Metal Art manufactures success through Covid
The Lower Hutt manufacturer teamed up with their partner company Powder Coating Services to provide a local solution for an increased demand in hand sanitiser stands
The manufacturing sector is likely to have a big impact on post-Covid economies and co-owned Lower Hutt companies Metal Art and Powder Coating Services are constantly looking at ways to offer more New Zealand made products to the market.
The benefit of being Wellington-made
Earlier in 2020, Carl caught wind that Initial Hygiene Wellington was looking at a six-month delay on its hand sanitiser stands from its former supplier in the UK. After a few discussions, they worked out that Metal Art could do the work better, cheaper, and quicker.
“These units were going into hospitals and government buildings which means they’re going to have hundreds of people using them a day. They can’t be rickety.”
They’ve now sold over 2000 units. Metal Art and Powder Coating Services also worked together to mix an antimicrobial coating which means that the stands kill off germs on their surface within 15 minutes.
“You’ve got to diversify as much as you can to serve demand,” Carl says.
Wellington’s manufacturing securing jobs for the future
The family-owned business has been run out of Lower Hutt for 30 years and has many long serving staff members. Carl says there are a number who have been there between 15 and 25 years. They currently employ 16 staff but have also made room to take on apprentices through the Youth Inspire and Gateway programmes.
This year, Carl says they also have their first ever intern in the front office.
“Usually we get kids coming through here wanting to learn engineering, but we now have a young person who wants to look at the marketing side of the business, which is great.”
Powder Coating Services began with just two staff, one full-time and one part-time. They now employ 16.
Their steady growth over the decades is about diversifying their product, Carl says.
“Wellington is well-placed as a manufacturing region – as the bigger companies have gone away, smaller ones have popped up in their place and these smaller companies have either a niche market or they’re diverse in their core business.”
Pre-Covid, they had a three-year expansion plan to bring in more automated systems through Powder Coating Services Ltd which is still in the pipeline but will need to be reviewed because of the potential slowdown in construction project timelines, he says.
Wellington is well-placed as a manufacturing region