to man, from the bottom of the oceans to the edges of outer space. Other products must also be shielded to minimise electronic or radio wave emissions, and so to protect the user and the environment. Spraymasters provides the finishes which make products both safe and durable.

An accredited supplier of EMI/RFI Shielding Spray Painting and Powder Coating on substrates as diverse as plastics and metals, the company also offers Tompo (pad) Printing and Screen Printing offering potential customers a 'one stop shop' facility. First line assembly is also available as an added service.

These different capabilities serve several industry sectors throughout the UK, including consumer and industrial electronics, rail refurbishment and new build, defence and automotive industries.

The company's well earned reputation in powder coating will be bolstered by a complete pre-preparative on-line degreasing and primer with reciprocative powder coating. The pad printing facility will be upgraded by the purchase of a rotory 16 head Tampa printing machine. This will increase existing capacity by 22 per cent. The Screen Printing capacity will be doubled in line with Spraymasters market analysts. Custom built spray booths, which control air flow, temperature and humidity are also featured in the investment.

The management team at Spraymasters have used their time wisely to specify new manufacturing areas, which has resulted in the following conception: a state of the art and fully automated robotic line including innovative curing systems. This will be added to the existing GEC robotic lines -- two in line and a stand alone shuttle robot -- this capability will be enhanced by a modular system capable of being adaptable to market developments.

In providing finishing for global brands, quality is critical. Harry Wills said: "Our Robotic Systems give us absolute consistency of application, which are then fed by a conveyorised loading system and backed up by both on-line and stand alone oven facilities. Small runs and prototype spraying will continue to be accommodated within the new factory."

Innovation is essential to the success of Spraymasters and to aid this a specially developed production management and scheduling software package has been created. The recent Investors in People accreditation, the successful transition from ISO 9002 to ISO 90012000, plus the ongoing employee and management training programmes are gearing the company towards helping customers businesses win new contracts, reduce costs, and reach new markets.

Spraymasters appreciate that customers require a total solution to surface coating and therefore pride themselves on not only applying paint and print but on managing the supply chain. From the identification of the most appropriate and cost effective coating material to be used, through to the organisation of packaging, stock control, test certificates and delivery of completed parts, Spraymasters reduce costs through managing value.

Through a highly skilled and motivated British workforce, expert use of technology and a unique focus on quality, Spraymasters has already helped many businesses enhance and add value to their products. Helping smaller companies bring their products to the market place is also a service currently provided.

Harry Wills concluded: "As businesses strive to grow trade in both home and overseas markets, and improve efficiency within their manufacturing structures they will more and more outsource non-core business. This is a valuable means of improving performance, and this is where Spraymasters fit in."

Tel: 01592 772221

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Publication:Finishing
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:899
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