A doorway to the future

Force 8 has recently invested in a new, in-house paint facility. We find out how this has benefitted the quality of its composite door offer.

Force 8 is mostly known for its arch profile bending, but over the last 10 years it has also developed a unique range of composite doors.

There is a focus on more contemporary designs (according to Force 8 the market is ‘flooded with look-a-like traditional doors’) with many developed in-house.

This is largely down to the fact that Force 8 – while primarily a manufacturer – still retains a small team of installers for the local area, providing direct feedback when it comes to composite doors, such as demand for certain designs and styles, or highlighting any fitting issues.

Force 8 has now recently completed the final piece of its manufacturing jigsaw with the addition of an in-house paint facility, ensuring the whole process from door slab to finished product and delivery is completely under the company’s full quality control.

According to Force 8, it had previously suffered from imperfections in the paint of finished products, when outsourcing paint services to a third party – a problem that had resulted in costly and time-consuming remedial work.

After investing in its in-house paint facility, the company’s operations director, Lisa Motterhead, says that it has not only improved quality control but created a ‘perfect process’ for paint finish.

“This was a big investment not only financially but in time as well, it’s taken a while to perfect the techniques and process,” says Lisa.

“All the doors are first given a dust coat, a technique used in the car industry, before being allowed to dry and then inspected. Because of the way the dust coat is applied, it shows any imperfections, blemishes, or scratches on the door,” she explains.

“These can be rectified before any further coats of paint are added, which helps to give an unblemished finish, and is also a major time saver. With the help of our new paint shop manager, who has previous experience from the automotive sector – and many trials – we have also worked out which is the best undercoat for a particular colour.

“Having a red undercoat for a red topcoat does not always give the best finish, for example. Each door then has up to four coats of 4K paint, including a top lacquer coat, to protect the finish.”

Lisa adds that frames can also be sprayed at the same time as the doors and allowed to dry at the same rate, giving a perfect match. Temperature and drying time can also influence the finished products, she says, which is why it’s important to paint related products together under the same conditions.

It’s an advantage, Lisa says, that Force 8 enjoys over rivals who cannot always guarantee a perfect match between frames and doors.

“There are few companies that can offer this service, and even fewer that provide arched doors and frames,” Lisa continues. “The paint we use is the best on the market and Force 8 can formulate any standard colour along with any custom colours.

“Probably the best demonstration of the new painting facility is the Irish oak and golden oak door finish, which combines several techniques developed by Force 8 to produce a finish we believe is probably the best on the market.”

In addition to its arched and part-arched doors, which are manufactured along with arched frames, Force 8 also produces a unique stable door, which can be fabricated to open either way, delivering a more flexible offer for customers.

Said to be a popular product for Force 8, it’s available in a traditional finish with a woodgrain effect and mouldings, or a contemporary look with a smooth finish.