After planning and moving our factory operations into our new 116,000 sq ft manufacturing space last year, we will be investing in further technology in 2017. Our senior management team have put in place a business development plan which will take us well into 2020. Starting this year we are hoping to expand our solid surface and fire door manufacturing departments, to further increase capabilities and product offerings for our customers.
Within our Shield fire door department, quality is of paramount importance, as it can be the difference between the fire door doing its job or failing in the event of a fire. To ensure we offer the highest quality, we are investing in a calibration machine. This will allow us to calibrate the door cores prior to manufacture giving accurate and consistent thickness across the whole door leaf. To really get our use out of this machine, we will be able to use it for not only fire doors but calibrating other materials including solid surface.
Solid surface fabrication is the other area due for big investments over 2017. We have taken order of three machines which will increase our scope within this department. The first is a thermoforming platen heating oven; this machine will allow us to get involved in 3D sculptural solid surface projects. Coupled with our investment in a vacuum press; these two machines go hand in hand to allow us to get the solid surface sheets valuable enough to form around moulds on the vacuum press.
The third machine to be added to our solid surface department will be a hydraulic press. This will allow us to offer standard solid surface bowls, a product that is lacking within the UK manufacturing industry. Once up and running with our offer perfected our customers will not have to rely on imports when ordering solid surface bowls.
Quality and Environment are areas within Starbank which we are continually trying to improve for our customers. Our latest improvements have come in the form of investments in vacuum lifts and extra waste handling equipment. We are looking to upgrade our existing machinery by incorporating several vacuum lifts into their operation. These lifts will not only ease the workload for our staff but will speed up the machining process and reduce the potential damage risk due to reduction in manual handling.
Our biomass is one of the largest in the UK, and it feeds off all our waste wood material. Prior to entering the biomass any waste material must be shredded. To increase our shredding capacity as well as the size of panels we can shred, we will be investing in an extra shredder. Located in the centre of the factory and housed within a sound proof enclosure, this shredder will improve efficiency as it can handle longer lengths of waste on a through feed style operation.
These are just the investments penned for the start of 2017. We will keep you updated on their progress and any other improvements. Follow us on twitter @StarbankPanel.