What helps WS Steel engineers like Ellery Burton turn rigid metal panels into secure, heavy-duty medical cabinets that meet the high standards of a hospital setting? A tape from 3M that makes innovative fabrication possible.
When WS Steel’s Director of Operations asked for a creative solution for cutting costs and reducing labour on their custom cabinets, Ellery was quick to identify an opportunity in the welding process.
“We picked out the spot welding, because it required us to basically do bodywork for five to six hours on the cabinets … and at $30 an hour that starts to get expensive.”
- Ellery Burton
By replacing spot welds with 3M™ VHB™ Tape, WS Steel was able to reduce their costs by 20%, offering their customers a superior product without compromising the strength of traditional welds.
But the benefits didn’t stop there. Prior to using 3M™ VHB™ Tape, WS Steel was able to produce only one cabinet per day. With the tape they’re able to prep the parts beforehand, allowing them, as Ellery says, “to produce approximately four cabinets per day because the parts are ready to be adhered as soon as the customer places an order … this product is amazing!”
What Ellery hadn’t anticipated was the impact using 3M™ VHB™ Tape would have on the employees. It reduced the use of chemicals and the need for special safety gear—with 3M™ VHB™ Tape there are no chemicals to mix or store, providing a cleaner workspace.
The tape bonds the metal panels together, creating a continuous adhesion that rivals most welds. It produces a smooth finish. Plus, it’s stronger and longer-lasting than most rivets and spot welds, which weaken the material they fasten.
The revolutionary 3M tape not only significantly increased WS Steel’s productivity, it also got people excited about the end result. As Ellery says, “now others in the organization are asking the question, how can we use 3M™ VHB™ Tape to fabricate other products?”