Derby-based catering equipment fabricator Parry has seen a massive increase in demand for bespoke, one-off fabrication orders, with 240% more of these projects in 2014 compared to 2013.
As kitchens reduce in size and consultants, specifiers and operators struggle to accommodate all the heavy equipment, more projects require fabrications to fit very specific shapes and sizes, thereby freeing up space for this equipment.
Nearly all of the work is related to dealer led projects, with Parry’s group marketing co-ordinator Sam Starling detailing: “To a certain extent the growth is due to kitchens becoming smaller, but there are also more suppliers able to manufacture bespoke fabrications at competitive prices.
“In addition, the market is demanding more bespoke solutions to improve kitchen throughput.
“Dealers know that it’s not possible to have an oven or dishwasher specially manufactured to be smaller, but they are becoming increasingly aware that it is possible to have counters, tabling, trolleys, prep units and other stainless steel equipment manufactured to very specific sizes and shapes.
“This means that they can still incorporate the required heavy duty items into their design, safe in the knowledge that if they need a counter with a 45 degree angle in it, a shelf that is narrower than standard or a trolley that has to be a specific height in order to be stored under another surface this can be done.”
Starling believes the economy is driving fabrication suppliers to diversify. “There is currently an over-supply of fabricators providing standard stainless steel products, both at home and overseas, so the diversification comes in the form of superior quality (especially when compared to cheap, imported items) and bespoke design, all at competitive prices.”
Parry’s production model is geared up to provide good lead times on both bespoke and standard fabrications. Its current lead time on bespoke items is 7-10 working days.
Bespoke fabrications demand higher skill and enhanced control on all processes from order, administration through to design, production, packing, despatch and quality control. Starling commented: “Our production model has standard procedures embedded within it to provide this process control.”
The firm expects these types of orders to continue as both dealers and end users become more aware and more demanding. “As a result we are consistently reviewing innovations in regard to bespoke fabrication design,” explained Starling.