Andec Supplies Ltd was founded in 2011 by Declan Melia to distribute his invention, the Ratflap®. Designed as an effective solution to prevent sewer rats from entering private properties, the Ratflap® is made of stainless steel and available in a range of sizes. Recently the Ratflap® has been redesigned to ensure that installation is easier than ever for customers across the UK and Ireland.
The challenge faced by Declan was finding a way to apply a visible logo trademark which could not be removed from his products. Due to the harsh environment his products are used in, the markings need to be both durable and resistant to chemical stress.
During the early years of Andec Supplies, Declan utilised plastic labels for branding, however in the wet and acidic environment of the sewers,the labels would often detach from the product.
In addition to making sure the marks lasted in their intended environment, Declan also wanted to ensure that his product was marked to ensure authenticity. There are many copies of the product on the market, meaning that a durable mark would allow for consumers to distinguish between the copies and the genuine item, protecting the Ratflap®'s quality reputation and brand.
Looking for a suitable substitute, Declan spoke to his steel fabricator who recommended laser etching or marking as a suitable alternative. After gaining quotes for £4 per piece for outsourcing the laser marking to a local print company, Declan decided to look into whether it would be more cost effective to do the marking in-house as he was producing upwards of 400 Ratflaps® per month.
Declan spoke to several different laser manufacturers before contacting Trotec. After exploring the options available to him, he opted for the Speedy 100 laser as his machine of choice, with the bed size matching Declan's requirements. The CO2 laser coupled with Cermark marking spray has allowed Declan to achieve the desired quality when marking, with each product featuring a permanent, highly visible logo which cannot be removed.
One of the main factors which influenced Declan's decision to buy a Trotec laser was the strong reputation and quality of European manufactured machines compared to other solutions. The user friendly JobControlTM software was also a benefit, allowing Declan to effortlessly transfer his logo onto the product, ensuring that the Ratflap® brand is included on all products in circulation.
The laser has also allowed Declan to expand Andec Supplies portfolio to include services, including producing signage and branding a range of items in small quantities for other companies. Reflecting on his choice, Declan is glad he opted to bring laser cutting in-house, having seen how much his business has grown since installation and the savings it has brought.