Scale, reflection, lighting, materiality, these are all things that need physical prototypes to assess properly. Merson take it as far as possible in virtual reality (VR) and other mediums to save time and money, then the Prototyping Department at Merson’s Concept Centre in Basildon take over.
Most of Merson’s prototypes are actually first-off production versions, with many of the design decisions already made in the virtual world supported by material samples. However, final sign-off of a physical prototype is still a vital stage, and the Concept Centre is the ideal venue for clients, brands and creative teams to view these.
Imagine being able to manufacture enough products to fulfill 25 full sites per week at the same time as surveying, drawing, and installing for 25 sites. Now imagine if at the same time as this, three times the volume of manufacturing was possible.
With three factories and the flexibility of overtime and shift working Merson can run as fast as clients want, all without impacting the ability to keep manufacturing on schedule for all other customers. That’s important because once Merson is experienced many find they may be one of those other customers in future.
Merson understand that things happen, and business needs and goals mean quick action is required. With three factories and a “Hot Jobs” process, Merson are geared up to deliver quickly when needed.
Everything Merson makes is bespoke. From the dimensions, colours and finishes required, to the design and specifications, nothing is off the shelf.
Merson work with the best structural engineers when designing large-scale signage structures; these can be anything from a 200mm long door sign to a 25-metre-long motorway gantry sign. Welds must be designed specified and then tested and handling methods and transportation to site are highly skilled logistical tasks with very exacting health and safety requirements.
These require a different approach to multi-site projects, work often being delivered by zone rather than by sign type. This means the manufacturing schedule needs to mirror this and needs to have the capacity to hit the required run-rate.
Merson manufactured over 10,000 signs for London Bridge station whilst Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 required 33,000. These could only be successfully delivered if top-notch planning and high-volume capacity were both present and linked by a highly effective ERP system.
Crossrail (multiple stations delivered by Merson) and Heathrow Airport are great examples of engineering to specification. Crossrail had rigorous performance and look and feel specifications and an approvals gateway driven process culminating in first-off signs of each type for sign-off.
Heathrow had a prescriptive list of green, amber and red list materials based on cost, in some cases weight and always sustainability. Working as part of their “blended design team” was the ideal route to achieving the optimal specification for their signage, balancing all their key criteria in the correct measure.
We could include a plant list here; in fact, we’ll send you one if you want it but what would it really tell you? What you need to know is that except for some specialist processes like GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic or Glass Fibre) fabrication or neon lighting, we make pretty much make everything in-house in our own factories. Brake presses, turret punches, routers, welding plant, powder coating lines, digital printers – we have everything we need to make your signs under our own roof (or rather one of our three roofs) and under our control.
The latest news, articles and resources, sent to your inbox monthly.