Welsh firm, Nu-Coat, which manufactures materials for the sign, display and graphics market, has opted for market-leading Vetaphone Corona technology for “peace of mind” to fulfil its production criteria.
Based in Cwmcarn, near Caerphilly in South Wales, Nu-Coat is a small but fast-growing company that has set about revolutionising the sign and wide-format markets with UV polyacrylate adhesives. Already widely used in industry sectors from medical to food, automotive, and labels, the creation of a dedicated coating line by Nu-Coat that uses solvent-free, non-aqueous adhesives cured by UV-C light, allows the company to expand the qualities of this technology to a broader field of applications.
The business was established in 2018, by directors Chris Martin and Rob Musto. Production is carried out on a compact 1.7m wide coating line capable of speeds up to 100m/min depending on the coating level required for each job, with converting handled by two slitter rewinders. Work can be supplied in standard or custom size rolls in runs as short as 1000 linear metres, which is where director Chris Martin sees niche market opportunities. “We are adept at developing new and bespoke products that we test thoroughly before putting into commercial production. Our flexibility allows us to respond easily to rapid campaign changes, and our compact line is ideal for fast turnarounds.” Currently, working a single shift, output stands at around 30% of the capacity of the 64,000sq ft plant which employs a team of nine experts, according to Mr Martin.
When researching the market for the best equipment to fulfil its production criteria, Nu-Coat turned to Vetaphone for surface treatment advice and assistance. Vetaphone vice president of technical sales, Kevin McKell commented: “As the inventors of Corona treatment, we have a vast knowledge base that we like to share with existing and potential customers, so when Nu-Coat approached us we were keen to be involved in what is an exciting new venture in this field. We advised on the best technology for their pilot line, and subsequently supplied and installed one of our 4kw VE1C-C 1920mm Corona units on the coating line when it went into commercial production.”
One of the key advantages of Vetaphone Corona systems is the precision control they offer. With Nu-Coat looking to push its own pioneering technology into new markets, it was vital that all pre-coating operations could be guaranteed for accuracy and reliability. “I chose Vetaphone because of my previous experience with the company and the fact that they are acknowledged as the market leader in surface treatment. Not surprisingly, we’ve had no issues with their Corona system, and this gives us peace of mind as well as production efficiency,” explained Mr Musto, who added that the ease with which Vetaphone technology can be upgraded to meet the challenges of constantly-changing market demands was another deciding factor.
As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of relinquishing its grip on public health and business, Mr Martin explained his company’s position: “With the hospitality and events sectors badly hit, which are traditionally good markets for us, we were initially concerned, but the rapid increase and ongoing demand for floor graphics and face visors has in fact opened new areas of opportunity for us, especially with our flexible capability. Our expertise in graphics with the necessary slip rating approvals and the creation of a new wipe-clean laminate for shop counters and door plates has kept us really busy.”