Suppliers of silicone rubber masking products for powder coating & metal finishing.
Silicone Rubber masking products weren’t even invented when AFAC was formed back in 1980. In fact, AFAC Ltd started life providing captive fasteners to manufacturers. The principle of the business, Lee Mullins had worked for a number of years selling machines for fixing captive fasteners into engineering and manufacturing companies up and down the country.
AFAC Ltd was started to provide smaller stocks of fasteners to engineering businesses off the shelf. Over time, as powder coating became more popular, more and more customers were asking how they could protect the threads on their metalwork whilst going through powder coating and metal finishing processes. At the time, there were PVC and some plastic products but nothing that would withstand powder coating ovens over and over again.
In the late 80s, AFAC’s owner Lee Mullins became aware of silicone rubber as he was trying to solve these customers requests. It was out of that discovery that in 1986, the first BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber Plug was prototyped. With AFAC’s unique understanding of fasteners, the shape and taper on the plugs was developed to suit metric threads. Also parts were colour coded by AFAC as standard for easy identification of sizes. Later, the AFAC colour coding was copied as were a number of the original AFAC products.
There is no greater compliment than being copied
The BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber PLUG was designed specifically for masking during electro-static powder coating applications and was the first masking product in the U.K. able to withstand stoving temperatures in excess of 260 degrees C/ 500 degrees F. In addition, the BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber PLUG could be re-used time and time again. To aid identification, BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber PLUGS were colour coded to indicate the thread size they would mask.
Using the same high temperature silicone rubber, the BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber TUBE was evolved to provide a re-usable method of masking studs. Drawing on the expertise in the production of weld studs, the BAKEWELL Silicone Rubber TUBE range was developed to give the optimum fit on studs, making them easy to fit and remove. Once again colour coding was employed to assist customers to identify the part needed for their application, thus, simply by giving the colour, the correct size could be supplied.
Original manufacturing began in the UK and before the market became flooded with imports, the costs were sustainable. In the early 90s, as competition increased, AFAC Ltd continued to develop wider and wider ranges of standard products to ensure the catalogue of standard parts was always the widest in the UK. Manufacture was offshored to the far east to keep pricing down and all of the parts being manufactured in the UK were re-tooled.
A.F.A.C. innovation continues to improve manufacturing productivity worldwide.