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Bright Thinking leads to continuous development of products

Since its inception in 2006, Britplas’ Safevent window for mental health has evolved through 8 models whilst the sill used has remained the same until recently.

With every detail of our proprietary window products under constant review, our dedicated research and development department has recently been focusing on improvements to the sill design of the Safevent. Key to the drainage efficiency and the overall aesthetics of the window, the development process has resulted in a new, mental health specific, Safevent variant with four brand new sill profiles for both internal and external sliding Safevents following a 6-month process.

By switching from face drained to bottom drained sills, we removed the need for press-in plastic drainage caps and minimised the chances of the drainage channel being blocked, creating a more efficient system.

 

The Britplas way

Bright Thinking is one of our core values at Britplas, and the continuous improvement of our products through the R&D department is key in Britplas maintaining this principle. The Safevent window, our flagship product for the mental health sector, is always under review. The new sill is the latest adaptation using our philosophy to ensure that clients have access to the best products and service possible

Britplas’ Research and Development Manager Steve McGuire explains more about this latest development:

 

How long did the process take?

The process took around 6 months – the new sills were designed in about a month. We then had to produce die drawings and source which thermal breaks would work best with the extrusions. Accurate die drawings were then sent out to 3 extruding companies for pricing. We then produced a cost comparison spreadsheet to compare all the extrusion costs including die costs. The next task was to look at rolling and painting costs from the powder coaters. This all took around 6 weeks.

The next stage involved ordering sample extrusion lengths for testing. Drainage test results for all four sill profiles were excellent, so we knew we had cracked the design. Production was ordered including extrusion, rolling and painting, and we prepared the product for internal launch including the creation of an ECN pack, issuing of Britplas part numbers and drawings for the sills and end caps, and full briefings held with our procurement, design, production and sales teams.

 

When was the Safevent mental health sill last altered?

The Safevent sill design has not altered significantly over the past six years.

 

What extra functionality has been added and why is this important in mental health?

By switching from face drained to bottom drained sills, we have been able to remove the press-in plastic drainage caps which service users could potentially break off the windows leaving unsightly slots in the face of the Safevent. There was also the possibility of blockage due to the path of the drainage through the frames.

By switching the drainage through the bottom of the frames, no slots are visible so there is no need for plastic drain covers any longer. This has also allowed us to extend the drainage slots through the frame to allow water to drain through the system much more quickly and effectively. This prevents any water from pooling in the frame.

Britplas make it to the final!

After the summer where England couldn’t quite reach a final, Britplas have made it that one step further!

For the second time in our history we’ve been selected for the final shortlist of the prestigious Building Awards, in the category of Specialist Contractor of the Year. The awards are hosted each year to celebrate those who’ve had an exemplary year within the construction industry, and we’ll be there on November 6th.

Britplas has had another terrific year growing its turnover again, completing a number of landmark projects and further establishing itself as a facade contractor.

For the full list of finalists please click here.

Continuous improvement for Britplas Fabrications

Following another year of record sales, Britplas has modified the layout at its 42,000 square foot Warrington fabrication facility in order to further streamline its manufacturing operations and cope with increased demand going forward. The changes have been designed to help ensure continuous working lines for both aluminium and uPVC, with a newly consolidated façades area dealing with curtain walling and door orders.

The Britplas factory manufactures the company’s patented Safevent window, allowing for tight quality control of this specialist product, and is also now set up to deal with the various different product types and systems required by the wider commercial facades market.  A number of factory staff have been cross-trained, and supplemented with specialists brought in to ensure we remain at the forefront of manufacturing best practice.

The new modifications mean that lines can be adapted for free flow of product on any given day, with the following results already achieved:

  • Improved workflow
  • Adaptable workforce
  • Efficiencies expected to be plus 20%
  • Designated visitor route with information points
  • A safer environment to work in.

Further amendments will continue to be made as we look to adapt and optimise to keep providing the best service possible to our customers.