Tackling the extreme burning heat generated by a blaze is day-to-day business for fire appliances. But when the vehicle is working in the hot, arid temperatures of Qatar, the unit has to be fit for purpose.
Leading fire appliance manufacturer Angloco, based in Batley, West Yorkshire since 1972, specialises in high quality fire fighting vehicles for customers worldwide including the Caribbean, the Far East and the Middle East. So when the request was received for a high specification multi-media fire fighting vehicle with aerial rescue boom, the company kept its cool.
Purchasing manager Bob Auty explains, “The firm has been specialising in fire engineering for 50 years. The Qatar end user required a build that would withstand extreme desert temperatures as well as water damage, making corrosion a key issue.”
The aluminium-bodied vehicle has an anodised surface and is electro-protection treated, which doesn’t normally require painting. However, the client insisted on the vehicle being refinished, which raised a further key challenge around the choice of paint which would be required to bond to the anodised process.
Bob Auty says, “To get paint to adhere to an anodised substrate was an unknown process to us and the product we needed had to be hard so that the sand and high temperatures would not destroy the surface when the vehicle was shipped out to Qatar and put to work.”
R-M technical sales specialist Andy Kidson conducted a series of demonstrations and trials at Angloco across three substrates – PP, GRP and aluminium. The R-M Graphite HD paint delivered consistent high quality results and the wet on wet process employed identified times savings, which came as a bonus to the paint shop.
“The painters were completely engaged in the whole experience, which made it very exciting and enjoyable for them,” comments Bob Auty. “The main cabs come into our factory pre-painted ready for the build. Not only did the R-M paint impress through its time saving process, the colour matching using its photo spectrometer tool delivered a match that mirrored the finish on the main cab.”
Andy Kidson of R-M says, “Throughout the trials we demonstrated that the wet on wet process could save a day’s worth of labour on some jobs without compromising on the high quality expected by Angloco. We also introduced the R-M Direct to Metal (DTM) coating for the seat framework which was fabricated and fitted to the cab. What was previously a three-stage process, we could now achieve in one step, as the steel paste is mixed into the topcoat, while still retaining structural warranty compliance. As a result, half a day was saved on producing all the frames.”
In total, the fire appliance took eight months to build and 30 days to ship out to Qatar to begin its important work in the petroleum sector. Bob Auty is adamant that quality remains the driving force for the company and has been impressed with the attention he has received from R-M so far. He concludes, “The total support from R-M’s technical sales specialists is excellent. Our team of very experienced painters has been involved every step of the way. R-M introduced a plan of action and a written process for the painters, supported by health & safety capability, and ongoing training of R-M product will be taking place at its training centre in Milton Keynes. The whole experience has reached a great conclusion with this initial fire appliance build and we’re looking forward to a long and dynamic partnership with R-M.”
For more information, go to www.angloco.co.uk