Production process is one of the most critical components in any product. Take a cake for example, two people can have the same recipe, the same ingredients, and the same instructions, yet the end result can be completely different. One cake can be light and fluffy, whilst the other can be dense and heavy. Likewise, two cars made in the same factory in the same week can differ!
So, what is the variable and how does it separate your soufflés from you souf-flops? The answer…process. This is one of the most critical parts of any manufactured product and it’s essential you do every step correctly to get the best finished product.
The manufacturing of cake and the manufacturing of adhesives is not normally one that would be put in parallel to each other. Two completely different products in two completely different industries, however, critical steps remain similar for most manufacturing companies. Cosmetics, food and adhesives share many of the same ingredients!
Research & Development
All products must go through this stage. Raw materials must be chosen, and the quantity at which these are included must be decided. This is the “ingredient” stage, where many variables are tested to decide which combination of materials gives the best result. Supplier approval and specification maybe agreed especially with naturally occurring raw materials.
The “prototype” product then goes through comprehensive testing to ensure that the product is fit for purpose. In the Forgeway Laboratory, every product goes through extensive testing to ensure that it is fit for the environment in which it will be used.
- All products go through environmental conditioning and accelerated ageing to assess their performance at elevated temperatures. Many of our products go to the Middle East, where the extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on products – this is why we ensure all products will perform in all climates.
- Ultra Violet (UV) stability is also extensively tested, many cycles in our QUV weathering facility determine how the product will measure up to years in the field. Some chemistries will go yellow after a few days in testing, whereas Forgeway’s Formoa stays white even after cycles of over 5000 hours – that’s over 200 days! New Zealand is reported to have the highest UV intensity of anywhere in the world.
- Further testing is carried out to ensure that the product effectively adheres to a wide range of relevant substrates. For example; Steel, Aluminium, ABS, Polypropylene and GRP are all common substrates used in vehicle manufacture. So, the intended end use of the product will determine which substrates are tested.
Test results are then analysed and strength figures collated. Extensive product evaluation is carried out to determine whether the new product measures up, either meeting or exceeding customer requirements. If any changes need to be made then the process starts again.
Once the prototype is finalised, it is necessary to go through each component and establish a supply chain for this to ensure continuity of raw materials.
This is the stage where production processes are finalised. Essentially the recipe is written – which raw material goes after which, in what quantities and how it is mixed, much like the cake analogy!
Once all testing has been complete and our R&D team are happy with the results, the ingredients and key processes are put into real life production.
Due to our extensive research and development process into producing market leading products, it is essential that all our manufacturing is done in-house so we can carry out the highest quality control tests and confidently tell our customers, they are getting the best possible product for their requirements. Unlike many adhesive companies who run traditional manual recording systems for manufacturing, Forgeway has a full electronic manufacturing system which works by barcode scanning, providing full traceability and exact repeatable manufacturing.
If you would like to find out how we can help you, either email [email protected], or call 01626 367070 today.