This time I thought I’d discuss some of the bespoke products we’ve made in the past and the stories behind them.
I remember when I was in school listening to dad telling stories about what he’d been working on that day when we were eating our evening meal and being somewhat bored (being a teenager) thinking I would never work at Fireprotect, not knowing that one day I’d be MD!
One story involved working with Unilever on the plant that was bottling a laundry softener. The plastic bottles were very rapidly heated to very slightly melt the surface of the side of the bottle so that a label could be applied without using glue. Sometimes the bottles would get stuck and jam up the line, so workers would have to lean over and unjam them, this meant that some people were burning their arms and chests on the heaters, and dad needed to design a heat shield that would not stop production and deflect any heat. He designed a U-shaped board that had ceramic fiber glued to it with our FCL 007 high-temperature adhesive and then was sewn into a bag made from quartz silica cloth. It proved to be exactly what they needed and until the machinery was redesigned we made these strange-looking things for about 15 years!
We were contacted in the mid-’90s by a very large tractor company, they had a design problem, the exhaust system was too close to the plastic fuel tank, and on occasions in hot countries, it was beginning to melt, not the best thing for a fuel tank to do! After a few discussions, we came up with a metal plate that had been powder coated stuck to a piece of ceramic board with the FCL 007 on one side, and coated with and modified FCL 100 paint with added elements to make the board oil and water-resistant. They would ship the metal plates to us, we would cut up the boards, coat them with paint and then stick them to the metal and they would pick them up again. As with the other project eventually, the need for the heat shield was designed out and so we no longer make these shields, but we still have all the capabilities to make these or similar items.
We have helped design heat shields for rally cars and worked with several racing teams, the most exciting ones being the F1 teams, we‘re not allowed to name names for obvious reasons but we’ve had some very interesting factory tours and always love working alongside such fantastic engineers, I had an offer to go over with the lorries to the Le Mans 24-hour race with one of the teams we worked with, but as luck would have it, I was 7 months pregnant and thought that even though it would have been loads of fun it probably wasn’t the most sensible of ideas to go with them!
There have been lots of bespoke projects, the first one being Ickie the Firebobby, which was going to be a range of children's books and toys to promote fire awareness. Mum and dad made a mock-up of the book and tried to promote toys being fireproof, but they were deemed too expensive and never really caught on. It’s a shame really because there were some good messages in the book, not only about fire safety but also keeping your community tidy and recycling.
We’ve dug out the book and if you’d like a read, click on the link below.
We have made our self-adhesive backed tapes into gaskets and little packs of cut sizes, we have laminated papers to mica sheets and cut into squares, and pride ourselves in being very adaptive with a good grasp of what the customers’ individual needs are, even down to labels inside center cores and specific labels on boxes.
Let us know what you need (fire protection wise!) and we’ll endeavor to get it made for you.