Hy-Tech's factory, in Highbridge, has more than 40,000sq ft of space to house its manufacturing plant, graphics studio, offices and showroom. Thirty-five members of staff now work at Hy-Tech to cope with the ever-increasing demand for its highly specialised services.

Millions of pounds’ worth of equipment is used in the highly skilled process that is involved in applying vitreous enamel to either sheet metal or cast iron.

In the case of range cookers or cast iron baths, existing enamel is removed with a shot-blaster with any difficult-to-remove enamel taken off by hand. All metals are cleansed for any impurities before a groundcoat is applied, also by hand, and then these are dried in an industrial drier before the vitreous enamel is sprayed on.

Vitreous enamel is manufactured on site using either clear or brown glass flakes known as frit. Clear frit is used for light coloured enamel and brown for dark colours. Frit is combined with a variety of materials and water to create the different colours that Hy-Tech can provide. These colours are the result of more than 60 years’ experience in the vitreous enamel field. This expertise means Hy-Tech can provide bespoke colours too.

Once the enamel has been sprayed onto the surface, the product is air dried and air blasted to remove any dust or contamination before being fired at temperatures of between 720 and 840 degrees. Industrial products made out of sheet metal are fired using a continuous furnace that takes around 20 minutes in any one cycle. Range cooker fascias and cast iron baths are fired in one of Hy-Tech’s five box furnaces for between 40 and 50 minutes depending on the enamel applied.

Panels entering an oven