Archive for 2017

Slam Lock Mechanism Produced For Dudley Industries

Blue Diamond Technologies boosts quality and reduces costs with key component for premier washroom accessories

A new range of premium stainless steel washroom products from Initial Hygiene is enjoying international success. Manufactured by subsidiary Dudley Industries, the products have benefitted from a newly forged partnership with Blue Diamond Technologies – a partnership that has enabled Dudley Industries to improve upon a key component, the lock mechanism – source it more cost-effectively and eliminate volume stocking costs.

Based in Lytham-St-Annes, Lancashire, Dudley Industries supplies washroom equipment to the top five blue chip washroom consumables companies worldwide. It has built its reputation on manufacturing washroom accessories that offer quality and high performance standards, with a short supply chain that ensures efficient delivery. The Reflection range represents a no-compromise approach to product design, with washroom accessories crafted from the finest grade stainless steel and styled to blend discreetly into the end user’s environment. The range includes soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, air fresheners and more. Attractive, robust and easy to clean, the Reflection range enables businesses to deliver uncompromising levels of hygiene to clients, employees and guests alike.

“Every component on the Reflection products is critical, because of the image these hygiene products have to promote,”

says Dudley Industries senior buyer, Stuart Meakin. Those components included the lock mechanism designed to give janitors and cleaners access to the dispenser.

“It’s a relatively straightforward mechanism,” adds Meakin. “What’s important is that it’s in keeping with the overall style of each Reflection product.”

Initially, Dudley Industries had thought to manufacture the lock in house, but came to the decision that its highly skilled manufacturing workforce could be better deployed in other aspects of the Reflection design.

“Our first thought was simply to take our design and try to find a Far Eastern supplier,”

says Meakin.

“But we had worries about quality, and concerns about having to buy the product in large quantities, representing a significant investment and then having to hold products in stock.”

By coincidence, Dudley Industries had recently been contacted by Blue Diamond Technologies. As an engineering services provider with substantial experience in engaging with and sourcing products from Far Eastern suppliers, Blue Diamond felt its expertise would be a good fit with Dudley Industries’ potential requirements. When Dudley Industries made the decision to subcontract the manufacture of the Reflection range lock, Blue Diamond was the first port of call.

“We carried out a full quality audit on Blue Diamond to ensure that they came up to the mark in terms of capability, service, reputation and quality, and we liked what we saw,”

says Meakin.

“We were confident that this was a company we could work with.”

While a slam lock is a fairly simple mechanism (a key to open, but push shut to re-lock), the demands for style and quality meant that the Dudley Industries design was much more than a simple off-the-shelf catalogue product. Blue Diamond international sales manager, Liam Walsh, says:

“We like to look at projects where we can both add value and reduce costs, while removing the risk for companies of dealing direct with unknown Far Eastern suppliers. To this end, our first task was to reverse engineer the Dudley Industries design to look at the most effective means of manufacture.”

As a result of this reverse engineering, Blue Diamond suggested minor refinements to the lock assembly, which were authorised by Dudley Industries after the submission of an initial sample. Blue Diamond also suggested, perhaps counter-intuitively, that the most cost effective route for manufacture was to source different components for the lock from different suppliers, and then assemble it in the UK.

“We have over 45 years experience in working with suppliers from all over the Far East, enabling customers in the UK to take advantage of significant price benefits while mitigating the risk of the product failing to meet the application requirements,”

explains Walsh.

“At the same time, we have extensive in-house engineering capability”.

“Looking at the individual specialisms of our suppliers across the Far East, we felt that quality and cost could best be served by sourcing the individual components from four different factories, and assembling the lock ourselves at our factory in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire. Overall the costs are reduced, and we can guarantee quality.”

Not only would this lower cost, assure quality and help to give Dudley Industries a competitive edge in design of the Reflection range, it also meant that the company would not have to absorb the cost of ordering and stocking parts in volume.

“We need some 20,000 parts per year, but we don’t need them all in one go,”

says Meakin.

“With Blue Diamond, we can place the order, but draw them off and pay for them as we need them. That delivers significant procurement benefits for our business.”

Orders for the Reflection range are growing at an increasing rate, with installation in the likes of the Orient Express demonstrating the prestige nature of the product.

Blue Diamond has launched a new “search and find” service to assist engineers who find themselves with a component whose providence is unknown or lost in the mists of time.

