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A bespoke engineering case study

 
Our client is a plastics manufacturer. The production process requires the use of an air compressor which, until recently sat in a heavy mild steel frame.

Gary Waller of Ranmoor Health & Safety was uncomfortable with the weight and scale of the compressor seat and asked if we could produce an alternative.

“From an ergonomics point of view,” says Gary, “my objective was quite clear. I wanted us to halve the weight of the frame units to make them easier and safer for our operatives to handle.

“Having dealt with Algar Air over the years I contacted them to assist with a review of our seat moulding process. The process and equipment are bespoke so we required a bespoke and innovative solution. We also required a degree of patience as the process would undoubtedly require an amount of trial and error.”

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Following the review, Gary made the decision to replace the existing heavy mild steel frame with one constructed from a lighter alloy material. On paper, this was a relatively simple request. In reality, however, things were rather more challenging.

“Stability was a concern, along with the general robustness of the finished article,” Gary explains, “due to temperature differences when curing the plastics.”

We therefore created a number of small model frames to test for stability and weld integrity. With a few tweaks, Gary was confident to begin construction of a full-size replacement.

“The new frame was installed with no loss of production,” Gary continues, “and the outcome was above and beyond my expectations, whilst meeting our initial objective of halving the weight of the frame. It was a complex process with an aggressive goal – and it was successfully delivered.”

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