What do coil coating lines and Australian boomerangs have in common you might ask? For starters, both are diverse, there are many different types of boomerangs and coil coating lines and each of them has their purpose. Selecting the right boomerang or coil coating line for its purpose will provide optimum success.
In Australia there are two main types of boomerang, the returning and non-returning. Boomerangs were developed by the Australian Aborigines thousands of years ago for hunting and sport and shows their ingenuity for surviving in a tough environment. Boomerangs come in many shapes and sizes depending on their geographic or tribal origins and intended function. Returning boomerangs were also used as decoy birds of prey, thrown above long grass to frighten game birds into flight and into waiting nets.
A good returning boomerang when thrown, will come back to its point of origin. Your philosophy when choosing an equipment supplier should be one that is like a good returning boomerang. It all starts with you, you hold that boomerang and throw it out into the supplier world and hope it returns to you smoothly and efficiently. There is so much to consider when purchasing a large capital equipment like a coil coating line, it needs to be high quality, run efficiently, be cost effective in the day to day running of the line and have little scrap.
Operator training both on the line and in classroom is essential for the smooth transition from line installation to line operation. Long after the training is complete, a thorough knowledge of the line by the operators is essential and this is where a complete set of maintenance and operator manuals is not only necessary but essential for ongoing smooth sailing. In the life of a line, line operators will come and go, so these manuals are imperative for continued training of new staff.
The Returning boomerang analogy and your business.
At the starting point, your equipment supplier should work with you to plan, develop and install your line. Then they should journey with you as you progress your business. In time you can return to your supplier whenever you require further assistance, additional expertise, product development, spares, upgrades or even another line.
Like a well-made returning boomerang you need to be certain of support. Over time, the suppliers expertise becomes your expertise. You need to be assured that the supplier will return to you often to assist you to grow your business. Expertise in boomerang throwing or equipment supply comes with practice over a very long period of time. When questioning your supplier, find out how long they have been supplying coil coating lines, how long have they been developing their equipment and their manufacturing base and visually see their equipment.
The Australian Aboriginals often travelled in groups, working together as a team with their boomerangs. A good quality team is made up of the customer , his team and the supplier. Working together in partnership to ensure the success of your business.
When it comes to coil coating, there are many things to consider:
What specifications do you require (width, thickness)? How much do you wish to process annually? What do you wish to do with your galvanised material? Which process are you interested in, Galfan, Zinc Coating, Galvalume®, Zn/Al. Where will you get your feedstock from? Is it oiled or passivated? All of the answers to these questions will determine which type of line you require.
In our experience of over 40 years building galvanizing lines globally we have found that working closely with our customers, understanding their dreams, vision and business plan all help us to create a line that will work efficiently for them now and well into their future.
The same applies for colour coating, what do you plan to use your colour coated material for, which type of paints and inks do you wish to work with, do you require pattern coating? Will you sell your product domestically or through export sales. Working with a supplier that cares about your business and its success can make all the difference to your business.
There have been many times we have been approached by customers that have installed lines that were different from what they expected to get, and they have ended up with issues such as: paint coming off the coil, trouble with zinc coating, oven issues, oil on strip issues. For example, no pre-cleaning section included. In Russia, pre-cleaning to remove oil effectively is an important part of the process line and must be considered when installing a line.
Bronx installs both Galvanising and Colour Coating Lines globally. Adapting to different climates is one of the considerations when working around the world. For example, working in Africa is dramatically different to Russia and this requires different things to consider.
A Customer in Nigeria has his own Roll Forming and Distribution Factory for both painted and unpainted embossed sheet for the building industry but has to rely on upstream suppliers to paint and emboss the aluminium coils. The price of having coils painted and embossed elsewhere was high and guarantee of supply was often not met. Product quality was not always consistently high and rejections meant lost sales opportunities.
The customer had one further constraint, an existing building originally built to install future Roll Forming Lines. The building was less than 100 metres in length with minimum head height, 5.5 metres. The customer wanted to be in control of their painting and embossing requirements and threw their ‘boomerang’ out to suppliers to help them achieve their goal. Bronx became the supplier of choice. Bronx returned to them with a ‘real’ boomerang, and with an offer for one of their standard ‘Warehouse’ Paint Lines which have been specifically configured for such scenarios.
The customer recognised that he needed a quality supply chain with high quality painted and embossed coil of many different colours with a short lead time and the only way he could achieve this objective was to install his own Paint and Embossing Line.
Bronx International supplied a Continuous Coil Paint Line with in-line embossing capability. The line is capable of processing a large cross section of strip widths and thicknesses with any colour available in very short lead times. The customer can now purchase unpainted aluminium coils of maximum size and paint and emboss these coils very quickly as required. The line equipment is world class design and quality, guaranteeing a very high class painted and embossed product.
The selection of Bronx as preferred supplier was a direct result of our market dominance and experience in Africa, the total package offered and product guarantees. These features offered the customer a level of confidence and certainty that his investment would be protected. As part of the total package Bronx provided expert personnel to train the Operators and Engineers on all aspects of the line operation and also provided on-site Technology support for an extended period to ensure product quality and line efficiency was at the highest level.
The customer is now able to significantly reduce his stock level of coils and can respond to short lead time requirements very efficiently. He has employed local people to operate his line with the support of Bronx Technology. The line has been in operation for several years now and has produced a large quantity of painted and embossed coils in many different colours. These coils have been roll-formed and sold into the market with some excellent results. This has enabled the customer to become a reliable, on-time supplier of superior quality product with the flexibility to accommodate market demands quickly and efficiently. His cost structure for the roofing industry has been significantly reduced making his total operation much more profitable.
Like a good Australian boomerang, we return to the customer often to work with them as their needs grow. Education, training and solution focused ideas has seen them grow into one of the best suppliers of roofing in Nigeria. When we install a line in any country, the parting gift we give is an Australian Boomerang, as our confirmation that we will return to support them as the need arises.