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Investigating the Perspex Supply Chain

We love Perspex! It is a highly versatile material that we have stocked as part of our materials range for a number of years. We also use it in many of our own projects and products. Last week to went over to our local distribution centre to take a look at some of the new products that Perspex have added to their product range and to look at areas where we would like to expand what we offer our customers (the Perspex range is vast). We thought this visit would be a good opportunity to explain how the Perspex sheets gets from the factory and into our warehouse here at Kitronik.

KevinPaul

Kevin from Kitronik and Paul from Perspex inspect the warehouse

Many people do not realise that Perspex is actually a brand name (though it does seem to have become a generic term for acrylic sheets. The Perspex brand is owned by a company called Lucite International, who are the global leader in Acrylics (according to their website). Their Perspex sheets are manufactured in Newton Aycliffe here in the UK. This is one of the reasons we selected them as our acrylic supplier as many of the other brands of acrylic sheet are manufactured outside of the UK.

Perspex Cell Cast Acrylic sheets are generally produced in 3m by 2m sheets. These sheets are then transported to the warehouse 2 miles away which services customers across Europe and beyond. Perspex Distribution Ltd (PDL), wholly owned by LI, with four regional sales and service centres in the North, Midlands and South  and an extensive network of sub-distributors, can deliver anywhere in the UK.

These then allow for the material to be quickly and efficiently shipped to distributors (such as ourselves) local to these hubs.

Perspex warehouse

These large sheets are stored on pallets which in turn are stored on pallet racking (forklift required!).

Paul and pile of Perspex

For our customers a 3m by 2m sheet is too big for what they want to do (machine, laser cut, hand fabricate). Therefore these larger sheets are cut down to our requirements using a very fancy, computer controlled, beam saw.

Sheets moving to the saw

First of all the Perspex that is going to be cut is taken from the racking using a forklift truck.

Sheets going on to saw

The Perspex is then moved to a position just in front of the saw bed.

Saw bed

A large pile of Perspex sheets can be incredibly heavy. The bed of the saw is covered with air driven rollers. When these are active even very heavy pile of Perspex can be moved easily.

Saw close up

The bed lines up with an opening that contains the saw blade. During the cutting process this closes around the material being cut. The machine is fitted with and extraction process meaning any waste material generated from the cutting process is collected. This means that machine and area around it stay incredibly clean.

Saw loading

The Perspex is loaded on to the saw bed. Once in place the saw cuts the material according to the desired cutting pattern (which is programmed into it).

 

Rotating saw bed

The bed of the saw can rotate to present the required edge of the material to the saw blade.

Part cut material

This image shows a part cut stack of Perspex, ready for the second cutting pass.

Pile of cut Perspex material

Once the cutting is finished the cut pieces are bound and stacked on pallets, ready to ship to Kitronik!

Why not browse our range of materials including Perspex sheet CLICK HERE!

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