BDK and tesa celebrate 25 years of close collaboration

tesa BDK LogoIn the 25 years since precision converters BDK began its relationship with tesa, the company has grown to be a 70-strong workforce supplying more than 90 countries across the globe.

Based in extensive premises in Ipswich, UK, BDK has twice expanded its site to include a full range of slitting machines and flatbed, rotary and laser cutting machines. In addition to modern offices and warehousing, a recently extended Class 10,000 ISO 7 cleanroom manufacturing facility now accounts for around 220 square metres of space.

The business includes distribution as well as manufacturing adhesive tape conversions, providing conversion techniques to customers and in addition to its work in the automotive, general manufacturing and aviation sectors, delivers a specialist service to both the healthcare and document security markets.

Delivery of a 3D printer, upgraded colour CCTV security cameras and a new warehouse opening complete the site resources where 40 years of experience of cutting materials has enabled processes and procedures to be developed, offering customers tolerances measured in the microns.

In 2012 the company’s resources, skills and service levels earned it the ultimate accolade from tesa, with its accreditation at the highest level of tesa distribution partner, namely tICP (tesa Industry Converting Partner) – the first in the UK.

As a family company, established by Graham Falconer, now run by his son Nick, the business exhibits the quality and service that often comes with high levels of personal involvement. This mirrors tesa’s unique ‘tesacohesion’ customer care philosophy.

The most rewarding aspect of BDK’s work, according to Nick Falconer, is to feel that its capabilities are being stretched to deliver a complex conversion application.

“We’ve worked with tesa on a number of these development projects, for example they created a special combination of adhesive and carrier to provide a bespoke double-sided tape,” he said.

“Also, they offer additional support through training – our staff regularly attend courses at tesa UK headquarters in Milton Keynes to keep us up-to-date on new technologies and product developments.

“We have also had direct contact with their European research centre in Hamburg and visits from their technologists to help us with the development of a customer programme, where we were dealing with some very tight tolerances on cutting adhesive coated material.

“The ability to devise, produce and supply an effective solution for a wide and complex range of applications is what differentiates us from other suppliers. In tesa we’ve found a partner whose dealings are open and transparent where we can liaise and meet with senior management.”

In striving for process improvements, manufacturing efficiency and cost reductions, the tesa/BDK partnership is often called upon. Just one example of this occurred with a customer needing an adhesive tape produced to a tolerance of plus or minus 100 microns across the 300m run of die-cuts. At this level of accuracy BDK had to develop special capabilities to ensure dimensional stability and even so the job was successfully completed on time, to the degree of accuracy required.