For a Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) client based in South Africa, we utilised many of our in-house capabilities by redesigning a filtration system, consulting with the client and a third-party to design and deliver an automation solution, and developing, building and supplying additional automated machinery.
Initially, the client came to us with a brief to redesign and manufacture particulate filters for their half mask respirators, which would usually be used in industrial environments where mild-to-moderate dust or airborne contaminates may be present.
However, it became clear that if The Filter Design Company fully manufactured the filters in the UK, this would not have been the best solution for the client. The client was based in South Africa and some components for the filtration devices would have required shipping over to the UK and returning back to South Africa following assembly, which would have been extremely cost-prohibitive for them.
We redesigned the client’s existing filter, which involved altering the internal filter media to decrease both the pressure drop (so mask-wearers would find it easier to breathe when wearing the respirator) and the penetration (so the filters were more efficient). The client was pleased with the quality and consistency of the filter media and wanted us to manufacture this element, as well as assemble and test the filters using their other usual components.
But we knew we could do better for the client, as we knew they would incur great costs by shipping their other filter components to us for manufacturing. That’s when The Filter Design Company designed an automation solution for the client to use at their own site, so they could assemble and test their filters internally.
We collaborated with the client to fully understand requirements and provided professional advice on the design and functionality. Further, as this was before the commencement of our Engineering department, we then worked with a third-party to create the automated machinery, which was a centrifugal spinning station to enable speedy and accurate filter assembly.
This automation programme took less than a year to complete and it improved the quality and speed of the client’s manufacturing process considerably.
Around five years after completion of this project, the client requested another spinning machine as the demand for their respirators, and therefore filters, was increasing significantly. The Filter Design Company developed and built the second machine in-house as, by this time, we had formed our Engineering department and had the resources and capabilities to create, manage and deliver such automation.
To this day, we still manufacture the particulate filter media and the client is still using their automated technologies to produce their own filters.
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