Maybe the original drawings have disappeared or the spec has long since vanished along with the previous supplier.

Just let us have a sample of the product in question, be it metal, plastic or rubber, and we will either source the original supplier on your behalf or prepare a new spec using our in house materials analysis and measuring devices. Either way, we’ll soon have your problem part back in production.

Custom fasteners with complex or unusual geometrics

Blue Diamond Technologies specialises in the design and manufacture of bespoke mechanical parts and is building on its experience supplying fasteners for the automotive aftermarket to provide customers with bespoke industrial fasteners for any market sector.

With more than 40 years’ experience, Blue Diamond already provides a single UK source offering global procurement of special parts and is now widening this service to supply custom fasteners with complex or unusual geometries in low batch quantities – typically 500 upwards.

Custom fasteners are manufactured using hot and cold forging techniques at a fraction of the cost normally incurred to machine them from scratch. This includes fasteners with eccentric heads, unusual head forms or recesses, captive washers, and with features such as thread-locking compounds and nylon inserts. Where required, further details can be added using secondary machining processes.

Examples of components already supplied by Blue Diamond include bolts and fixings with hexagonal socket, flanged, triple square, double hex, and hexalobular head forms. Nuts can incorporate flanges, castellations, self-locking features and captive washers.

Parts can be supplied in a wide range of materials including carbon and alloy steels, stainless steels and non-ferrous metals. Heat treatment is available to achieve enhanced mechanical properties as needed.

For companies who are currently incurring high costs to obtain complex fasteners manufactured using conventional machining techniques, Blue Diamond can offer a highly attractive low cost alternative.

Low cost supply without the risk

Blue Diamond extends Far East partner network to enable customers to take advantage of low cost supply without risk

Blue Diamond has extended its network of production partners in the Far East, enabling the company to offer customers even greater scope to take advantage of Far Eastern product pricing, but without the risk of trying to find manufacturing companies and dealing direct.

In addition to their long-established manufacturing associates with a sound pedigree in producing fully customised parts and assemblies, Blue Diamond has added to its roster of manufacturers, now providing a comprehensive network of partner companies for standard components and materials manufactured in metal, rubber or plastic.

Blue Diamond does not set out to be a product designer, although it may well offer design suggestions for improving a product or assembly. Rather, it aims to take all risk out of the process of dealing with the Far East, firstly by taking responsibility from a design-for manufacture perspective to ensure that the product a customer wants can indeed be made to meet the application requirements, and secondly by absorbing the risk of something going wrong during production.

Working with its suppliers, Blue Diamond can provide all the benefits of global procurement for engineered machine component parts with the convenience of a single UK source, enabling companies who don’t have their own in-house resources to take ideas and concepts into volume production.

Blue Diamond, with its enviable reputation for advanced engineering of the highest quality, has added sump plugs to its arsenal of automotive aftermarket products.

Sump plugs, or oil drain plugs as they’re sometimes known, take the form of a bolt at the bottom of the sump pan which enables oil to be drained from a motor vehicle engine during oil change.

Available off the shelf to suit most vehicle specifications, Blue Diamond can provide sump plugs in all thread sizes from M10 up to M38, as well as Imperial sizes.  The majority of plugs are manufactured in steel and can be accurately assessed for hardness rating.   Finishes include black/grey phosphate, geomet, zinc and clear passivate, black oxide and many more.

Sump plugs can incorporate special features such as internal O-rings, captive washers and rubber overmoulds for improved sealing where required.

Blue Diamond sump plugs are suitable for multiple vehicle interchanges from a wide selection of manufacturers including, but not limited to, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes, Opel, Peugeot, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota and VW.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website, redesigned with a fresh look and feel, with improved navigation to help you find the information you require or get in touch with us more easily.

The new website is mobile device ready and will be much easier for you to use on your smartphone or tablet.

We would welcome any feedback you may have on how we can further improve the website.

The website was designed and built by Digital Group Media

The Rolwey Group is celebrating raising over £50,000 after 16 years of supporting Cancer Research UK. Led by Sandy Burnage (Sales and Marketing Administrator) The Rolwey Group began fundraising for Cancer Research UK in 2001. The total now stands at £51,169.00 and was raised by many events over the years including; Race For Life, Murder Mystery Evenings, e-Christmas cards, various personal challenges and the Travel Bears. Recently The Rolwey Group celebrated hitting the £50,000 milestone with a Dinner and Dance on World Cancer Day.

