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In the first stage of this order, project team consisting of product manager, design engineer and technologist drew up a list of risks connected with the realisation of this ambitious order. At the top of the list there was the issue of the screen’s material and the customer’s expectations. Due to its properties, copper is a material that oxidises very quickly. In the course of this process changes in the form of discolouration appear on the surface, which in this case was unacceptable. As a natural material, copper patinates when exposed to external conditions. In this project, however, the colour and shade were not to change over time.
In the second stage, the biggest challenge was to design and produce the tooling allowing to make the screen design in accordance with the Architect’s vision. The time pressure was enormous, and the expectations in terms of performance and build quality were very high. However, the experience and commitment of the entire team allowed us to implement the architect’s design in a record time of 2 months, including trial production and testing.
Following the closure of stage two, we proceeded with the production of sample panels which were then delivered to the investor and installed by the general contractor. At this point, the worst-case scenario came true. Despite successful tests and adequate surface preparation, irregular discolouration began to appear on the copper screen, disqualifying it. After consultation with experts and analysis of our material laboratory, we decided to produce another batch of screen at our own risk. This time the screen was additionally protected with a coating to stop the oxidation process. The test results were very promising. We provided the investor with further sample panels convinced that the problem was permanently solved. If you are familiar with Murphy’s Law then you probably know what happened next. Exactly, discolouration appeared on the screen, but after a longer time than before. Further consultations and tests. Nothing. Referring the issue back to the production plant. Analysis of material capability, consultations with suppliers. And nothing. Unfortunately, we still did not find the way to ensure that the copper screen will change its shade in a uniform manner. The time passed quickly and the date of commencement of panel production and installation was getting closer and closer. Being aware that the panels will be installed on multiple floors and exposed to various atmospheric conditions, we came to a dead end. Did we give up and resign from carrying out the project? No. Why? Because there is always a solution.
Motivation decreased, costs increased, and the order was far from complete. Ultimately, Product Manager made an important decision of choosing an appropriate technology that would ensure achieving the copper effect. Appropriate stainless steel with a half-transparent paint coating allowed for a realistic reflection of the copper colour. It was a fantastic idea! Already the first tests showed that we were able to achieve the effect that would satisfy the investor. Choosing the right colour was the last problem that we had to tackle. We had prepared and delivered more than 20 sample panels in different shades of copper before the investor chose the perfect one that was consistent with the vision. An additional advantage for the investor was the optimisation of production costs. Replacing the copper screen with the one made from stainless steel with an additional coating reduced the costs by 40%.
What can we add more? It is worth emphasising that such stories are not only a source of mutual benefits and great satisfaction. They build something more. They build mutual trust and lasting co-operation with partners like us.
The entire order for VARSO PLACE was fulfilled by Progress ARCHITECTURE in accordance with the schedule. All panels passed the rigorous acceptance tests. We are constantly informed that the investor is completely satisfied.