Le Maitre Explains How It Improved Productivity

The following was released by Le Maitre to explain how it improved productivity at its U.K. pyrotechnics facility:*

In 2013 Le Maitre invested in increasing productivity at its pyrotechnics factory in Peterborough U.K.,  in order to cope with demand. The pyrotechnic manufacturing process is a very labour intensive process and Le Maitre had reached almost full production capacity the year before. The company therefore researched alternative methods, exploring different industries before subsequently identifying a completely new production process which can output 24,000 to 26,000 units per hour, regardless of diameter, and is now resulting in a significant increase in capacity.

Moving from the previous moulded stars method to the new format has been far from straightforward. The production process greatly affects how the pyro behaves and the Peterborough team have had to spend a huge amount of time and resource in the careful adjustment of product composition. Le Maitre has announced that the production transition has now been completed for all Mines, from Micro Mines through to 30-ft. Mines as well as Starbursts. Although the primary purpose was to greatly increase productivity, which is now being achieved, the team also took the opportunity to incorporate a number of further performance benefits. These improvements include:

  • Products are much cleaner, with fallout reduced by 1/3 (for magnesium based compositions)
  • Products are much more consistent across the range with colours in the same family travelling at similar rates
  • Blue and purple mines have been brought inline to look and behave in the same way as other colours, so they are now much brighter and tighter.
  • The new production process greatly improves consistency between batches and individual products meaning the customer will receive the same quality product every time.
  • Many of the magnesium compositions have been re formulated and are now low perchlorate compositions thus reducing their environmental impact. Even better than that, the Silver, White and Pink are completely perchlorate free! (You would need to dissolve over 9000 30ft mines in to an Olympic size swimming pool to put Le Maitre’s products over the tightest current (2013) US perchlorate regulation.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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