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Growth in pre-painted steel
Growth in pre-painted steelKeywords: Steel, Finishing
According to recent research by the ECCA (European Coil Coating Association) leading domestic appliance manufacturers are drastically cutting manufacturing costs by shutting their paint shops and switching to pre-finished steel. Comparative studies carried out by the ECCA into the use of pre-finished steel instead of post painting, have found that manufacturing costs are reduced by up to 12 per cent when using pre-finished steel.
Pre-painted steel, such as that supplied by Corus (formed by the merger of British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens), is being used increasingly for the casing material on domestic products like washing machines and dishwashers as well as electrical goods, shelving, and in new applications such as furniture.
GDA (General Domestic Appliances), manufacturer of Creda, Cannon and Hotpoint brands, has been using pre-finished steels for over 20 years.
Mick Parr, chief buyer at GDA, explained why the company has so radically changed its manufacturing methods:
The decision has allowed us to maximise our efficiency and output by allowing continuous fabrication without the interruptions we experienced before with in-house painting.
Post painting meant long and expensive delays if we wanted to change colour runs. The paint lines had to be purged and recharged before production could resume, creating huge bottle-necks. Now, changing production colour runs is easy.
From an environmental point of view, pre-finished steel is attractive because we have pushed the responsibility back up the supply chain to Corus. Through economies of scale, they have been able to invest significantly in controlling emissions from coil coating plants. This saves us time, money and ultimately hassle.
Corus coil coating plants use the latest technology to produce pre-finished steels in a range of colours, which further extends the design possibilities for domestic appliances.