19th May 2017
Bailey of Bristol has relocated its Large Panel Laminating Plant to a new site in Clevedon, North Somerset, as part of a larger scheme to enable the future re-development of the company’s South Liberty Lane production facility.
This is the second business unit to be moved from the main site following the relocation of the Bailey Parts Direct operation to North Bristol twelve months ago.
The new plant is housed in a modern 3,250+ sqm manufacturing building that accommodates four state of the art laminating lines capable of producing 1,500+ body shell panels (floors, sides, and ceilings) per week. Deliveries are made daily to the company’s main production facility in South Bristol (12-mile journey) and monthly to its Australian plant in Melbourne (12,000-mile journey). Over 80 Bailey employees now work in Clevedon, half of whom have relocated from Bristol and half of whom have been recruited from the local area. The total cost of the relocation project was £4.5 million.
All Bailey leisure vehicles are manufactured using the company’s patented Alu-Tech construction system, which, unlike conventionally built caravans and motorhomes, requires the use of fully bonded laminated panels throughout the assembly. This gives the overall structure far greater strength and rigidity as well as providing the vehicle with superior thermal insulation properties.
This fact combined with the ever-increasing demand for Bailey leisure vehicles puts added pressure on the company’s Lamination Plant, which is why the company invested £2 million in the latest computer controlled capital equipment to enhance both production efficiency and accuracy.
The manufacturing process begins with the assembly of the panel components on a laser-guided jig for improved accuracy and consistency. This assembly is then bonded together using a bead application system featuring a water-based agent to provide a superior bond before the panels are then individually loaded into separate ‘multi-daylight’ vacuum presses again to maximise bond integrity. Once the lamination process is complete, the resulting body shell panels are machined for final assembly on a fully automated CNC Router.
As a result, this state of the art production plant is now capable of producing a finished fully laminated body shell panel every two minutes, making it the most advanced facility of its kind in the industry.
Commenting on this latest development, Managing Director Nick Howard said; “the relocation of our Large Panel Laminating Plant to larger purpose-built premises off-site is one of a series of initiatives we are currently undertaking to move our business and indeed our industry forward”.
“New investment in state of the art manufacturing equipment and a skilled salaried workforce will also ensure that we continue to offer new and existing customers a premium product to help fuel further growth in demand for Bailey leisure vehicles” he added.