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Subcontract Powder Coating Capacity Doubles!


One of the UK’s largest subcontract sheet metalwork suppliers Hydram Engineering Ltd has fully commissioned its second automated powder coating plant.  Hydram now has the largest powder coating capacity of any sheet metal subcontractor in the UK.

Now running 24 hours

The new plant, supplied by Ercon Finishing Systems and Gema, is now running a 24-hour shift pattern.  Managing Director David Greatorex says, “Our new conveyor plant offers our customers a higher throughput at lower cost and with higher quality, complete with a five-stage pre-treatment, automatic spraying booth and larger oven.”

Hydram has offered an in-house powder coating service to complement its sheet metal, tube, fabrication and assembly processes since 2001.  The paint facilities already in use, which include wet spray painting and a conveyor plant, were installed less than three years ago.  The older conveyor plant now offers additional top-up capacity and relieves a potential production bottleneck.

Significant Investment

Ensuring that the business could maintain its high level of service to customers by avoiding bottlenecks in the paint section required a significant investment project.  “In order to accommodate the new plant, we needed to extend the building so that our assembly and warehouse space wasn’t compromised,” says David.  Building work on the new extension began in October 2014 and, together with the new paint plant, represented an investment of approximately £1.5M.

Plant Details

The new plant has several upgrades compared to the existing paint plant at Hydram, including greater throughput, lower running costs and more thorough pre-treatment.  It will provide customers with a cost effective, more eco-friendly powder coating solution with a higher paint adhesion specification.  The plant will use the latest Gema automated spraying equipment to provide maximum consistency and Gema’s Magic Equiflow booth system to allow up to 90% powder recycling and allow quick colour changes.

Superior Treatment

The new paint plant will operate a five-and-a-half stage pre-treatment system using the Oxsilan process from Chemetall.  Oxsilan is a multi-metal pre-treatment chemical that has a significantly reduced environmental impact compared to traditional phosphating.  It also requires less heat and can achieve up to 1,000 hours salt spray resistance.  The pre-treatment system is also fitted with its own demineralisation plant to provide water for rinsing, which again assists in achieving better adhesion.

Further Efficiencies

With a larger oven than the existing plant, the new plant will offer higher line speeds and thus greater throughput of parts.  The plant is designed to paint parts within a maximum envelope of 1750mm high x 800mm wide x 2100mm long.

Exceeding Expectations

With ever-increasing customer demand for cost effective, ecologically sound, premium quality powder coating, Hydram’s investment in an additional automated paint plant just three years after the existing systems were installed shows that it is striving to exceed customer expectations.  David says, “Now having two automated paint lines and an off-line batch plant, Hydram has the largest powder coating capacity of any UK sheet metal subcontractor.”

Leading sheet metal fabrication supplier

Hydram Sheet Metalwork is a leading supplier of sheet metal and tubular components, assemblies and light fabrications to customers throughout the UK employing over 200 people.  The leading fabrication company provides the full range of subcontract engineering services, including tube and sheet laser cutting, tube and sheet bending, fabrication, powder coating and assembly from its 115,000 sq ft factory in County Durham.  Hydram supplies components and sheet metal fabrications to market leading companies in industries such as shop-fitting and point of display, lighting, earth-moving machinery and white goods.

Hydram – your complete manufacturing partner.