For a company that has managed to grow its turnover and expand into new sectors during a recession, it might sound odd for it to invest in restricting its activities, but Plastic Surgeon’s R&D department has been doing exactly that.
It is not just COSHH and health & safety guidelines which compel contractors to control such hazards as solvents and plaster dust, but commercial clients in particular are extremely conscious about any disruption to the occupants of their buildings. And Plastic Surgeon has therefore invested considerable sums in giving its Finishers state-of-the-art paint-spraying, extract and other equipment to carry out their work. Physical protection for the area surrounding any repairs being carried out is also an important aspect to this culture of containment and cleanliness.
As the UK’s only national cosmetic repair specialist, Plastic Surgeon is called upon to tackle some very sizeable challenges, such as repairing and repainting dozens of metal cladding panels located inside a huge data storage facility belonging to one of the major banks.
While the company had already invested in high quality portable extract systems to which sanding equipment can be directly connected, senior staff also decided to purchase special High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spraying equipment which minimize the amount of paint getting into the atmosphere. Many of the Finishers now carry the HVLP systems in their vans, along with other, smaller spray guns for detail work.
The extent to which the operatives go to avoid contaminating their surroundings is evident in the work Plastic Surgeon has been carrying out for one of the world’s biggest cruise operators. Often they have to undertake substantial repairs in the public areas during the early hours of the morning.
Andy Keenagh is head of R&D and has also been in charge of Finisher teams working aboard the liners. He comments: “We began each night by erecting airtight awnings around the pillars under repair, accessed by a tunnel with an improvised “airlock”. Special new equipment was then employed to keep dust produced to an absolute minimum.
“We were carrying our standard fume extractors on the ship, but also utilized the new sanding equipment the company has purchased. These feature a very high density of extract points across the face of the 150 mm wide pad – linked to a vacuum encapsulation unit – to cut dust by 98 per cent or more.”
With its regular work on board ship as well as for big hotel chains, retail outlets and a variety of facilities management clients, Plastic Surgeon will continue to invest in technology and new techniques to help ensure its customers will never know the Finishers have been around.