Two North East manufacturers have joined forces to develop an innovative new product.
Newton Aycliffe-based BTS Facades and Fabrications and Hartlepool-based The Expanded Metal Company have collaborated on a joint project which sees the launch of a new expanded mesh frame system for protecting exterior spaces, and the first of its kind in the UK.
It was the passion for the North East and partnering with local firms that initiated the project as well as the need for the new design which steered the team forward.
Both companies create products which complement each other, with BTS Facades and Fabrications manufacturing façade and rainscreen systems under the Vantage® brand and The Expanded Metal Company producing an expanded metal range including high security fencing and gates.
The Expanded Metal Company recognised a gap in the market for the installation of expanded metal mesh material but could not source a fixing system in the UK, only in Europe, which is where BTS came in.
Already a customer of The Expanded Metal Company, managing director of BTS Phil Atkinson was more than happy to join forces. He said: “We have used the firm’s products for a number of years so were thrilled when Phil approached us to work together.
“We see the mesh framed system in comparison to a diamond ring, with the mesh as the ‘diamond’ and the framed fixing system as the setting, and together they are a perfect match.
“As the product is so unique, we currently have a patent pending to protect the design and manufacture of the Vantage® EM F (framed).
The finished product is part of the Vantage® EM range – a protective mesh bracket and rail system affixed to buildings to create a pleasing aesthetic. With framed and non-framed versions available, the completed look is entirely the creation of the client’s imagination.
Non-executive Director for BTS Gary Lumby said: “This is a very exciting time for both companies and after the hard work from the great design and manufacturing team over the last 18 months, we are now looking forward to our product entering the market.”
Philip Astley, managing director of The Expanded Metal Company, said: “I am passionate about linking with North East businesses where possible to develop strong regional working relationships.
“I took a conscious decision to ‘think local’ when approaching the problem of developing the mesh product into a complete solution. It was fantastic to realise that someone who could provide a solution was only 40 minutes away.
“We have a long history of supplying expanded metal mesh products for use in the architectural and construction sectors and this partnership combines our extensive industry expertise and manufacturing capabilities with BTS Facades and Fabrications’ innovative approach and specialist knowledge.
“We’re greatly looking forward to seeing the Vantage® EM F and EM SA range applied in future building projects and are delighted to be working hand in hand with another pioneering North East company.”
Phil Atkinson added: “The rainscreen is unique as the colours, finish and patterns of the mesh can be changed to alter the visual appeal, so it is perfect for refurbishments or modern building looking for a façade that can be altered quickly and easily.
“With our strong market knowledge and as a trusted brand, the range will create a supply chain for contractors, who previously had to travel to Europe for this type of product.