Gallito Fit-Out Finishing Studio
Gallito Limited has recently installed a bespoke paint spraying and drying facility for The Finishing Studio Ltd in Thame, Oxfordshire; a recent new venture established by furniture designer and manufacturer Duncan Doig.
Oxfordshire-based Doig Furniture manufactures bespoke cabinetry and luxury fitted and freestanding furniture for the high-end residential market. With an experienced team of designers and cabinet makers, the company produces beautifully crafted furniture; employing the skills of traditional craftsmanship in tandem with the best that CAD technology can offer. As well as individual commissions for private clients, Doig Furniture works collaboratively with architects and interior designers and, over the last 15 years, has undertaken a wide variety of bespoke projects ranging from residential kitchens for palatial homes across Oxfordshire and the surrounding home counties, to a walnut reception desk destined to cut a dash on Savile Row, and from arts and crafts restoration work to cabinetry for a luxury yacht.
Before the company made the decision to invest in an in-house department, all finishing work was being sourced from outside suppliers and, as Duncan Doig explains: “Because all the furniture we manufacture is bespoke, our requirements for spray finishing are as diverse as the designs we create, and the nature of our work means they are almost always ‘short run’ projects; which tends to make all aspects of subcontracting a costly exercise.” Goods would also have to be packed for dispatch to outside suppliers, re-packed for return to the factory, then checked and packed again before delivery to the client – the multiple handing involved was time consuming and also very costly when an item sustained damage in the process.
“We finally made the decision to bring all our finishing work in-house”, says Duncan “but, to ensure the new facility would be kept busy, and financially self-supporting, we established The Finishing Studio; a facility that was designed to meet all the demands Doig Furniture could throw at it, but also able to accommodate specialist finishing work for other manufacturers.” Having previously had dealings with Gallito’s sister company, DCS Ltd, for dust extraction requirements in the factory, Duncan was already aware of the capabilities the company could offer and invited Gallito’s sales manager, Mike Lodge, to review the location earmarked for the new facility and to put forward proposals for a cost-effective facility that would meet their specific needs.
Gallito, now part of Absolent Group AB, a world leader in the development of process-air cleaning equipment for industrial applications has, for over 40 years, provided everything from standard spray booths and surface preparation equipment, through to paint finishing systems and complete turnkey industrial process packages.
“To make best use of the space available, and to meet all the requirements Duncan had asked for, our engineers designed a bespoke facility which would be manufactured to sit neatly within the shell of the existing building”, Mike Lodge explained, “and the primary objective was to provide a facility that would be fully capable of undertaking all the finishing work generated by Doig Furniture.” Manufactured from laser-cut mild steel panels, which fit together perfectly to give a smooth internal surface, the dry filter spray room and the drying room each provide a working floor area of 16m2, with 2,000mm x 2,000mm doorways, and an internal ceiling height of 2,250mm throughout. An array of 8 equally-spaced, flush-fitting, twin fluorescent units gives an excellent all-round work light, and the double-skinned, fully-glazed doors allow easy access and good visibility. The spray room is fitted with 8m2 of replaceable filter media through which a belt-driven centrifugal fan, powered by a 4.0kW motor, has the capacity to extract over 16,000m3 of contaminated air per hour.
The adjacent heated drying room is of similar mild steel panel construction, but is designed for operation at temperatures up to 40°C, with heat provided by a fan-assisted 56kW gas burner unit. Externally, the roof is covered with a 50mm layer of mineral wool insulation, faced with aluminum foil, and the roof construction also forms an explosion relief area so that, in the unlikely event of an explosion, the effects will be vented vertically to prevent injury to personnel. The burner is located above the drying room and warmed air is recirculated 4 times a minute by a 5.5kW centrifugal fan. The heating system includes various safety features, including a purge timer and cool down timer, over temperature thermostat and airflow pressure switch to monitor recirculated airflow and bleed fan airflow – 10% of the recirculated air is exhausted to atmosphere to prevent any accumulation of solvent fumes.
“We are delighted with the new facility”, says Duncan Doig. “The quality of the construction is excellent and Gallito’s installation team delivered a professional service. We are now up and running and fulfilling the finishing requirements of our furniture design business – our next step is to offer the service to other local manufacturers who need a bespoke finishing service.