During this time they have built up an enviable reputation for quality and innovation, combined with excellent product support. Unfortunately the U.K textile industry went through a rapid decline in the late 1990s, Micro continued but at a reduced capacity. During this period Micro decided to rent part of their factory out to a tenant. The new tenant was a curtain and blind manufacturer. Andy Draper M.D of Micro takes up the story.
“Once our new tenant had moved in, we got talking about what we both did. When he saw the type of machines we were building (at the time we were building a fully automatic roller blind table!) he suggested we should build a vertical blind machine for him. Nothing happened for over 12 months because of our workload, but the badgering about this machine continued. Eventually, pen was put to paper, and a machine was started. We were only looking at this as a one off!”
The machine was finished and being used. As the blind component reps started to visit, they were all saying what a good and clever machine it was. Andy asked the various reps what they felt the market would be for such a machine. Guesses ranged from 5 up to 20 a year. Still not convinced about the market for the machine Andy was dragged along to the Blinds and Shutters exhibition. After having a look around Andy realised they had something special.
Andy continues “because the machine was started without any pre conceived ideas, and it had a long run in a production environment, before even deciding to produce and sell it, it’s had plenty of ideas and input from both the user and Micro Pneumatics. This has resulted in a totally fresh approach, with features that make producing louvers much easier.
Over 70 machines were sold in that first year, with 10 going to Australia and sales increasing. As Andy says, “just a few more than five!” The most satisfying part of this story, as far as Andy is concerned is the reliability of the machine. Back to Andy ” you just can’t sell fifty machines to Australia without them being reliable, they’ve been rock solid.”
Other machines were now being asked for by VB1 customers, which resulted in the Safety Saw. Micro Pneumatics are now firmly established in the blinds industry producing innovative, quality products.