Powder Coating Solutions

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Pre Treatments

Any Metal

Any Metal

Quality

Quality

Industry leading

Industry Leading

Leading Powder Coating Solutions For Any Application

Here’s Our Back Story Of Why We Think That You Can Benefit From Our Services:

R&M Industries (R&M Metal Finishing & R&M Powder Coating) have been developing key distinctive processing capabilities over the last twenty years. The initial installation of the plant was to cater for powder coating solutions of volume production within the general manufacturing industry. However, the trend of the specific orders of ‘volume production’ changed to smaller batches. Therefore, the demanding shorter runs unsuited to the plant, threatened the profitability and potentially the survival of the business.

Winning Contracts Within The Automotive Sector

In response to these market changes R&M honed the skills necessary to meet the challenging demands of this market. Subsequently, R&M successfully won contracts within the automotive sector.

Having committed to this market R&M became increasingly specialised by installing unique continuous spray pre-treatments lines. This includes chromating, orthophosphates, & zinc phosphates. Therefore, meeting the most exacting of specifications. These pre-treatments were expensive to run. However, they gave R&M the ability to win further work throughout the automotive sector.

Over The Last Few Years

Unfortunately in the last few years there has been many uncertainties within this market. These were brought about by Covid & home working, Brexit, shortage of semi-conductors and the political influence to move to electric vehicles due to environmental issues. Therefore, these have led to an unprecedented rapid decline in demand.

The demand will undoubtedly recover in time. However, to avoid becoming a casualty it has caused R&M to reflect on the unique selling points and research alternative markets in order to identify the changes necessary to re-align its processes to the needs of new markets.

R&M: Quality, Cost & Delivery

R&M has had many success stories over its history, supplying high quality powder coating solutions. We have been winning & growing business through innovation and commitment to Quality, Cost, & Delivery.

We use all the recognised Continuous Improvement tools but the ability to improve and control processes does not in itself guarantee survival during times of sustained depression. Understanding R&M’s USPs and applying to new markets will be key.

powder coating automotive

Case Study: Chromate to OrthoPhosphate

We identified a market in the powder coating roof rails for cars. After that, R&M converted both its processing lines to use Chromating pre-treatment together with cleaners and etches. This was in order to gain maximum control and improved production efficiencies. Consequently, the success resulted in eventually powder coating 75% of all the roof fitted to cars in Europe, some 20,000 car sets (80-120,000 components) per day.

This continued until the business eventually exited from the UK. Upon the loss of this market, R&M converted the pre-treatment lines to an orthophosphate or ‘multi-metal’ treatments. Therefore, enabling R&M to diverge from finishing purely aluminium to servicing both ferrous and nonferrous industries. In addition, we retained the high controls of a continuous line for volume production for which R&M had gained a reputation.

Using the experience gained in the roof rail business R&M quickly built up a portfolio of other automotive customers. We were processing steel pressings, fabrications, castings, forgings etc. However as work has steadily moved overseas R&M sought market stability, with one customer who had a long track record in the UK.

Future Proofing the Business

R&M successfully won contracts to powder coat drive shafts to a major UK manufacturing business who was an established global player. Consequently, we directly worked with Toyota to identify the optimum process for coating drive shafts.

Following the 2 year report from Toyota confirming their preferred process route R&M sought the opportunity to meet this process with the commitment of Toyota’s UK supplier, with the intention of winning the work back from Poland.

The confirmed optimum process was for polishing and a TriCat Zinc Phosphate pre-treatment using a continuous line for optimum quality and consistent process control. No other Powder Coater in the world had this process on a continuous line. In addition, no one had achieved the required grain size structure which in turn would give the required performance using a continuous line.

The UK manufacturer & supplier to Toyota indicated its commitment to R&M & funding was sought, the plant was designed and installed. R&M designed this line to give the best corrosion performance. Additionally, it also was designed to process heavy gauge work very efficiently with the introduction of a multi-zoned cure oven. It facilitated consistence operating speeds and efficient energy management. The Toyota work was transferred to the UK together with several other projects near doubling volumes overnight.

Unique Selling Points (USP)

It is easy to see that the two processing lines support consistent high quality & volume powder coating efficiently. However, looking deeper, our drive to ‘get it right first time’ gives R&M Powder Coating a key USP – purpose built surface treatment solutions. We designed pre-treatments to ensure the parts are cleaner than required for powder coating, to minimise any risk of process faults.

The nature of high volume, high quality production requires fine-tuned administration systems. R&M has developed the necessary skills to handle and accurately record stocks and paperwork systems.

USP Example 1 – Pretreatment

R&M utilised its cleaning facility to clean parts for engine management systems to extremely high tolerances, independent laboratory checked to achieve contamination of less than 2 particles of more than 25µm in size.

This was for a one day turnaround of batch sizes of 100,000. The end customers were Volvo and Daewoo. The process modifications required to meet this requirement included installation of conveyors to take the components from the line to a purpose built packaging area.

USP Example 2 – Pretreatment

Powder Coating of stainless steel sheets for the construction industry with high degree of adhesion. The requirement of meeting the adhesion was paramount as these large sheets, 8’x4’, would be machined and formed after coating.

The customer had major difficulty in in finding a capable supplier, this work is now shipped over 250mls in batches of 100 to be processed in 24hrs. No major modifications were required to plant.

USP Example 3 – Pretreatment

Heavy vehicle manufacturing various parts for powder coating – application of a quality assured powder coating.

Being IATF:16949 accredited this is of course a core skill of R&M, the only modification to the standard process was to introduce a specific pretreatment line check, which is easily met with only one of the available cleaners.

USP Example 4 – Process Design

Oscillator blades. Requirement – to protect blades from corrosion (literally give them a predictable ‘shelf life’). Production characteristics – high volume (25,000/day), low cost, handling of delicate & dangerous parts, stock control, process control, packaging. The main USPs required are design and development of unique process to achieve all of the above. Having identified the suitable finish the main aim is to develop a reliable process that will achieve a demanding cost target. If successful this will lead to a significant growth with other parts all at significant volumes.

Recognition of Customer Needs

R&M has always attempted to understand the needs of customer in order to maximise on the benefits. This has led to introducing various operation to both add value but more importantly reduce operation costs within the supply chain.

Examples included drilling & tapping, finishing & polishing, plugging and capping, sub-assembly work with bolting and bolting.

The more dynamic of operations included the design and installation to support a bespoke FIFO (First In First Out) stock management system to facilitate R&M’s customer in achieving 100% schedule adherence to the vehicle manufacturers with greatly reduced operational and transportation costs.

Market Strategy and Process Alignment

R&M operates a niche and established powder coating business however with market forces beyond its control there is a need to explore new markets with a clear understanding of its USPs to find new applications and adapting its processes to meet the needs of potential customers is critical to business growth. Using R&M’s obvious & recognised capabilities to seek new clients and novel applications that meet the business the objectives of regular, volume, production – in metal finishing, not necessarily or limited to powder coating.

Powder Coating Solutions For All Applications – Contact Us Today

If you would like to find out more about our powder coating solutions in Birmingham, then head to our website today. Alternatively, call 01384 898765 to speak to one of our helpful and friendly experts.

Get in touch with us

Do you have a project that you would like to discuss with us? We can handle any sized contract and we have specialists ready to take your call. Get in touch with us today for a free, non obligatory quotation.

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