25th November 2020 News

Alpha Manufacturing were recently challenged by a customer to help them with a rapid turnaround of COVID-19 protection screens.

Westgate are a supplier of temporary and permanent internal hoardings and have seen unprecedented demand in recent months for social distancing screens test centre hoarding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They had originally approached Alpha during the UK lockdown to assist in the production of their product, as businesses from all sectors across the UK began to put social distancing measures in place.

One particular enquiry came to Westgate with a large scale, urgent demand and a quick turnaround of social distancing screening. Westgate, in turn contacted Alpha again for assistance in meeting the extraordinary requirement and Alpha were keen to help. The challenge however, was that the existing methods of manufacturing the screens, particularly the box section legs, was a much longer process than was needed to meet the customer’s deadline.  The original method required bespoke sized box section to be outsourced with a lengthy lead time, before the base was CNC machined and the finished leg galvanised. All time-consuming processes.

Alpha and Westgate then quickly came together to create a new, innovative solution which would allow for the same product to be manufactured in a fraction of the time. The result would be a first batch of CNC punched, laser cut, folded, welded, painted and assembled parts produced and delivered within 72 hours:

Friday 25th September:

17.30 pm

Alpha sales team receive the enquiry from Westgate for 8000 legs to be used with their Hoardfast COVID-19 social distancing screens. Their customer’s urgent demand dictates that full production will need to begin by Monday 28th in order to achieve the requirement. Alpha quickly determine that using current production methods, this will not be possible. A new solution is required.

Saturday 26th September:

9:00 am

Alpha’s head designer discusses possible solutions with Westgate’s design team. A new design of the screen leg is decided upon and Alphas design team create manufacturing drawings.

1:00 pm

Drawings are finalised by Alpha and signed off by the customer. Parts begin to be nested by Alpha’s programming team whilst Alpha’s sales team estimate the new cost of the part.

19:30 pm

The Alpha Sales team finalise and issue the quote to the customer for the new part. Parts are now programmed and ready for production to begin once the customer gives the green light.

21:15 pm

The order is placed and the parts are released for production.

Sunday 27th September

6:00 am

The Alpha production team begin the new process of manufacturing the legs for the Westgate screens.

6:00 pm

By Sunday evening, the first batch of the COVID screen legs have been laser cut and folded.

Monday 28th September:

6:00 am

Production continues throughout Monday with legs CNC punched, laser cut, folded, welded, painted and assembled using the new method.

Tuesday 29th September:

6:00 am

The first delivery of 400 products to the new design are made to Westgate. Production will continue throughout the week with regular deliveries in batches of 400 per delivery.

Over the course of 72 hours from initial enquiry, Alpha recognised the challenges involved in the project, consulted with the customer, devised a new design and manufacturing process, estimated and nested the part and manufactured, assembled and delivered the first batch of products.

“Working with Alpha Manufacturing has been a pleasure.  Their ability to pull out all stops in an unprecedented time has been outstanding. This has enabled us to meet our client’s deadlines and play our part in helping businesses deliver COVID safe environments. Their level of service from design stage to delivery has been incredible which is resulting in a longer term business partnership.

Ben Gates – Project Manager

This project is another example of the flexible and committed approach that Alpha have to their customers, pulling out all the stops in order to help meet demand through innovative engineering solutions.