Aluminium extrusions are an eye-catching focal point of refrigerated rigid bodies and semi-trailers.
The mirror-polished lengths of aluminium angle corner mouldings that outline the upper perimeter of the body and the flat bottom rails provide the double benefit of style and function.
As a prominent supplier of these types of extrusions to the semi-trailer and rigid body builders, Capral relies upon Linear Metal Polishing (LMP) to transform the surface finish of the various structural and architectural grades of aluminium products.
According to the owner of LMP, Jon Fowler, Capral’s growing market share in providing components to the refrigerated body and trailer builders has meant a corresponding increase in workload for his company.
“We have been working with Capral for close to 20 years, but over the last seven years the amount of work we do for the company has increased dramatically,” Jon says, adding that the pipeline of their outstanding orders is directly proportional to the level of activity in the trailer and body building industry.
“LMP has invested significantly in new machinery and techniques to keep ahead of the curve in what we do. Even after being in the business since 2001, I’m still learning and perfecting our techniques to get the best possible finish for the aluminium extrusions.”
Each type of aluminium, according to Jon, has subtle differences which necessitates variations in how the polishing is carried out. Furthermore, small details like the way the manufacturer maintains dies and equipment also has a bearing on the quality of the surface finish that can be achieved.
“Capral maintains and cleans its dies exceptionally well which produces the best grade and quality of finished product and enables us to achieve the best surface finish possible,” Jon says.“We do stringent checks on the product we receive to ensure there’s no damage or defect,” he adds. “We pride ourselves on producing finished products that are of the highest quality for the customer.”
A good example of this attention to detail can be seen in the value-added elements LMP has developed, such as a clear vinyl wrap application to protect the polished surface from scratches and scuffing.
This is used, for example, on the front corner posts of refrigerated trailers which are vulnerable to scuffing from the airlines when the truck and trailer are jack-knifed.
Jon also speaks about additional value-adding on products, such as the bottom rails for refrigerated trailers. “Over the last eight years we have developed a method for polishing the rails that have been pre-drilled by Capral,” he says. “We have now perfected our craft so that we can polish over those holes perfectly which means the trailer manufacturer doesn’t have to spend time drilling the holes like before, saving valuable time in the production of the trailers.”
Under the mantra of continual refinement of its processes while growing to meet the ever-expanding needs of Capral Aluminium, LMP has forged a strong partnership which ensures optimum quality in the finished products.
(Main image: The finished product is ready to be bolted to the trailer; second image: Capral pre-drills the mounting holes when manufacturing the rails, saving the trailer builders valuable time at assembly.)