When Tom Kenney was seeking a powder coater to support his new business venture, Kencar, he turned to Birmingham-based, Vertik-Al. Having come across the long-established powder coating specialist in a previous career, Tom was keen to understand what Vertik-Al could offer a new entrant into the fabrication and façade industry.
“It was Vertik-Al’s dedication to quality that first sparked my interest. A former employer would out-source to them when a job required a guarantee. In my opinion, this made Vertik-Al a good fit for Kencar, underpinning our commitment to deliver high-quality bespoke architectural metal work,” says Tom Kenney, managing director of Kencar.
Vertik-Al offers 25-year supplier backed guarantees on a range of colours and is the only applicator in the UK and Ireland to hold the GSB International quality seal for Approved Coated Aluminium. It is also one of a handful of applicators to boast membership of the product certification scheme, QUALICOAT.
Established in 2016 and employing 25 people from the local area, Kencar has grown rapidly in recent times and is quickly gaining a reputation for being a trusted supplier of metal work to the architectural facade industry.
“We specialise in insulated panels, using one of the largest pressure bonding machines in the country. We can also fabricate various rainscreen and interlocking panels.” Fascia and soffit systems, copings, cappings, cills, brackets and flashings make up the remainder of the company’s product offering.
Kencar is located just 20 minutes away from Vertik-Al, in the West Midlands town of Walsall. “While location is less important in this digital age, it still plays a vital role for those in the supply chain.
“Vertik-Al is renowned for its fast-turnaround, our close proximity means we can maximise this. If we need a job doing quickly, we know it can be on the powder coating line within hours.
“The team keep us updated on where jobs are in the production process allowing us to coordinate the most efficient drop-off and collection times.”
Kencar has directly benefitted from Vertik-Al’s recent investment in new powder coating equipment, including two new horizontal plants and an upgraded booth alongside new automatic powder guns online two. This investment has significantly reduced the time taken for colour changes, boosting the speed and efficiency of the entire powder coating process.
“The new equipment is delivering incredible results; the quality of the application and finish is outstanding, across matt, gloss and textured coatings.”
Last year, powder usage figures shared by Vertik-Al revealed that its lines were dominated by shades of grey. Of the top 10 colours most used, five were a tonal variation of grey, with Anthracite Grey leading the charge with almost 20% share. This usage has been directly influenced by customers such as Kencar.
“There’s been an awful lot of grey over the past few years, with Anthracite Grey (RAL 7016) and Basalt Grey (RAL 7012) leading the charge. We are, however, starting to see a rise in metallic finishes, especially bronze.” Again, this is supported by powder usage data from Vertik-Al with several metallic finishes featuring in the company’s top 50. Architectural façade designers are looking beyond glazed facades and exploring statement exteriors and detailing using standard colours such as pewter and white in a metallic finish or a full-blown glistening metallic such as gold.
“Designers also appreciate that bronze metallic powder coating is a successful alternative to the finish achieved by anodising; it replicates the look without the need for anodisation.”
We have an incredibly good relationship with Vertik-Al. Their reliable service and support, particularly during the pandemic, is invaluable and directly impacts our ability to deliver high-quality metal work on-time and in-full.
“Their supplier-backed guarantees, accreditations and certification are an important factor in the specification process and help us to stand apart from the competition.”