Aluminium Venetian Blind Manufacturing.
I was mesmerised when watching a venetian blind being manufactured at a trade-show recently. For our customers who love all things mechanical, you really must watch this video!
For a manufacturer to start making an aluminium venetian blind, the machine operator will first have to load his venetian blind machine with the aluminium coil of the chosen colour. If the customer wants (say) a peppermint coloured aluminium venetian blind, then the operator will get that colour aluminium coil from his storeroom and will then set up his machine to make the blind to the required size.
The operator will start by tapping in the sizes for the required blind on the machine’s computer, also the number of blinds of that size, required for that order. While the aluminium coil is pre-painted and ready for making a blind with, it is flat and therefore must first be ‘curved’ in order to give the individual slats the strength they need to support themselves, so the first stage in the manufacturing process sees the flat coil going through the ‘former’ on the venetian blind machine, which curves the slatting as it runs through.
Depending on the pre-programmed sizes of the required blind, the machine’s computer will calculate the number of cord-supports and the intervals of those supports, along the width of that particular venetian blind. It will also calculate the spacing intervals for the pull cords, which will eventually pass down through each slat. The machine will then methodically punch millimetre-perfect holes in each individual slat – one slat after another.
After tapping in the sizes of the required blind, the machine operator can walk away to the canteen, and make a cup of tea. Upon his return, his aluminium venetian blind slats will be ready and waiting for him!
While each machine will merrily make single blinds all day long, it can only make multiples of the same size without human intervention. So if 10 blinds of the same size were required for an order, the operator could set up the sizes on his machine with the required quantity of coil, and then set off to perform other tasks or to set-up another machine to manufacture another order.
It is because of this automation that, despite their complexity, venetian blinds are quite affordable, even though they are a metal, custom-made product, with an expected life-span of 20 years or more.