Ease of handling
Large blocks crack more easily in transit; sharp edges can chip during handling; large blocks are heavy to lift and place accurately. Considerations like these must be factored into the design. Moulds may even be designed in a manner to ease gripping and vertical lowering into place, to minimise the displacement of bedding sand.
The picture below illustrates the immense difficulty of having to cut blocks that cannot possibly fit the purpose for which they are being used.
Products which deviate from their specification create immense problems for installers.
Installations slow down and result in shoddiness and rework when contractors struggle to create an even surface with uneven blocks, and to create neat, straight grouting lines whilst working with blocks that are skew or that allow for misalignment and groutline creep. The Total Cost of Installation (TCI) can be greatly reduced by accurate end-product sizes derived from high quality minimum deviation moulds.
These requirements are not easy to meet. My clients know that I do my utmost to ensure that our manufacturing practices produce moulds which show the minimum deviation from the spec, even after many years of casting.
Most of my manufacturing clients are also the sellers and transporters of their own products. This adds strategic considerations to the equation. I work with you to define your brand and range strategy, so that your products will grow and integrate well with each other as you expand your operations.
Modularity is a universal consideration in respect of the end-user, installer and manufacturer.
Designing for modularity is a specialised discipline. I consider how your paving units may be used in conjunction with industry standard products such as bricks, as well as with possible future products in your family of products.
I also consider factors that affect the spacing of the products. West-cast products are chamfered, and the chamfer or cast-in spacers determine the default grouting space. Even the arris (the edge-curve) plays a role in the appearance and integrity of the grouting.
Ease of demoulding is key consideration for manufacture. Some of the moulds we develop have special demoulding mechanisms.
If you buy exclusive ownership of a design, the master from which the moulds are made, becomes yours, and must be stored carefully for later, when you require more moulds to be made. If your storage conditions are unsuitable, alternative arrangements are preferable.
“Strategy” is the unique way in which you plan to address your challenges. Your mould strategy is your plan to ensure that your products (produced by using the moulds) secure a competitive and specific advantage in your market. The moulds’ design and composition must also make handling, demoulding and storing easy. These are all aspects that lower production cost.
You benefit from our many years of experience, and in many cases, this means we can deliver quickly once we’ve agreed on the design rationale.
My team and I are known for our tenacity in meeting design and material challenges.
Based on all these considerations — end-user, installer, manufacturing — I work with you to design, develop and produce your moulds.