We had the chance of visiting SHY facilities yesterday, located at Letchworth Garden City.
Our training started in the mid morning, inviting a small group of national industry leaders.
We were divided by smaller groups, each guided and instructed by one SHY expert.
For our first part of the training, we covered most of the products on display, including a prototype, custom-built tracks in different shapes and sizes and a remote-controlled curved blackout blind. Many of these applications are compatible for roof lights as well as roller blinds.
On the opposite side of the showroom, we could see roller blinds on the ceiling with different fabric opacities and colours.
The SHY Showroom
SHY Wireless Rooflight Blind
The second part of the training focused on their wireless rooflight systems. The session was led by the Technical Sales Manager, who explained in detail the common challenges with those blinds, such as visible wiring or having the fabric being slightly folded on large dimension blinds. He then introduced us to one of their innovations, the SHY Wireless Rooflight Blind seen below. The spring box applies about three times the tension as their counterparts, enabling it to hold the blind fabric perfectly straight all across, with no visible wires. One of the ways it does this is by using steel cabling. Perhaps the only downside of this new added tension is that it can present a slight hazard while installing it. For this reason, in order to install the spring box component, the fitter needs to be trained certified by SHY.
The office and warehouse
After the lunch break, we resumed our visit to the rest of the facilities, on the lower floor. Guided by another SHY expert, we shortly stopped by the office before entering the spacious warehouse. We were impressed to see some of the the team organisation methods. For instance, they start every morning with a short meeting in which every member is assigned different tasks, discuss progress and ongoing problems. This builds quality control, ownership and accountability into the process, while helping them stay productive with an uninterrupted workflow.
The warehouse was equally impressive. As we entered, we saw a clear arrangement of every area of storage and production. On the right side, we immediately saw a display of a triangular shaped blind, about 2 meters tall, which had an electric motor concealed in a box below. This was another example of SHY’s great ability of doing bespoke installations. We proceeded to the storage, assembling and shipping areas, where they also use productivity tools such shelves arranged like Kanban boards, to ensure a streamlined process. On the shipping department, the instructor showed us how they build innovation even into their packaging – one of our fellow visitors congratulated SHY on their much improved bubble wrap, which is light and protective while easy to unpack.
Finally, we had a look at the mechanical cutting table, which they use to precisely cut fabric to a wide range of sizes. In addition, their CAD designers can model bespoke tracks and components for to meet the needs of just about any project.
SHY are known for their solutions by design – one of their motto’s says it all: “The unusual is our business”. The training session gave us a deeper view and understanding of their engineering expertise.
For projects in which architects need specific designs, where standard roller blinds are not enough, we would recommend SHY. Their blinds not only serve the shading purposes, but also become an integral part of the overall design. In addition, their guarantee is 5 years long on standard projects.
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