Money raised by The Rolwey Group will fund research to beat cancer sooner, helping to ensure more men, women and children in the South East and across the UK survive.

Alex Bordoli, Cancer Research UK’s Central Fundraising Executive said:

The Rolwey Group have made a huge contribution to Cancer Research UK’s work over the past 16 years and we are incredibly grateful for their support. We have particularly enjoyed seeing their innovative and varied approach to fundraising, especially with their Travel Bear that gets all over the place!

Cancer survival rates have doubled since the 1970s and our work has been at the heart of that progress. However, we have only been able to achieve this thanks to the dedication and commitment of volunteers and supporters like the employees of The Rolwey Group, who have played a significant part in developing that progress.

Research is Global but it has a local impact. Every day, people in the South-East and all across the UK, benefit from drugs that Cancer Research UK scientists helped to develop. Last year, we spent over £32 million on some of the UK’s best scientific and clinical research in the South East. We fund ground-breaking work throughout the region, from clinical trials running at nearby hospitals, to our institute in Southampton. Our scientists and doctors in Southampton are recognised internationally for their research into ‘immunotherapy’, a type of treatment that harnesses the power of the body’s own immune system to target cancer. Ground-breaking research is being carried out all over the UK, to help beat cancer sooner.

Glass is a special material. It has a unique upmarket, quality feel and is becoming increasingly popular for use with top quality furniture and bathroom fittings such as office partitions and shower doors. Recognising this trend, Blue Diamond has expanded its scope of supply to include high quality door handles, hinges and latch systems for glass in a range of finishes including polished, linished and brushed.

Although glass looks good, especially when combined with chrome or polished alloy fittings, fixings in glass are notoriously difficult to engineer and manufacture. Glass is a fragile material and drilling holes in it is both difficult and expensive. Designs are restricted by Standards that dictate how close a hole can come to the edge of a sheet of glass. This varies according to the type and thickness of the glass – limiting the designers’ scope.

Blue Diamond can design and manufacture hinges and handles for individual applications to provide a perfect fit. Accuracy and repeatability are vital and using a custom design ensures that the overall look and feel of the product is not compromised by an ‘off the shelf’ component. Glass is heavy and components have to be strong enough to carry high loads while at the same time avoiding problems associated with glass panels acting as sound amplifiers.

An example of Blue Diamond’s design and engineering skills is in the supply of glass door handles, hinges and latch systems for a leading supplier to the new build industry. When supplies of fittings for office partitions and door products started to falter, fast action was required to find an alternative supplier. The engineers and designers at Blue Diamond worked closely with the customer to develop and agree a new design – that met all the mechanical and aesthetic requirements – as well as durability.

The complex designs required a range of cast and pressed components, springs, metal and plastic parts, some of which had to be plated or polished. Based on their experience designing similar components, Blue Diamond’s engineers were able to improve the assemblies by enhancing their appearance, reducing cost and increasing durability.

All drawings were originated by Blue Diamond using their advanced CAD-based system. Prototypes were sourced from approved suppliers in low cost base countries and following evaluation of the design and testing of the samples, the new handles, hinges and latch systems were accepted immediately for volume production.

Blue Diamond, based in Southampton, is well established as a quality supplier of all types of engineering components including cast and turned parts, plastic mouldings, bearings, seals and sub assemblies. The company designs and prepares engineering drawings, including material specifications, and manages the manufacture of prototypes and bulk supplies as well as providing inspection, testing, stockholding and sourcing from low cost manufacturers outside the UK.

Blue Diamond Technologies, the Hampshire-based engineering firm specialising in the design and manufacture of bespoke mechanical components, has added a new video – “A Closer Look” – to its YouTube channel to demonstrate the effectiveness of its Optimax Evo-Cam full HD digital microscope.

The Evo-Cam incorporates a powerful camera capable of capturing full HD imagery and video footage which can be saved directly to a USB memory stick for easy reference. An integral LED ringlight ensures shadow-free illumination which, combined with up to 125 times magnification, allows the user to focus on the tiniest detail.

Incorporating a remote control console which eliminates any prospect of shake or blur, the Evo-Cam also features a calibration facility which allows a customised grid to be laid over the image for quick on-screen measurement. Blue Diamond is able to use the microscope for assistance with reverse engineering, product inspection, testing and fault analysis, underpinning the attention to detail which is a hallmark of the Blue Diamond service.

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