branded retail displays

Choosing a Plastics Fabricator

When it comes to choosing a supplier to manufacture an item or range of items for your business it pays to take time and consider all the options.

One of the main criteria is of course price – can the supplier produce what you need at a price you can afford?

Many buyers use this as their prime if not only method of differentiating between suppliers and it is a valid method if the item is a commodity with known characteristics. However when it comes to retail displays or plastic fabrications price is just one of the factors that should be considered.

Of equal importance is whether the supplier can manufacture to the timescale and quality required? These are more difficult to assess objectively but are crucial to the success of the project. There is no point in getting a cheap price if the goods arrive late or if they do not perform as needed. We will look at pricing lead times and performance in a later Blog post but here I would like to look at quality of the product.

Advance Display Solutions have now been in business for over 22 years and in that time we have seen many changes in the plastic fabrication industry. When we started most Plastic fabrication was a highly skilled manual operation with the skill of the craftsmen involved being crucial to the appearance and performance of the items being made.

However as technology has developed many of those processes which used to require years of skill and learning have now been automated with the introduction of CAD design, CNC cutting, diamond machine polishing and digital printing. This has enabled companies willing to invest in technology to increase their product offering, improve their quality control and efficiency which means we can offer our customers better quality products on shorter lead times while keeping prices competitive.

To the outside observer it may seem that automation and machinery has taken away the need for craftsmanship and skill but nothing could be further from the truth. Acrylics and other thermoplastics are very similar to expensive hardwoods in that they can be affected by different atmospheric conditions such as heat and humidity. This means that the processes have to be adjusted and tweaked to suit the conditions on the day – what may have been easy to carry out one day could be problematic on another. Similarly processing the material is not just a question of setting the dials and pushing a few buttons on a complex machine – each different material needs to be set up individually and those settings cannot be pre-programmed. This takes skill and knowledge built up over the years.

For this reason any good fabricator needs to invest not only in the equipment but also in the best staff and training. Here at Advance Display Solutions our staff have all been trained in house and our youngest employees have gone through a 4 year apprenticeship programme to ensure that they are able to manufacture the products consistently to the high standards our customers expect. This is one reason why we still supply some of the same customers that we did on day one of trading. But you don’t only have to take our word for it – as proof of our competence we have been certified as Approved Perspex Fabricators for over 10 years. Not all fabricators hold this or could achieve the standards needed if they were to apply. After all in the words of Benjamin Franklin “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

If you would like more information about how Advance Display Solutions can meet your quality requirements please get in touch by calling 01908 641008 or filling in our contact form here. We look forward to hearing from you.