CAS assembly tooling and services approached us looking for a cutting mat solution for one of their British luxury car manufacturers. They were having a refit of their processing facilities which required new workstations and replacement cutting mats. They were looking to source and supply superior-grade mats and we initiated the conversations by sending samples for them to test both with their tools and materials.
The refit would be for around 100 bench mats and the lead time would have to coincide with the lead time of the new workstations, to minimise disruption to the production facility. They were particularly needing the mats to precisely fit to each workstation so that the whole area was uniform and aesthetically pleasing to showcase the luxury brand within their own facilities.
The challenge was to produce a mat that would be exceptionally good at self-healing and cope with a multitude of cuts, but no cut marks or ridges as they were working with very soft quality hide and any debris would mark or damage it irreversibly. The mats would have to be strong enough to cope with very sharp trimming tools, scalpels, boning and stretching tools whilst at the same time being soft enough so that the finely finished hide wasn’t damaged.
It was going to be a challenge to achieve both at the same time. With a cutting mat, toughness usually equals hardness and we needed them also to be very slightly spongy, but with a soft smooth surface at the same time. If it was too hard it would cause the knives to drag across the surface of the hide causing damage to it, but too soft and they would be difficult to cut.
Our premium Ultraseal mat was a great starting point as it’s incredibly tough and hard-wearing. With a few tweaks to the material properties, we were able to adjust the shore hardness and increase density and softness levels whilst still retaining the really tough ultra-self-healing properties. Our premium Ultraseal mats are hand formed so we prototyped until the client was completely satisfied with the end product.
The end result was a very hard-wearing, exceptional self-healing mat that would still be suitable for cutting the softest of hides without leaving any harsh cutting marks or debris behind. The final decision was the colour which was chosen by the client – a grey tone that would be a nod to the new grey colour that the company had released in their range for 2022. The manufacture of the products took around 3 weeks, with the end result being an extremely happy client!
The finished result was stunning. Following rigorous use, the cut marks were hardly visible and there were certainly no jagged edges or tramlines that could catch on the hide.
It certainly reflected the high-end British manufacturer that they are and was excellent to see this followed all the way through to their production facilities. Also fantastic for our Rhino mats to be aligned with another luxury UK brand!