Steel systems manufacturer raises glass to china anniversary

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Zaun celebrates its 20th anniversary this month at the leanest, greenest and keenest point in its history.

The high security and perimeter systems steel fencing manufacturer has reached its china anniversary in rude health after bold investment decisions and innovations that sometimes ran against the grain.

Along with shrewd management, key contracts, clients and collaborators, and a relentless focus on the customer, this has enabled Zaun to grow year on year since launching into the UK fencing market in November 1996.

Co-founder and director Alastair Henman say: ‘Trading conditions have been tough for a fair proportion of those 20 years, so we have had to innovate, invest and add more value to keep ahead and busy.

‘Our ongoing investment in people, equipment and relationships has ensured we have the most modern machinery and production software.  This reduces wastage and speeds up production times, giving us the edge over the competition.

‘And contractors have witnessed the change in emphasis and our commitment to customer care and strengthening relationships and are consequently collaborating on more projects with us.’

The business began small in Rupert Street in Birmingham, importing mesh from Germany.

But a lack of space along with the lure of greater support from Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council tempted Zaun to its current five-acre site on Steel Drive to the north side of the city at around the time when the dot com bubble burst, sending shock waves through other sectors of the investment community.

Next followed investments in the depths of the post-credit crunch slump in the 44,000 sq ft multi-million-pound Paul Holloway Manufacturing Facility that houses the world’s largest mesh weaving machine, producing ArmaWeave Zaun’s most intruder resistant product on the market.

The past year has seen Zaun buy a new tube laser cutter, a further mesh welding line, and automation of other key processes to further enhance its manufacturing capabilities and capacity and cut out waste.

Additional bailers and squashers have boosted recycling while a new forklift truck has improved materials handling.

The new production equipment coupled with the engineering brilliance of accomplished engineer Roberto Garziera – who has streamlined a series of processes and improved productivity and efficiencies in production – has helped make Zaun the leanest manufacturer in the perimeter systems market.

In recognition, he has been elevated to the Zaun board as technical director – together with promotions for Chris Rowen to operations director and Chris Plimley to sales and marketing director.

Training for shop floor staff has seen new welding qualifications for CE marking and Security Rated product manufacture. In addition, new 3D design software replaces 2D throughout the business, giving customers clearer representations of designs, reducing errors and improving efficiency.

Henman concludes: ‘The political, economic, technological and social environments have changed beyond recognition in those 20 years, but we have invested in the belief we could produce innovative products our customers would want – and it’s kept us ahead of the curve.’

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About Zaun

Zaun is the only in-house British Manufacturer of Woven and Welded Mesh Fencing Systems. For 27 years, they have been the trusted manufacturing partner for sports and physical perimeter security. With a wide range of fencing, gate, and HVM solutions they can offer Protection Through Innovation for your next project.

Located in the West Midlands, they are a privately owned company first formed in 1996 and continuing to promote British manufacturing on the world stage. A proud member of Made in Britain and Made in the West Midlands, Zaun has worked on numerous projects around the world from Border Security and Airports, to Sports and Critical National Infrastructure.

The continued investment in their manufacturing processes and systems has enabled the latest in problem-solving and innovation. At the same time, an approach to ‘The Right People in the Right Places’ puts the customer experience at the heart of their business.

The quality of their wide range of systems is assured through ISO 9001 and third-party certification for high-security and HVM solutions including LPS 1175, Secured by Design, Approved for UK Government Use (NPSA), and PAS 68.

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