Manufacturer raises the roof with multi-million pound contract

Wakefield-based Rhodes Interform, a metalforming machinery manufacturer, has secured a multi-million pound contract to make and supply a brand-new mechanical punch press.

The client is Zentia, a producer of high-performance mineral ceiling tiles, and the press will be installed in Zentia’s facility in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

The Rhodes DS2-315 Geared Press will be a double-sided 315-tonne mechanical press, due for installation in 2024.

It will be an upgrade on the Rhodes DS2-200 Geared Press currently in operation at the plant.

The contract includes the design, manufacture, and installation of the press by engineers at Rhodes Interform, including the removal of the press currently at the premises in Gateshead.

Mark Ridgway, CEO of Group Rhodes, said: ‘’It is a privilege to be asked to supply Zentia with another high specification metalforming solution.

“As a UK market leader of complete ceiling solutions, Zentia requires the production speed and accuracy which is provided by our Rhodes DS2 mechanical press range. We look forward to working closely with the Zentia team on this valued project.”

Neil Hunter, engineering, and improvement manager at Zentia, added: “The existing Rhodes press has been in service for 30 years and has punched in excess of 300 million square metres of ceiling tile in this time.

“We are looking forward to receiving the new increased tonnage press to allow Zentia to manufacture high end products predominantly for the UK and Ireland markets.”

Rhodes Interform is a division of Group Rhodes, which is soon to be celebrating its 200th anniversary, offering a range of hot and cold forming technologies for specialist metal forming applications across several industrial sectors.

In addition, the company’s composite machinery is used to produce structural components for the aerospace and automotive sectors.

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