GRP Solutions vs Steel in Agriculture
GRP solutions are becoming more popular in the agriculture sector as farmers and suppliers look for more robust materials. Cost efficiency, availability and durability were key in the research and decision making of our client, as they look to at the feasibility of switching from steel to a GRP solution.
Our client supplies all aspects of umbilical and slurry handling equipment of bespoke one-off products to high volume. They manufacture and sell slurry handling equipment direct to farmers and contractors as well as hiring equipment across the UK.
They came to AllScope in January 2022 with an initial idea and design for a GRP engine cover (bonnet) to replace an existing steel cover. AllScope were engaged to support in the research of material change from steel to GRP, to improve and finalise CAD designs, manufacture the finished GRP product and support the additional benefits GRP could bring to a new product range.
GRP Solutions vs Steel Considerations
The original steel used for the cover was becoming harder to source, which forced by demand, increases in materials cost. Rising prices and elongated delivery times were delaying manufacture and ultimately creating a negative knock-on effect for customers in a highly time sensitive industry of farming and agriculture.
In terms of manufacture, the more modern materials of GRP, allow for more flexibility in design and production, reducing lead time and providing the ability to produce both short and large production runs.
Looking at the durability of Steel and GRP, steel naturally corrodes over time. Given the placement of the unit in an outdoor agricultural setting (attached to tractor and machinery), steel will not last long in the cold, frozen and precipitous weather, surrounded by dirt and directly hit by debris and chemicals. GRP is much more robust, and should any damage occur, can be repaired on-site.
GRP is also much lighter in weight, meaning physical movement of the cover unit is much easier to manage by the operator.
How AllScope Provided a GRP Solution
Working with our clients we completed the following scope of support:
Identified the cover placement and environment and developed CAD designs to take progress to prototype.
Identified requirements for control panel placements and air distribution grills.
Created prototype and adapted to final design for production.
Organised the patterns to be machined and made the moulds
Manufactured the covers, added hinges and gas strut brackets for accessibility and painted finish before sending to the client.
On-going manufacture based on low and high run production volumes through seasonal trends and demand.
What our clients said about AllScope Projects
“I have manufactured the original steel cover for many years, but with materials availability reducing and prices increasing, I identified there would be more cost-effective solutions that I should explore, including alternative materials and potentially outsourcing the manufacture.
Having researched GRP, I found AllScope Projects were the technical leaders in the field, with the expertise to work with me through the entire project".
"Their professionalism in initial discussions, through to identifying my needs, design, quality assurance, effective GRP manufacture and supply were superb and they continue to work with me to ensure we have a steady production run, as and when I need. A 5-Star Rating".
To find out more about GRP solutions vs steel, read another case study ‘GRP Rail Supplies’ or contact us on 01282 446330 to discuss your GRP projects.
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