Successful collaboration between four Yorkshire businesses turned a tight client project round from design to dispatch in just a matter of weeks.
Bradford-based Myfotowall, a specialist manufacturer of bespoke graphics for wallpaper coverings and sales displays, was given a client brief to look at an existing product and improve its design, functionality, ease of use and assembly, as well as reducing the unit cost. The project had a very tight deadline from day one, with an approved solution needing to be manufactured and dispatched within 14 weeks.
Stephen Armitage, managing partner at Myfotowall, came up with the idea of using a 25mm aluminium box section for the main framing elements of the product and needed to design an innovative corner bracket that allowed the frame to be assembled with a push fit, while still being able to be disassembled for future use without the need for tools.
Following a visit to the 3M BIC with Yorkshire Connect, that works with a range of entrepreneurs to educate and inspire others, Stephen was introduced to the centre’s capabilities and was inspired by its range of services and ease of accessibility.
With potentially 1,500 units required and no final solution, Myfotowall approached the 3M BIC’s design team to create CAD drawings of the proposed design and convert them into a 3D digitally printed object to test out the concept.
Following the testing, a few alterations to the design were made and two full sets of eight corner connectors were 3D printed to give a practical demonstration of the proposed solution to the client for approval.
Once approved, the drawings were sent to Faulkner Moulds in Halifax, who then manufactured the injection mould tools. The mould manufacture normally takes 8-10 weeks. However, understanding the customer’s need to meet a tight deadline, they designed the injection mould tool around the final CAD design and manufactured the mould within three weeks, allowing the customer to view the tool two days ahead of schedule to reduce the pressure on the final delivery of the project.
The moulds were taken to an injection moulding company, Fisher Plastics in Meltham, Huddersfield to produce the 12,000 connectors in an ABS plastic. Their huge capacity allowed them to change production schedules to facilitate a very quick turnaround.
Myfotowall then had to convert 8 tonnes of aluminium box section into the required lengths, print and fabricate 1,500 fabric covers and produce 1,500 carry bags.
Myfotowall’s Stephen Armitage said: “The attentiveness, dedication and team spirit that was endured throughout this collaborative project, is testament to its success, not only in delivering the solution, on time and on budget, but in proving that innovation is key to delivering success for all involved, from concept to the end user experience.”
The process gained Myfotowall a substantial client order, which, following its delivery into the market has proved to be a huge success for the client and has led to further orders for Myfotowall.