Rotech Machines, founded in 1997, is a leading UK coding and marking solutions provider to the packaging industry. Rotech’s coding systems range from fully-customisable machines to their entry-level sleeve coder – the RF Lite, launched in May 2016.
Using their expansive industry and application knowledge, Rotech design and build their systems in-house.
SLS dyeing with Prototype Projects
In May 2016, Rotech saw two milestones in its business development.
Firstly, the company launched its RF Lite printer, a simple but effective coding solution for companies wanting to automate their date coding process.
Secondly, Rotech rebranded from blue to orange, and the company wanted to incorporate their new, striking, brand colour on its systems. Historically, Rotech used aluminium material which was coloured in anodised blue for its machines; when the brand changed to the orange, it soon became apparent that anodised orange was closer to bronze.
As such, Rotech established a relationship with Prototype Projects to manufacture the coloured parts of their machines. These parts were SLS printed and then dyed orange using Prototype Projects’ dyeing technology. Not only were the parts now colour-matched to Rotech’s brand, but the parts were much cheaper to produce than the aluminium parts.
Another advantage of working with Prototype Projects was that, because the parts were made using Additive Manufacturing, the parts could be etched with Rotech’s logo in the corporate font.
Rotech’s Design Engineer, George Wallis-Smith said:
“The quality of these SLS-printed, -dyed and -etched parts from Prototype Projects is incredibly high. When we initially looked for a 3D printing bureau to manufacture these parts, it soon became apparent that Prototype Projects is the only company delivering SLS dyeing to such a high level within the UK.”
Fast turnarounds and great customer service
As well as delivering high quality parts for Rotech, it is Prototype Projects’ customer service and fast turnaround that means Rotech continues to use the 3D printing bureau. George Wallis-Smith said:
“They are incredibly fast at every stage of the process; from quotation, to printing, to delivery. This is invaluable to us.
“Justin and Gary also provide us with technical input and support. They’re not sales men; in other words, we can throw ideas over to them and they give us an honest appraisal of whether that idea could work – if it won’t work, they work with us to develop an idea that will work. They put the customer first, and that’s why we use them.”
Rotech’s apprentices ‘take the tour’
When Rotech employed two apprentices, the company believed it was important for them to understand how every element of the business works and so they contacted Prototype Projects to enquire if they could take the tour of their premises. George Wallis-Smith said:
“Prototype Projects welcomed our apprentices, and myself, to their premises. We all really valued that opportunity; it was great to see the 3D printing suite in action, and to better understand the processes and technologies available. It’s a great facility.”
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