Here at Epal Engineering, we specialise in the precision engineering of all sorts of components. When many people hear this, they tend to think about tough, heavy components made from hardwearing , strong materials. Of course, we often work on these sorts of projects across a whole range of industries. But, we also pride ourselves on the versatility of our machinery and skillset, allowing us to create even the most delicate components as well. One such example of this type of project comes from our work with Sussex Iris. We have a longstanding partnership with this local company who manufacturers a very specific part for a distinct purpose: the irises that go on lamp units and projects, allowing them to open and shut and control the level of light coming from them.
Working with Sussex Iris: A business based in history
Sussex Iris was born when William came to us for help. We had already spoken with him a few times through his job as a longstanding employee of local iris business, Wilkes Iris. However, in 2015, this company shut their doors after a long history. It was a family-run business with a heritage dating back as far as 1884. After it closed down, William wanted to carry on the legacy. He already had the contacts for customers and the details of the irises that they manufactured. All he needed was help manufacturing them to the highest specification using quality materials. And, the team at Epal Engineering were more than happy to work with him on this.
Sussex Iris’ most unique product is the lighting industry’s very first single plane multi-leaf blackout iris. Not only is this iris made using superior quality materials by Epal Engineering, but it’s also a system that can be applied to both manually controlled and motorised systems. And, it’s designed in such a way that stage technicians no longer have to work around the ever-present minimum. We worked with William to produce prototypes based on his details until the finished product was perfectly fit for purpose. Each leaf of the irises Sussex Iris makes is 0.1mm thick. This is about the thickness of a human hair, so you can imagine the sort of precision that’s needed to make them perfect! Luckily, here at Epal, we are equipped with all of the machinery, equipment, and knowledge to get it done and allow the company to carry on producing their high-quality products.
Our journey working with Sussex Iris hasn’t always been smooth sailing, however! Things started off successfully for this new company. Soon after they started, they received a single order with a value of around £200,000. This comprised of around 5000 separate parts for us to manufacture! However, from 2020, things started to slow down as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The main customers of the company are theatres. And of course, these establishments have not been allowed to open properly for over a year now at the time of writing (April 2021). As a result, the demand for irises has steadily decreased. Despite this, we believe that soon Sussex Iris will see a huge resurgence in demand. Often, when equipment such as projectors isn’t used for an extended period, when it is eventually switched back on, it no longer works correctly. So, we believe that there will soon be many more orders for irises flooding in that we will manufacture, working with Sussex Iris.
How can we help you?
We believe that our work with Sussex Iris really showcases the versatility of what we can do at Epal Engineering. From working with tough, strong metals to delicate, precision parts like irises, we can do it all. So, we believe this project is a good example of our adaptability. We work with customers in West Sussex, East Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, and beyond to provide wire erosion, tooling, milling and more. We have a huge range of precision machinery and expert tools that allow us to carry out a wide array of jobs. And, as you can see from working with Sussex Iris, no job is too big or too small! So, whether you’re an individual looking to bring an idea to life or another engineering firm looking to subcontract more precision parts, we are here to help. We even offer a design service, which is ideal if you have an idea you want to bring to life, but you’re not sure how to best go about it.
Our talented team of engineers are passionate about the work they do and ensure that every single customer gets a high-quality result and amazing service from beginning to end. This is reflected in our full guarantee, so you can have the peace of mind that your project will be delivered on time, meet your exact specifications, and be of the best possible quality. We’ll also support you with everything from the initial drawings to assembly and the finishing touches! To find out more about us and how we may be able to help you, please click here to visit our website, or contact us on 01903 744352.